Sunday, October 14 - Bavaria

This day is an excursion to places in the countryside. We left at 8 and our bus stopped in Oberammergau for a rest stop. We looked around but didn't stay. Quaint and touristy. Then we drove on thorough he mountains to Schloss Linderhof. We had a scheduled visit to the interior at 10:30 and got there early so we spent the interval seeing the grounds.

Ludwig II built this secluded hunting lodge, also known as the Kings Hut. Ludwig decided that this will be a New Versailles. It was planned as a modest villa but had become a splendid Rococo palace in the ornate French style. Linderhof is the smallest of the three royal castles, and the only one which was completely finished. (1878). Ludwig is the builder of Neu Schwanstein, our next stop. The garden and interior are spectacular, but no pictures are allowed and the postcards failed us.

After that we went on to New Schwanstein. As we drove in we could see Schloss Hohenschwangau, Ludwig's childhood home before he built the new castle and the home of his mother. Then we had lunch at Restaurant Lisl before heading for Neu Schwanstein. The walk up is very long and steep so we decided to take the bus. After getting trapped in a double busload of Japanese tourist we were extricated and went up to the bus stop, still some distance form the castle. There we made our mistake and followed others, equally ignorant, up to the Marienbruecke where I got an excellent picture of the castle but also realized we were not going to get there that way. We retraced our steps and went on to the the castle. There we found that the tour required 126 steps up and the same down. We persevered but my arthritic knees protested. The tour was interesting but I felt that Ludwig had done much better with Linderhof. The views form the heights were wonderful, however.

Then we went on to the nearby Wieskirche, a pilgrimage church built in 1746-56 by Dominikus Zimmerman. This is truly spectacular. I thought it was the finest rococo architecture we saw on the whole trip. The interior is plain white with elaborate decorations in contrast. A service was being conducted, with half a dozen monks chanting, so we couldn't stay long. Then we went back to the hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant.

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