Monday, October 27, 2008

Cinderella Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle
Hoenschwangau Castle
One of the neatest (and most exhausting) stops on our trip was to the famous castles. For those of you who don't know, the Cinderella Castle at Disneyland (the one on Disneys famous logo) was designed after the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. The castle is massive and completely gorgeous! The inside was really fascinating. Many of the paintings were painted straight on the wall, complete with fake frames painted around them! Almost every square inch inside was painted in some way, whether with murals or decorative colors.
The hike up to the castle was a killer though! We started out hiking up to Hoenschwangau, which is where we are in the photo below. Look how far away Neuschwanstein is! Both castles are situated on hills, so we had to hike up and down the first, and up and down the second. This was one of the hardest parts of the trip...being nautiously pregnant while hiking up mountains. Paul was the trooper though, as he had to push the stroller the whole way!

After we toured Neuschwanstein, we took yet another hike up to an old bridge which affords a greater view of the castle. Much to our chagrin, when we arrived we found the palace bedecked with scaffolding for a massive rennovation project. Still, it is an impressive castle to say the least.

Some more Fall foliage, with Hoenschwangau in the center.

Here is the close-up of Hoenschwangau. It was also amazing, just different. I have never seen an orangy-yellow castle before.
We were all pooped by the end. I envied Logan at the time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


On for the next installment...
GARMISCH - Linderhoff Palace
We spent one week in Garmisch, which was absolutely breathtaking! The mountains you see behind Paul and the boys surrounded the entire area. The leaves were starting to change for the Fall, so there was a panorama of colors everywhere you looked. I could not believe so much beauty could exist in one place!

Our first day-trip in the Garmisch area was to the Linderhoff Palace, which was built by King Ludwig II. It was the most elaborate, ornate, and all around decked-out building I have ever seen! Every surface was covered with something or other.
Here is the palace exterior.
And a picture of the royal bedroom. Can you believe it!!! (Maybe there was a little ego involved in the building of the palace, what do you think?)

The grounds were equally impressive with a massive fountain and immaculate gardens. I loved these covered walkways. I could have wandered through them for hours meditating, if the kids would have allowed it. I have to admit, the boys did all right considering it must have been pretty boring for them. I kept Aaron distracted by pointing out any sculptures of horses and the color purple (his favorite), which he calls "puh-puh."

Here is an elevated picture of the grounds and palace.

The king also had a grotto built for him, complete with seashell ship in a pond, choir seats, and a stage for performances!

We took this picture to start the photo journal of my expanding waistline. (Didn't know where else to put it, sorry).

The Linderhoff Palace was a fun stop for our family!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Rottenberg is an ancient walled city in Germany we visited in the first week of our trip. What a neat city! The architecture was incredible! I would have loved to just sit for hours enjoying the atmosphere and passersby (preferably on a warmer day, that is).
One of the most morbidly fascinating part of Rottenberg was the building of torture. Here are Logan and Jason in the stocks.
These large baskets were used for dunking alleged witches. If they drowned, they were not a witch...rather late to be finding that out, don't you think! They also dunked bakers who's bread did not weigh the required amount. They were dunked one time for every ounce their bread was off the mark.

The kids just playing around, having fun.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Germany Vacation

Hi friends and family! We are now back from our two week trip in Germany to visit our friends the Brooks, and relax. It was a whirlwind trip and we are absolutely exhausted, but it was well worth it! There was so much to do and see that I'm going to divide the trip into multiple posts.
We arrived in Germany by flying space available through the military. We flew in a huge cargo plane, where all of the luggage was stacked in the middle! It was an all-night flight, which I was nervous about at first. However, as it was not your traditional plane, we all got to lay out on the floor and sleep!
We arrived in Ramstein, where our friend Aaron Brooks picked us up. The poor guy had to drive 3 1/2 hours to get there, and about 5 hours to bring us back to his house in Bamberg (due to traffic)! It made for a very long day of traveling.
The first place we visited was downtown Bamberg. We were in luck as there was a huge flea market going on that weekend. Paul was in his element roaming the streets trying to find a good deal! It was so neat seeing the old buildings and tasting the German treats. We sampled roasted chestnuts (you know, like from the song "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."). I didn't like them that much, but Paul did. While shopping around we took pictures of the massive old buildings.
Here is a little side street packed with vendors.
We didn't know what half the buildings were, but took pictures just because they looked cool!
We found flowers in windowboxes to be a very common yet beautiful aspect of German scenery
In case you were wondering, Paul got really good deals on a German beer stein, (he's always wanted one) and a nutcracker. He bartered in Russian so that he wouldn't sound like a touristy American, and the tactic worked in our favor. :-)