I realize that it's been several days since we posted, but internet is hard to come by in small Bavarian towns! And, have I mentioned yet, that the keyboards are different over here? Some of the letters and symbols are switched around, so I end up writing "love zou" or searching for the quotation marks (which I just did, bz the waz, and thez are over the number 2!)
We left Munich early Saturday morning after we started eating breakfast before it was open. I mean, how were we supposed to know that it was bank holiday? The guy was a little peeved and made us feel really bad, so we ate super fast and left!!! We traveled with all of Munich on a tiny little train into a fairy tale land. As we went further south, the mountains seem to rise up out of nowhere. Mind you, these are not the rolling hills of Appalchia, but the mighty Alps with their jagged and snowcovered crags. (Speaking of crags, anyone remember the name of that TV show where the kids climbed Crag Mountain at the end?? We racked our brains and for the life of us cannot remember the name!!!)
Ok, back to the mountains. (Becca, I feel a little like you sometimes! We must think alike!) The mountains people. These things are for real. Not even the Rockies compare. They were glowing in the morning sunlight. It was stunning! We arrived in Fussen, dropped off our bags at the hostel, and headed on the bus towards Tegelberg. We were hoping to ride the sommerrodelbahn (luge) on the side of the mountain. Except in this case, "sommer" really means that it is only open in the summer. We opted for the gondola to the top instead, and we definitely got the better in the deal. I might have taken an entire roll of film at the top. Maybe. :-) We hiked a little into the Alps and saw the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. And let's talk just for a second about the skiers. They climbed the mountain on their little skies and zigzagged their way back down. I would have died, considering it was probably a 70 degree slope near the top.
Sunday was castle day. I have been looking forward to seeing Neuschwanstein since I was little, and it was just as exciting as walking down Main Street and seeing Cinderalla's castle. Except that you can actually go inside Neuschwanstein. And it's bigger. And there's snow. Disclaimer: I'm not into princesses and all that mushy stuff. Bring on the knights and castles and storming the gates!!! We toured Hohenschwangau and then hiked up the hill to the big money. Crazy Ludwig tore down a 700 year old castle to build his and then outfitted it with all the modern conveniences. The castle is barely 160-something years old, but the interior is decorated in the middle-age style. I wish that we knew more about Wagner's operas because the entire castle is dedicated to his works.
The path to Mary's Bridge was closed, but we pretended like we didn't know what the signs said (Caution, Achtung, Death Is Imminent!) and marched right along. The path was covered in snow and ice, but the view was worth it!
Then we hiked from the castle to the town at the foot of the mountain. Rick Steve's had mentioned this place called Kristall-Therme. Since we weren't visiting the baths in Baden-Baden, we decided to give this place a try. We had a blast! I thought of Caroline the whole time because she always says to do stuff with the locals. You couldn't get more local than this! We spent 2 hours relaxing in the mineral baths. My favorite was the outdoor pool where you could sit in the pool in a bubbly lounge chair thingy and gaze up at the castles all lit up for the evening!!
We had dinner that night at a tiny little Italian place. There were no tables available, and a couple that had just sat down offered to share their's with us. We had a wonderful evening sharing travel stories and getting to know each other. To me, that it the best way to eat a meal!
We're now deep in the Scharzwald in Triberg. We hiked up the mountain to get to our hostel, and when we told the guy at the front desk, he got a really good laugh!!! So I rewarded myself with a big piece of Black Forest cake at dinner and then a taxi back up the hill.
Thanks for hanging in for the long update! You might not hear from us til we get back since the internet is sketchy and expensive here, so until then, tschüs!!!