Saturday, April 3, 2010

Deutschland: Neuschwastein, Dachau + Munchen

We made it to the hostel later than expected Friday night - thank you again, GPS (it wasn't so bad actually, we would have been much worse off without it) - and turned in early.  Two guys in our room, Grant and Randall from Texas, accompanied us at 5.30 the next morning on the two hour drive to Neuschawstein Castle.  For a quick Wikipedia description - Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangaunear F├╝ssen in southwest BavariaGermany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner (who Ludwig was completely gay for - that's from me, not Wiki). The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886.  Fun fact - is also the castle they based Cinderella's castle in Disney off of.  After the castle, the five of us drove north to visit the concentration camp in Dachau. It was an incredibly eye opening experience everyone should have at least once - but I never need to see another one. 

We were drained by the time we returned to Munich Saturday afternoon.  We walked around a little and had a typical German meal downtown - sausage, beer, and pretzels with mustard - perfect!  That night we went out to a bar and met two local Munich girls who got us into an underground electronic club.  It reminded me of the SNL German parody - with light up squares on the floor and robot-esque dance moves.  Sunday morning we walked around the English Gardens while eating some more big pretzels with mustard.  We took the free walking tour of Munich in the afternoon, afterwards Katie and Haley went on the Munich beer tour/pub crawl and I found a mass for Easter. We all met up later and had some wine with our new tour friends at the hostel.  To save a few euro we spent Sunday night in the car (which was more comfortable than we thought it would be) and woke up early for the drive back to Frankfurt-Hahn, arriving back home in Firenze by late Monday afternoon. 

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