If I were a king even just for a day. I’d roll out of bed in the morning. And throw on what I wanted. And go drink beer with the guys…
This morning was horrific. It was horrible. It was the worst morning of my life or at least close to it. What is the reason for such a lame morning? Well it was the gift that kept on giving from a brilliant “quiet night in”. Parents and other family this is the point that you skip down for the paragraph that starts “Well back to the tourist stuff” 😉
My quiet night in was changed so fundamentally when at about 8:30pm two Yanks came in to our hostel room. Ryan and Micky were two “brother in laws to be” from New Jersey spending two weeks doing a quick Europe trip. We got chatting and we got along pretty well. Ryan was a fellow 21 year old who is in the middle of university while Micky was a high school legal studies teacher so there was a fair bit of common ground. They were heading out for 2 beers at a beer hall so I said “why not”. Maria our Brazilian roommate was in on the action to and we quickly had our small group around a table, drinking Maß (the 1 liter steins :D) and just chatting away in the oldest beer hall/garden in Munich. The beer was lovely although the wheat beer from later on in the night was the German beer winner and the beer garden was a great place to drink and just hang out. It was a little out of the city so it wasnt touristy (the evil look of of the waitress when we ordered in English and I butchered german tells you that much!) and also MASSIVE. Seating for over 5000 people.
As the night wore on we explored our way back to the city centre and stopped off at a Wheat Beer pub that the Americans had been to the night before where that amazing beer crossed my lips. At this point we were slightly intoxicated (we went running through the cool big fountain on the way back…so i don’t think I can claim sobriety) and headed back to the hostel bar for just one more night cap.
However when the hostel bar was closed and we realised it was 2am so being responsible we dropped in to the bar in the next door hostel that stayed open until 4am (in reality it was even later than 4am when we were kicked out). Here we met the brilliant bartender from Perth who made GORGEOUS light green, fruity shots (which he was practically giving away to us in the end once the bar was “closed” as well as our Somalian new drinking buddy Olol (who bought us more drinks :P). I cant tell you how many shots of the green gold we had but I do know that Micky bought a discounted round, Olol bought a few rounds and I think I bought a few rounds as well….and that was before Perth started just continually mixing and pouring and never charging. It was a great night. We ended up leaving our mark on the place too with our gratified Wombats hostel drink voucher taking pride of place on the wall behind the bar.
So that gets me to this morning. I woke up at 10:30 when the americans were leaving to go to Rome and was quickly on the 10:51am train to Neuwanschtein Castle. I was under the weather though as I alluded to previously. I was well hung. To put in Czech terms I was definitely monkey. To put it in castle terms…I was under the gallows. However, I managed to get to neuwanschtein castle which is a fair achievement in any state as it was 3 trains, a bus and a 2 mile hike involved. Whatever suffering I had though was worth it as last night with my american buddies (why do I attract Americans and ones who are republican for that matter?) was close to one of the best nights I have had since I left Australian Shores. Up there with the foam party, Dwyane Bravo and Mezz nights in Leeds and the other awesome nights that I cant recall at the moment.
Well back to the tourist stuff (and welcome back parentals, grandparentals and associates :P). Although the process of getting to the castle is time consuming and slightly complex it is a great trip. The Bavarian countryside with tall forests and endless green is the perfect beautiful and interesting view to look out on for hours on end. Also I had great weather so the day couldn’t be better (even if I couldve been). To top it off for just 20 Euros you can get a Bavaria ticket that gives you unlimited public transport in Bavaria for the day. When you get to the town 2 miles from the castle you buy your ticket for the guided tour and am greeted by this picturesque valley with the fairy tale castle as its focus. The castle, the inspiration for the Disneyland one, isnt actually that old. It was built in the late 1800s by the egocentric King Ludwig who built amazing castles all over the place (and he wanted more and more before he was declared insane, unfit to rule and suspiciously died). In the end it only held the King for 120 odd days supposedly (which is sad as it is an AMAZING place and was quickly turned in to a museum so it has hardly been lived in). A lot of the castle was unfinished when he died, but what was built was beautiful and the setting is breathtaking.
You can only get inside the castle on the guided toursbut the system is easy enough to follow and well organised (it is Germany after all haha). Our guide was informative, interesting, funny and had a great grasp of English. You see all the 16 finished rooms all beautifully and over the top in their decoration and based on the themes of Richard Wagners work. My favourite room was the indoor cave which was a mock up using theatrical techniques of no joke…A CAVE…IN THE HOUSE…A CAVE!!!! A close second was the throne room. I could DEFINITELY have lived there. Although I dont think I would like Ludwigs fate of being kicked out of power and suspiciously dead at 40.
An interesting point about the castle though is that it was designed by a painter, not an architecht and also there seemed to a bit of lament in the story for the actually really old castle that was demolished for the building of this Castle ripped from the pages of a childs fairy tale. It is well worth the big trek to see though. A crazily beautiful building in an even more pretty location. Anyway as the train rattled through the early evening thundestorm on the way back to Munich I realised I am now done here, off to Berlin in the morning and even more surprisingly just a fortnight away from “home”. It has all flown by…
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