Monday, September 17, 2007

Garmisch Day 3 (Part 1) - Birthday Trip

Well, seeing that I wasn't able to do much the night before, other than sight-seeing the town itself, there was still plenty to do before I had to leave around 5:25pm. So I woke up fairly early (around 7am) got washed up, took a few pictures of the view outside, (#1 - 6), and went down for breakfast. (#7) Well, right before we left the hotel, we saw some folks parachuting down nearby the resort. (#8 & 9) Well, Inigo, Inigo's Parents and I, piled into their van, and off we went Neuschwanstein Castle. We left around 9am or so. As we were traveling down the road to Neuschwanstein Castle, we went through one village (Ettal) with the famous Ettal Monastery located within the village. There was something going on at the Monastery because there were plenty of folks there, traffic was fairly bad. But we got through it all, and continued on the way. Inigo's Parents asked if I wanted to get out of the van to take better pictures of the Monastery, but seeing that it wasn't a major destination for me, I opted to continue going onto the Neuschwanstein Castle. (#10 - 12)

Well, after getting lost a little bit (or at least finding traveling a path less traveled), we eventually got to our destination. Took a few pictures leading up to Neuschwanstein Castle. (#13 - 18) Well, we got to the chaos that is Neuschwanstein Castle, but we figured we would head up to the castle anyway. Took a few pictures of the shops, restaurants, and the inns that were around the base of the hill (#19 - 21). Inigo's parents decided that seeing that they had already been in the castle itself, they were going to stay down near the bottom of the hill, while Inigo and I went up to see the castle. There were a few options to go up the hill, either bus or carriage ride, but Inigo and I walked it. Took a couple of pictures of the King's parents castle (#22 - 25). Well, Inigo and I passed all of the the shops and continued up the hill (#26 - 27), passing by a few brooks (#28 & 29), and enjoying the peaceful tranquility of the path... till we got ran over by one of the carriages. (#32) :-)

Well, as we continued on up, we saw another path that we figured came from the shops below, but we weren't sure (we said that we were going to check it out later, but never did, #33). Well, after taking another picture of tranquility (I guess, #34), we finally made it to a gift shop located right below the castle itself. (#35) Well, just slightly up the path from the gift shop, there was a pretty good view of the castle itself, but the sun wasn't at the right angle for great shots, but I still took a couple anyway. (#36 & 37) Well, as we continued up the path (getting closer to the castle), I snapped off a picture of the nearby mountain (#38) and I could hear a river nearby, and tried to get a picture of it from the main path (#39), but the trees were a little too dense. But we finally got to the castle!

After snapping off a picture (#40) of the castle itself, we continued on up taking a picture of the "map" of the interior (#41) walking towards the front gate of the castle. (which was to the left of the map, #42). Took a quick snap shot of the view from the walkway that is next to the front gate (#43) as well as the front gate itself. (#44) Well, we both went through the front gate, taking a picture of the entry way (with the few hundred people there, #45), not to mention the tower that was connected to the entry way. Well, after looking around the courtyard seeing how they went about tours, we saw two ways (I thought) of getting into the castle, the guided tour and the unguided tour (or so I thought). So I wanted to check out the guided tour, so Inigo and I went to the ticket window that was off to the right of the courtyard, to check on the price. It was around 11:30am by this point, when we checked out the next available tour. It started around 1:15pm. Oof. Close to two hours wait for the guided tour. So I thought, let's just go with the unguided tour. Haha, unguided tour, yeah right, so such thing. Inigo and I went up some stairs (snapping off some pictures along the way #47 & 48) on the left side of the courtyard thinking that was a way to get into the castle. I was wrong. It led to another courtyard that was roped off, with no way to get into the castle. (#49 - 51) Grump. Oh well, I thought, let's just go with the guided tour. So Inigo and I went back down to the ticket counter to find out that the 1:15pm tour had been sold out, and the next available tour was around 1:45pm. I just couldn't do it. I mean, I was already struggling with the idea of going on the 1:15pm tour, paying 8 euros (if I remember correctly), and waiting close to two hours to see some wonderful sights. I figured that I could see more for the 2 to 3 hours that the Neuschwanstein Castle would take. Besides, even if I did get inside the castle, I wouldn't be able to take any photos of the interior anyway.

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