Neuschwanstein

Today we were part of the pilgrimage.  Even though the kids are kind of castled out these days, we all thought Neuschwanstein was pretty fantastic!

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A fantastic place to run around like monkeys and meditate with dandelions.

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I think this may officially be the first picture where I realize I don’t like my neck.

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Neuschwanstein was crazy busy with tourists as we expected it would be, but like all famous tourist destinations, there is a reason for that.  Where else do Europeans plan road trips with the RV?  Neuschwanstein is clearly a favorite spot for the RV crowd.

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It took 5 hours to drive from Vienna to Bavaria, not so bad when you start early and stop for McMuffins along the way.  Eli and Jake celebrated our arrival by doing a coin smash, Mommy bought a jigsaw puzzle to do with Oma this summer, then we joined the trek up the long hill to the castle.

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So beautiful up here!  At the top we had ice cream and apples, and marveled at how King Ludwig imagined such a place, and how his primary motivation was to build something bigger than his neighbors.  What is it about male rulers and their need to have the biggest building?

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On the way back down we stopped for lunch in a beautiful leafy courtyard, for beer and plates of sausages with seasonal white asparagus.  They also had homemade donuts!  Quark donuts, crispy fresh, and soft inside because of the cream cheese mixed into the dough.  I’m pretty sure we went back four times to get more….

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Driving through Germany at this time of year is lovely.   May Day is coming so all the villages are decorated with May Poles, and the meadows are soft blankets of dandelions.

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The pollen was so thick it turned my shoes yellow.

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Opa, this barn is for you!  There are barns and sheds everywhere!

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A little further up the road we found a Rodelbahn.

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There was also a playground full of laughing kids, bicyclists stopping to rest, and a biergarten selling hotdogs and pretzels under the shade of the leaves.

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I love that Jake and Eli still love playgrounds.

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We stayed at a guest house that night in a small farming town, full of tractors and smelling strongly of hay, and echoing with the footsteps of horses pulling wagons down the street.  An oompah band was practicing for the May Day festival, their singing and stomping floating up and bouncing off the barn walls.   A small church in the center was surrounded by blooming trees.

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Two round ladies with pink cheeks were cooking dinner.  Jake always takes notes about dinner, and thanks to his records I know we had wiener schnitzel, chicken cordon bleu, curry pork, and kasespaetzle.   In the morning the round ladies made us breakfast.  Jake and Eli get cocoa puffs and square white wonder bread toast, Mike gets to eat all the eggs he wants, and I get to have dark brown bread with cucumbers.   We are all happy with hotel breakfast!

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Today our goal is to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each in a different country.  Breakfast in Germany is our first meal in our first country, now headed to Liechtenstein…

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