While we were in Germany, amidst all the family, food, music, beer, beer and more beer, we managed to find time to rent a car for a couple of long distance excursions. One of these was a planned day trip to Italy.
The drive to the Italian border was to take just over two hours via the Fern Pass through Austria, so by leaving in the morning we could make it to Italy with plenty of afternoon left for us to explore the country before having to drive back. In fact we seemed so unconstrained by time that we decided to make an early stop along the way to see the palaces of Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein, both of them former residences of King Ludvig II. Days later we would head on a separate drive northward through Germany and visit Heidelberger Schloss while spying several other such fortresses along the way, and cries of “Look at that castle!” would become gradually less enthusiastic with each consecutive sighting until waning down to compulsory acknowledgements of “Oh, look, another castle…” But those structures formerly of Ludvig’s were the first of their kind for us to witness, and so we took time to gaze at their exteriors and wander their vicinity. Perhaps if not in such awe of their majesty our visit might have been briefer, and our timing more propitious.
Continue reading “Strongholds of Germany, Austrian Winds, and Just a Little Italy”