Hallo wieder (again)!
We’re in our station wagon on our way to the German countryside! We’re following the Romantic Road through Bavaria and our first stop is Wurzburg. We toured the Residentz which was the home of the Prince-Bishops starting in the mid-18th century. It was massive upon first sight and had beautiful rooms with large tapestries and paintings including a large stairwell area with four large ceiling frescos depicting the Europeans, Asians, Africans and (the savage) Americans. We had lunch a delicious Bavarian style restaurant while watching a bright blue sky over the original prince-bishops home (450 years older than the Residentz) on a beautiful hill with vineyards all around it and the Old Main Bridge decorated with statues of some 12 saints. It was so picturesque! That was just the beginning of the unbelievable scenery we were about to see!
Continuing on the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber…the cutest German town we saw! It’s one of the towns that built a wall around their city in the 13th century and went dormant in the 1600s due to the various plagues and war-wrought poverty…and that preserved its history weirdly enough. We stayed up later tonight to experience the Night Watchman’s Tour. He told fun stories about the town’s history and exactly how this little town managed to stay safe during WWII. A US General had always wanted to see this picturesque town in person after growing up with a painting of the town in his home that his mom had acquired in a visit to the town many years before. We stayed at the cutest boutique hotel (with only stairs!) ha Wouldn’t you know it at the hotel, we ran into another Aggie…about 52 years Cory’s senior and a retired Air Force General! He and Cory had a lovely chat later on that day while the kids (and I) napped.
We took in Rothenburg by walking part of the old city wall. Cory would not have been a great wall watcher as he had to constantly duck to keep from hitting his head on the low beams. Bea also practiced her bow shooting out the narrow openings in the wall. The view of the town from here though was absolutely stunning! The cutest half timber houses with colorful flowers in their flower boxes! Again Bea had her playground radar on and found one. However it was raining. We said their bottoms would get wet. Bea said, “we can play on the playground because Momma’s got Oxiclean!” We walked the cobblestone streets and enjoyed the Christmas and toy shops. We ate at Zurholl which served very authentic Bavarian food and the foundation of the building dates back to 900. We tried schnellenballen, a delicious German pastry for dessert….yum!
The next day we drove on through Dinkelsbuhl then to Nordlingen; two quaint towns on the route. We stopped in Nordlingen for lunch and went into St. George Church. We took a minute to pray at the altar. It was a really sweet moment with our family! Bea and Teddy have sung so many play school songs while in Europe. Bea is normally skipping while she sings! They have mostly sung Joshua fought the battle at Jericho song (Bea learned recently at play school) and The BIBLE (Teddy recently learned).
On to Augsburg this evening where we stayed in a fancy hotel where Napoleon (and other famous people) once stayed. We found yummy German food for supper while we played Uno. We have really used this trip, not only for seeing new places, for family time.
On Monday, we woke up to snow….lots of it and big flakes! This is Teddy’s first time to see snow! Bea was giddy! This is also the first snow of the season here! We drove in the snow to Linderhof Castle then received a private tour! Yes, you read that correctly! There is something to be said for traveling off-peak season. You might miss a few things but definitely not the crowds! It snowed chunks again!
Next stop, Neuschwanstein Castle… except we messed up the timing (summer vs winter hours) and missed getting to buy tickets for that day. Luckily our hotel was only 7 minutes away in Fussen! We woke up early Tuesday morning and took a carriage ride (all by ourselves) up to Neuschwanstein! It was so beautiful covered in fresh, white snow! Merida, aka Princess Bea, took lots of pictures in front of her castle! I wore my grandmother’s pink pashmina as this was her favorite castle!
On a side note, this country loves candy! King Ludwig did so much that most of his teeth were gone by the age of 30 from eating too much! Bea and Teddy have been offered more candy (and desserts unsolicited) here. They sure have enjoyed it all!
Cory, Millie, Bea & Teddy