Where's Frankie?

If you wish upon a star…

Friday 30th September

You’ll be glad to know that I took 90 photos today, some were under cover, but I think you should enjoy them. I’m only going to let you have 15 of them today, I need to work out how to shake some of them out of my mobile phone and since we are going nowhere tomorrow (you’ll find out later) I thought it might help spread the load.

Another beautiful sunny cloudless sky. I was talking to a fellow traveller yesterday who had spent three days in the rain but so far we have been so so lucky. A couple of mornings with mist and / or fog is as bad as it has got.

We are in Fussen for one reason, and one reason only, so we got on our bikes and rode 5 miles (yes, she pedalled her little heart out today) along almost totally flat roads.

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Arriving at the ticket office we immediately thought of Mick Monk. Not sure why but that is a pint stein to the right. Mick, if you are interested just send me €200 and it’s all yours.

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We have arrived at a castle, this is Hohenschwanngau, a tatty old place where Prince Ludwig II was raised, entertained Richard Wagner (or was entertained by Richard Wagner) and talked into building the most fantabulous castle in the world, as approved by Walt Disney, no less.

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This is one of the first glimpses of King Ludwig II new castle, Neuschwannsteig (I’ve been practicing the name all day and I sound almost like a local). The foundation stone was laid on 5th September 1869 on the foundations of two dilapidated castles. King Ludwig was very fond of the operas written by Wagner and the design was based upon sketches made by Christian Jank, a scene painter who painted some of the backdrops for Wagners productions. It was a complete flight of fancy.

Ludwig died in 1886 at the age of 40 under mysterious circumstances and never got to see the castle finished. In fact it has never been completed. The elders of Bavaria declared that Ludwig was stark raving mad and sent him away, only for him to be found a couple of days later face down in a lake with his psychiatrist. The building costs of this castle (not the first he had built, and there was another in the pipeline) had bought Bavaria to the edge of bankruptcy.

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The view North(ish) across Germany is stunning, the air is clean and fresh and there is nothing to spoil the view. We are high up though, Lucy thought that after her long cycle ride she was entitled to a bus ride up, rotten old me made her walk.

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Getting closer.

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And through the main gates. You have to buy a ticket down the bottom, you have a choice of visiting either or both castles plus the museum of Bavarian Kings. We chose to just visit the one castle, it means we have a reason to come back another day.

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It is all very impressive.

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This is the gate house, one of the parts that was finished for Ludwig and he did stay in the Royal rooms where the balcony is.

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The palace is to the right and our tour took us through all of the main rooms. No cameras were allowed into the palace so as I mentioned before, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow and I’ve managed to get them out.

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In the distance we could see a bridge, Mariansbrucke and since it looked very scenic I made the little’n walk up there as well, there is no end to my mean streak.

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I had to double check this photo, I thought it might have been a proper photo that I had taken a shot of but this is the real thing. Standing on a narrow bridge with a million and one Japanese tourists bouncing it up and down.

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Below the bridge a lovely waterfall (5 shot HDR with long exposure, hand held).

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Todays shot of the day, a well earned couple of pints. Considering that we are in a major tourist destination with over 60,000,000 visitors to the castle you would expect prices to be sky high. €7, cheaper than most pubs in the UK and it was brewed by King Ludwig himself.

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So there I am back at the stellplatz busily preparing dinner when Lucy says, our next door neighbours have got something fancy on their wing mirrors. The Germans are dedicated motorhomers and they are always coming out with new and fancy gadgets so I was told to find out what the blue thing is. Turns out it is a towel for drying your hair and it is hanging up to dry!! Still, it wasn’t a wasted question, they asked if we had booked a place to stay tomorrow night, we were just going to visit Oberamagau, the home of the Passion Play which has a 12 bay stellplatz. They told us that Monday is a national holiday, it is German Unity Day when East & West Germany recombined so everyone and his motorhome is going to be out and about. We thought it strange when there were half a dozen motors driving away from the stellplatz earlier this afternoon. Between the three camper stops we have about 200 spaces but they are all full up. Considered opinion is to stay two more days.

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Todays meal of the day, sweet potato and chicken bake, it doesn’t look exactly the same as the photo (someone just plonked the food on the plate) but it tasted pretty good.,

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