Neuschwanstein Castle, Cuckoo Clocks and Munich’s Rathaus-Glockenspiel

After a our time in Berlin it was time to head off on the next leg of our journey, Munich. As per usual I had us waiting on the platform with long before we really needed to be there. It was cold but it made us appreciate our very comfortable carriage on board.

The best part of travelling by train is the ability to relax and enjoy the scenery or get up and move around when needed, of course the buffet car which are well suppled with delicious eats. We got in the habit of buying a roll on the platform before boarding and only ordered coffee when needed. The food at train stations in Europe is amazing always a fantastic selection and so hard to choose, but I usually came away with baguette with various filling, just love those rolls.
It was a pleasant day spent watch Germany countryside slide by, always something interesting to see and the staff on board really look after first class passengers.

We arrived in Munich right on time, another feature of European trains they are one time almost all the time. Our hotel the Le Meridian was right outside the station and so we were all checked in by 5.30pm and decided on dinner in the hotel restaurant Le Potager as we still feeling tired even though we hadn’t done much except sit. Our room was very comfortable and we looking forward to spending the next four nights in one place.

Day one in Munich we found a Coffee Fellows near the hotel for breakfast which consisted of a sensational bagel with cream cheese for me and and a bacon and egg on bagel for mum, fresh juice and coffee got us set for the day.

It was red bus time 
we decided to get our bearings by doing the circuit and look at the sites from onboard. This is always a good choice todays route included Palace of Nymphenburg, the former summer residence of the Bavarian elector princes and kings with its beautiful and spacious gardens. 

Ludwig I

To get an impression of modern Munich, you will visit the Olympic grounds where you will find other attractions like Sea Life, the BMW museum and the new BMW Car World. You will have a fantastic panoramic view from the top of the 290 meter high Olympic Tower. 

We passed through the former artist quarter of Schwabing where we strolled along Leopold street. 
The frequent stopping points make this tour an unforgettable Munich( or anywhere) experience. 

We left the bus at  starting point near the station before walking back to the old town and visiting Marienplatz  and the famous Viktualien Food MarketCity Hall, Cathedral, Church of St Peter. 

After a pretty long day we headed back to hotel, picking up a bit takeaway( another baguette for me) from the train station for dinner and turned in pretty early. Up early tomorrow for our Castles Tour day trip so early night is appreciated by us both.  

On the agenda for day two Linderhof and Oberammergau 2-hour visit to King Ludwig’s Linderhof hunting lodge Sightseeing and shopping in Oberammergau, famous site of the Passion Play  and the highlight and main purpose of our trip was a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle

 More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland‘s Sleeping Beauty Castle

We took the short time allowed for shopping in Oberammergau to purchase two cuckoo clocks  (called the store from Switzerland and ordered a third clock) that were being packaged up for shipping home before we were back on the bus. I think we made a quick sweep of the main shopping area and were back on the bus( first I might add) within 30 minutes.  Oberammergau is a fascinating place, especially with all the painted houses  and I will always remember our stop at Oberammergau due to the cuckoo clock that goes off on the half hour in our sitting room. I always try to make one significant purchase to remember my trips and this was it for this trip. 

Our day trip was long but it was all that we imagined and made seeing these places so easy and so well organised, not sure if the two people that missed the bus from Neuschwanstein Castle  which as we thought was the highlight of the day, not sure how we climbed such a steep hill and so many steps inside the castle but we did it. It was downhill all the way for the 2km walk back to the village and our bus where after an ice-cream we thankfully collapsed in our seats for the 2 hour journey home. Bus was quiet on the way home, wonder why? It was about this point in our trip I think our fitness levels had improved but boy all the walking if it didn’t kill us it made us feel stronger.

Day three in Munich was Sunday so all was quiet except for soccer fans pouring in from all over for a soccer game, we had a lie in before finding a restaurant in hotel nearby for a decent breakfast of bacon, eggs and all the trimmings then heading to town square to watch the Rathaus-Glockenspiel play at 11am. It plays every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. This was fun and if you have five minutes to spare watch the video I have posted on the right of this blog. After watching display we wandered the streets then joined the congregation of the parish church of Saint Peter, whose 91 metres high tower is commonly known as “Alter Peter” – Old Peter – and which is emblematic of Munich, is the oldest recorded parish church in Munich and presumably the originating point for the whole city. 

 No we didn’t climb the 299 steps for the 360 degree view from Old Peter but if we had this is what we have seen.

No shops open on sunday but most restaurants and beer halls were open for business and it was surprising the number of people just wandering around in the city, I guess the football could have been one reason but people just seemed to be out enjoying the day.

My favourite view from the bridge above the Neuschwanstein Castle

Next morning we had a little time to explore shops before boarding our train to Zurich, which was just a stopover on our way to Interlaken Switzerland our base for the next 6 days. The train ride and the night in Zurich was uneventful and was really just that a break in our journey, next time I would go right through to Interlaken from Munich in the one day.

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