jump to navigation

Neuschwanstein Castle! April 21, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Travel.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

[Update: Travel Diary finally fully up-to-date now with pictures added!]

I finally got around to sorting through some of the photos from my second big European adventure, and this time I’ve decided to post some photos of one of the best attractions in Europe (and certainly the No. 1 in Germany) – Neuschwanstein Castle!

I ranked Neuschwanstein Castle near Fussen (a 2-hour train ride south of Munich) as the No. 2 attraction in my European Adventure Round-Up, and with good reason too – it’s a magical place and a must-visit for anyone who has ever had a thing for pretty castles.  And no, you don’t have to be obsessed with the Disney Castle (which was inspired by Neuschwanstein) to enjoy it.

We went towards the end of April, when there was still snow covering the grass and made everything exceptionally beautiful, but I heard it can be equally amazing (albeit in a different way) during the summer, when the Castle attracts its largest crowds.

You can easily book a tour from any of the local tour companies when you get there, even on the day (you’ll find their brochures everywhere, and most of their offices are near the main train station).  Or if you prefer to save some money, you can just as easily figure things out for yourself by buying your own train, bus and entry tickets.  The tour guides provide a little bit of extra info (not much, to be honest), but really their job is just to organise the ticket-buying, so if you know what you’re doing then I’d recommend saving some money and doing things yourself.  It’s more flexible that way anyway.

For full details of our trip to Neuschwanstein, check out my (now fully updated- at last) Travel Diary!

So without further ado, here are the photos.  Like my Prague pics, these were taken with a Fujifilm FinePix F20 (still don’t know what this is), with the size reduced.  Of course, the photos cannot compare to seeing the real thing in person…

Neuschwanstein from afar, before the steady climb

Neuschwanstein from afar, before the steady climb

This is Hohenschwangau Castle nearby, which you can also visit (we didn't)

This is Hohenschwangau Castle nearby, which you can also visit (we didn't)

The surrounding hills of our walk up to the Castle

The surrounding hills of our walk up to the Castle

Getting closer...

Getting closer...

We're here!

We're here!

If you curl around the back of the Castle you can catch these spectacular views!

If you curl around the back of the Castle you can catch these spectacular views!

Hohenschwangau (the ugly step sister) from afar

Hohenschwangau (the ugly step sister) from afar

Another view of the Castle from a different angle

Another view of the Castle from a different angle

No photos inside the Castle!...oops

No photos inside the Castle!...oops

Farewell, Neuschwanstein

Farewell, Neuschwanstein

Kaisergarten: a delicious meal in Munich March 31, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Food, Travel.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

[Update: pictures added!]

There are hundreds of Beer Halls and places to enjoy Schnitzel in Munich, and it’s hard to decide which ones to go to when you have limited time. I guess it depends whether you just want to get drunk with a bunch of rowdy people, or you actually want to sit down and have a (relatively) quiet meal.

On our last night in Munich, we went to this wonderful little place called Kaisergarten ( a quiet place) (www.kaisergarten.com) at Kaiserstrasse 34. It’s a little further out from the city centre, but easily reachable by public transport. Simply catch the U-Bahn (U3 or U6) to Muncher Freiheit and then it’s just a 5 minute walk (when you exit, head south along Leopoldstrasse towards the city centre (Marienplatz) and turn right when you see Kaiserstrasse – it’s just a short stroll from there).

Inside Kaisergarten (note: the flash makes it look brighter)

Inside Kaisergarten (note: the flash makes it look brighter)

We came across Kaisergarten by accident. I recall finishing a shower in Freiburg and saw my wife busily jotting down details on a piece of paper while staring intently at the TV screen. “We have to go to this place,” she said. Turns out Kaisergarten was promoted on some good food show, and as luck would have it, the restaurant was in Munich and we were heading there next!

The inside was dim, but nice and warm with wooden tables and benches, clean walls painted in white and green, a cool-looking bar along one side and a wooden case covering the entire back wall with dozens of squares holding hundreds of bottles of wine. They don’t have English menus (as far as we know) but the waitresses all speak perfect English and are more than happy to help explain the dishes. We went with the dishes we saw on TV, which were, of course, the favorites. The first was a giant veal schnitzel that’s bigger than your face, with roast potatoes underneath. The best part were the two sauces – one white and with a tang of mustard, and the other red with the sweet and sour of berries. It also comes with a brilliant fresh salad. The second was liver with sautéed onions and mashed potatoes, also delicious.

Oh, and the film crew was back, and they were filming some dude having the liver dish. Despite being packed to the throat, there was always room for dessert. We got the one they recommended, another popular one. It’s kind of like mashed up sweet pancakes with apple dipping sauce on the side. It’s delightful but extraordinarily big. They allowed us to take the leftovers away. A word of warning: it takes 45 minutes to prepare so order it early if you want it!

In all, the best meal I had in Munich. The mains were around 18 Euros each, the dessert was 9.50. Coupled with 2 non-alcoholic drinks, the total bill came up to around 52 Euros. Not down at the cheap end but you can certainly do a lot worse in expensive Munich.

Sensational Salad

Sensational Salad

Sensational Liver (doesn't taste like liver)

Sensational Liver (doesn't taste like liver)

Sensational Schnitzel with Sensational Sauces

Sensational Schnitzel with Sensational Sauces

You guessed it, Sensational Dessert (sauce not in view)

You guessed it, Sensational Dessert (sauce not in view)

Another super quick update: Munich rocks! March 28, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Travel.
Tags: ,
add a comment

I’m having a fabulous time in Munich, and to be honest I didn’t really expect it.  We went on a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle today, definitely one of the highest highlights I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing anywhere in Europe.  Tomorrow, we are going to head to the former concentration camp of Dachau, and I’m expecting it to be one heck of a memorable experience!

It’s not possible to update the Travel Diary on these public computers, but I have been continuing with the writing (though it’s getting harder and harder to find time for the novel!).  Oh well, at least I am writing, and I’m still thinking and dreaming (I really am) about the novel.

PS: I finished reading The Book Thief.  Awesome book, will review!

Super quick update: Munich March 27, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Travel.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Only have a minute before free internet in hotel runs out!  In Munich now, been keeping up with Travel Diary but no time to post!  Almost lost camera on train but a miracle happened and didn’t.

%d bloggers like this: