Well, the fun of Oktoberfest was over, and some of us had to go back to work… luckily it wasn’t us! Jake and Jackie drew the short stick on this one, and flew home to London on Monday morning. It wasn’t a sad goodbye though, we would see them again very soon. The plan was to meet back up in Copenhagen the very next weekend- which left Kacey and I exactly five days to mess around in Germany before arriving ourselves in the Danish capital.
We didn’t really have a concrete plan, but we wanted to see a few special sites in Germany that I had visited 10 years previously, not only to rekindle my own esteem for them, but also to share their marvels with Kacey. We find that the most rewarding way to travel is to strike a good balance between seeking out new places and experiences, and revisiting old ones that you know are golden. So it was that we marked the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein and the medieval village of Rothenburg on our map. Looking at the distances and our available time, we decided that a good ol’ road trip was in order.
First we would drive southwest from Munich to hit the castle, and then head north along the Romantastrauss (Romantic Road) towards Rothenburg- and consequently through a plethora of other small medieval towns along the way. After that, we’d jump on the autobahn, put the pedal to the floor, and zip up to Hamburg, where we would turn in the car for a pair of train tickets, which would carry us the rest of the way to Denmark by Friday afternoon just in time to meet J and J.
I reserved the cheapest rental car I could find online, and as is usually the case, they were out of them when we arrived to the agency’s office. But, what is also usually the case, they gave us a free upgrade to whatever they had in stock, which happened to be a Mercedes Benz!
So, off we went to Neuschwanstein, the real world manifestation of the fantastical dreams of Ludwig II, King of Baveria. It is a true fairytale castle in a fairytale setting- indeed, it was the inspiration for the iconic Disney Castle. Built in the 1860’s, Ludwig spared no expense, desiring the castle to imitate in every way the scenes of his favorite opera by Wagner. But in the end it cost him dearly- based on the eccentricities of his construction, and himself, his cabinet was convinced he was crazy, and plotted to depose him with his uncle. He ended up drowning in a lake near Munich, under mysterious circumstances, only days after the overthrow.