Here is my second installment of my Europe trip blog posts! After leaving Lucerne, we took the train to Seefeld, Austria where we stayed in an apartment for a week. It was nice to be able to spread out and unpack our luggage for a little bit. Here is a pic of the apartment, isn’t it cute?? We had the whole second floor to ourselves.
I love all of the flowers in the window boxes. I love that about Austria and Germany. After getting settled in, for our first day we took a short train ride to Mittenwald, Germany. Here we did a brewery tour.
|This was our tour guide. He explained up front that he didn’t know much English, but we went ahead and took the tour since we had all been on a brewery tour before…and of course, since there was beer to sample : )|
The brewery was neat since they still had a lot of the old equipment on hand. Also, what is different is that breweries reuse bottles. When we were in their store, people were bringing in cases of used bottles to get a credit towards their next purchase. We were able to sample almost all of their beers.
Next up, we took a stroll through the actual town of Mittenwald which ended up being super cute and not too touristy yet. Below is the occupational post of Mittenwald (I forgot the specific name hehe). All of the towns in Germany had them, and it showcases all of the different occupations in the town.
|My new bff 😉|
|More flower window boxes=one happy gal|
We spent our next day in Munich which was about a two hour train ride from Seefeld. The train station in Munich was definitely a step up size wise than the little town of Seefeld.
|I’m sure there is fancy name for this, but I refer to this as the cool entrance to the older part of Munich.|
On our way to the farmers’ market, we passed the famous Munich Glockenspiel.
At 5 o’clock everyday, the Glockenspiel plays, and the figurines circle around. It was definitely the place to be.
Following lunch at the farmer’s market, it began to pour. We had awesome weather thus far, so I guess some rain was bound to happen. After running through the rain, we ducked into the Hofbrauhaus to walk around and also to go to the bathroom. Have I mentioned that in a lot of places you have to pay to go to the bathroom??
They had a band and everything. People were dressed up, chanting, dancing on tables, and yes drinking lots of beer : )
Our next stop was Oktoberfest…in the rain. Sigh. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and we were hoping it wouldn’t be too crowded. We walked around a few of the larger tents but were not able to find a table. Apparently people make reservations a year in advance. A lot of the reservations didn’t start until five but we still didn’t have any luck. We managed to find a seat in a smaller tent to grab some beers and pretzels.
After a beer, we decided that riding the swings was definitely our next step. Not usually my cup of tea, but it gave us an awesome view of Oktoberfest. And it ended up being pretty fun.
Melissa was even able to get some some pics while we were up there at the top.
Due to the rain, we ended our day after a last circle stroll through Oktoberfest. We left Oktober fest around 5:00 pm, and people were pouring in after there workday. I was surprised at how much I liked Munich–I guess I was thinking that I wouldn’t like it that much since it was a bigger city.
The next day we ventured off to Ettall, Germany. Here we planned on taking a cheese tour. First we stopped by the Ettall Montessori.
Afterwards we wandered over to the cheese factory, but unfortunately they were not giving English tours that day. Fortunately they had a video in English to watch and some tasty cheese to sample. Next, things got a little crazy. Us girls split off from the boys, rented a car and headed to visit Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle, the one that Walt Disney modeled the Disney castle after. Meanwhile, the boys headed to Garmisch to spend the day there.
On the way to Neuschwanstein, we drove by Linderhof Castle, another of Ludwig’s castles and decided to take a detour to visit it.
Linderhof was surrounded by lots of formal gardens and one of its main icons is the fountain in the pool. They turn off the water every 15 minutes to show off the statue.
Following our detour, we got back on the road for Neuschwanstein.
It was about a 30 minute walk up to the castle. All UPHILL.
|Hohenschwangau Castle was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria’s father King Maximilian II of Bavaria. Ludwig II built Neuschwenstein high above Hohenschwangau.|
After all of the castle fun, we headed back to meet the guys is Garmisch. I don’t have a lot to say about Garmisch. I wasn’t too impressed by it…I was expecting it to be more like Mittenwald, but they got rid of the old towne a while ago. It just didn’t seem to have the old Germany feel to me. With that said, I did have my favorite meal of the trip here in Garmisch.
|This my friends, is rahmschnitzel with spatzel. It is basically a schnitzel with cream sauce. OMG…it was delish. Needless to say, this was definitely a happy plate meal : )|
On a side note, for this day including Etall, Neuschwenstein, and Garmisch, the girls walked 10.5 miles which included 79 flights of stairs.
Saturday night was our last night in Seefeld, Austria. On Sunday morning we were all packed up and ready to head to spend the day in Munich before our night train to Venice. We locked up our luggage in the Munich train station lockers and took the subway to Dachau.
Once in the city of Dachau, we walked to the actual former concentration camp, reading informational markers along the way. It was surprising to see how close the camp was to the city. In my head, I had pictured the camp in the middle of nowhere. Dachau was the first concentration camp opened in Germany in 1933 and finally liberated in 1945. Beginning as a camp for political prisoners, Dachau became the prototype for future camps. We were able to walk through one of the old buildings which was reworked to display the history of the camp. They also showed an informational video about Dachau. While all of the dormitories were burned, two were recreated that you could walk through. As you walked through the dormitory, the bunks increased per room, showing how crowded Dachau became at the end. They have plaques at the end of where each dormitory resided…I think there were a little over a hundred of them. We were also able to visit the crematoriums and gas chamber (which was never put to use). I debated whether or not to include pictures, but decided to include a couple to give you a feel of the camp.
After Dachau, we headed back to Munich for Oktoberfest. Being a Sunday, it was a lot more crowded. We were lucky to get into a small tent once again to grab another beer and some dinner. A lot of you know that I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner (or lunch). Apparently Germany is on the same page. I had Kaiserschmarrn, which is like pancakes, with of course a beer : )
Next we headed back to the downtown area just in time to see the Glockenspiel play. Afterwards, we headed back toward Oktoberfest. On the way, we passed by the Augustiner Biergarten. I wish I had gotten a pic of the entrance, but here is a picture of the outside to get an idea of how large it really is. This particular one seats 5,000 and has been around since 1812.
Following the biergarten, we headed back to Oktoberfest to visit it at night. First up was the ferris wheel.
|This pic from the Ferris wheel is one of my favorites from the trip.|
After the Ferris wheel and shopping for some souvenirs, we managed to get some seats in the Augustiner tent. Being here at night was a lot different than during the day. We could definitely tell all of the beer was starting to take effect : ). Sunday night was a nice night to go since people were leaving early to go to work the next day. Soon after we headed back to the train station to catch our night train to Venice. It was a long day….we took the 7:00 morning train and our train left at 11 at night. That day we walked 15 miles…the longest of the whole trip. Here are some pics from our sleeping cabin on the train. It was interesting…
|Yes, that is three bunks high–Melissa volunteered for the top!|
|There was barely room for three people to stand…and behind me is the bathroom (including a shower…the sink swung over the toilet so you could shower)|
Thanks for stopping by!