Monday, September 17, 2007

Paris Photos are up

Hey there everyone,

Yeah, its been a while, but I finally put my 400+ photos of Paris up. Its going to be slightly different this time though. Because instead of sorting through the photos like I normally do using the camera utility to sort the days, I sorted them after I downloaded them off the camera. However, not sorting them through the camera changed the numbers on the pictures themselves. So the numbering will go from 1 to 400+, so I wanted to warn you now, so when I eventually write up Day 1, 2 & 3 of Paris, you won't get confused when I say see #253 on Day 2 for example.

Well, back to writing up the Paris trip.

Garmisch Day 3 (Finale) - Birthday Trip

Camera's were restricted on the interior of Linderhof, so I could take any pictures. No pictures of the painted vaulted ceilings, the gold plated walls, or the ivory or 100 piece crystal chandeliers. No pictures of the exquisite furniture, the carpeting, or the paintings themselves. It was a small tour, going through the second floor of the palace, which had fairly small rooms overall, but the size didn't diminish the exquisite style of the rooms themselves. If Neuschwanstein was anything like Linderhof, then I probably would have collapsed right at the entrance just by the sheer marvels. I would recommend visiting Linderhof if you have the chance. (if not Neuschwanstein)

Well, after going through a back passageway (which I think was for more servants than anything else, because it was fairly plain overall) to go back outside, it was still sprinkling, plus we were running out of time. I had wanted to see this one canyon in Garmisch before I left. But before we left, I wanted to get pictures of the gardens that were around Linderhof. (#83 - 119) Got a couple of double shots in the group, some just turned out to be too dark. What do you expect with cloudy skies. Well, you'll have to thank Inigo for the shots of me. He's a little camera shy so I didn't get too much of him, but thats okay, I didn't want to upset him too much. :-) Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves for the garden. :-)

Well, after that, we had about an hour and a half to see the canyon and board the train, so we practically ran back to the van (not really, but it was a quick walk). Snapped off a picture of an inn (I believe) that was right next to the gift shop. It was around this time that I found out that the umbrella had a leak. So seeing that Dan had used his money to buy the umbrella I handed it over to him, telling him that he could try to get his money back. But seeing that we were in a hurry, he skipped going back to the gift shop and just threw the umbrella away. The leak, by the way, was from the center down one of the joints, so I had felt it on the back of my neck.

Well, we got back into the van, and headed on back to Garmisch. Unfortunately, whatever was happening at the Ettal Monastery had finished at the same time. So EVERYONE was on the road. :-( We had a traffic jam for a couple of miles. Which delayed our arrival back at Garmisch. So much of a delay, that I wasn't able to see Partnach Gorge. Basically there was supposed to be this one path that went along this one stream. This path was supposed to have wonderful views of waterfalls, going underneath the waterfalls, and all that. It would have been wonderful to see, but I just ran out of time (stupid traffic!). So we stopped off at this one tiny restaurant to have some chicken, and went to the Garmisch Station so that I could board the train. (I had packed my bags and put them in the van before we left, so we didn't have to go back to Adelweiss.

Well, after getting on the train and snapping off a couple of photos, trying to get Inigo and his parents (#121 - 122), my train left for Munich. Or at least I thought that I was heading back to Munich...

Well, folks, I got myself into trouble again. The ticket actually said Munich-Pasing for my stop, but my mind registered the Munich, not the Pasing. Well, I dozed a little bit on the train ride, but I did see Pasing, (thinking that we had just gotten to Munich) so I jumped off, saw a sign that just said "Pasing" and thought "oh crap, not Munich". So I hopped back on. Wish the train had gone right before I got back on... because as we were leaving Pasing, I finally saw another sign "Munich-Pasing". "CRAP! I did it again!" I thought. So, seeing that my train was an ICE, I hoped that it would still be at Munich by the time I got there. So the train stopped, and I ran (as much as I could) looking for my train number, and I found it. I had one minute before it left... I was outside at track 29 or so, and I had to get to track 13 or so. I ran as much as I could, but got to the gate just as it had closed its doors and started to leave. *sigh* It happened again.

So I head to the ticket office to purchase a new ticket. Unfortunately, the train that I just missed was the last one to get to Bremen at night, so I had to take a night train to get to Bremen in the early morning. Unfortunately, with no available alarm, and no one speaking up as to which station we were coming to, I had to stay up to keep an eye out for Bremen (just so I didn't miss it either). Well, I got back to Bremen around 5am in the morning or so, went home, and went to bed to sleep. Got to work late, but they understood, so there wasn't any problems there. And that was my Birthday Weekend!

Garmisch Day 3 (Part 2) - Birthday Trip

So Inigo and I decided to skip the castle and see what else I could see. So we dodged around the crowds, and went back to the castle map. We saw that folks were walking up from a walkway to the right of the map, so we took that path to see what else we could find. Well, I snapped off another couple of pictures of the castle itself, including the exit and the east (I guess) face of the castle. (#52 - 55). As we continued walking down the path that was to the right, we noticed that the path that we were taking would take us to the bus stop for the castle itself. Well, we were about to head back when I noticed that there was a path that was heading down the "southern" side of the castle (towards the mountains). So Inigo and I went down the path to see where it went. It was great that we did head down. It was a two person wide dirt path with steps edged out in stone. The steps themselves were fairly large in side. Could almost high step the stairs if you don't have the long legs that I have. :-)

Well, we got to a landing, with stairs continuing down, that had a fantastic sight! Inigo and I took a couple of pictures from off that landing (#56 - 62), and continued on down. Well, we finally got to the "bottom" of the path (it actually continued down into the forest itself) and snapped off a couple more pictures of the river itself (#63 & 64), as well as the "southern" side of the castle (#65). I'm putting "southern" in quotes because I didn't have a compass handy to find out the layout of the castle itself, so I'm taking an education guess. :-)

Well, after taking those last couple of photos, I saw that I was losing time, so we headed back up the path (which was quite a workout! There was probably around 100 steps) in head back home. Once we got to the top of the path, we noticed that there was a steep path (paved) going down, so we figured that we wanted to save time so went down the steep path. When I mean steep, I mean, "straining the brakes on a bike to slow down" kind of steep. :-) And it took us right down to the gift shop. Well, after the hike that we did, (up the steps) we figured that our legs could use a rest. So we paid 5 euros total to take the carriage ride back down the hill.(#66)

Well, on our ride down, Inigo called his parents so that they would be ready for us, and they had parked the van and were sitting at a cafe that was built into an inn. They said that they were close by the carriage ticket window, or at least, that's what Inigo said. So after getting off the carriage at the very bottom, both Inigo and I started to search for his parents. Well, we went down the main street with no success, so we started back up the main street again, with a dead battery on the cell phone (just died right there.), looking left and right searching for his parents. We finally found them (or maybe Inigo's parents found Inigo...), and we headed down to the van. Inigo's Mom went to use the restroom, before we headed off, while Inigo, his father and I went down to a nearby lake, and snapped off a few photos (#67 - 70), and took one last photo of the King Ludwig II's parents "house" (#71). Well, after telling Inigo's parents of the failure to see the Neuschwanstein Castle from the inside, they kind of insisted that I at least see one of his three creations. So we took off to another one of his palaces.

Well, after stopping off to get something to drink, we get to the King's Linderhof Palace/Castle. Well, at this moment in time, the clouds had rolled in with rain in the forecast, and it was already drizzling when we got to Linderhof. So Inigo and I purchased a small umbrella (to protect the digital camera) from the nearby gift shop, and continued down through the gardens (#72 - 75) till we got to the Linderhof itself (#76). Well, before getting in line to get into Linderhof itself, Inigo and I took a couple of photos of the Linderhof's front yard. :-) (#77 - 82) Well, by that point our tour line was about to go into Linderhof (15 minute wait, we had bought the tickets around the gift shop area), so we packed up the camera, got in line and headed inside. I tried to shake off as much water I could off the umbrella before we went inside, it was still sprinkling, but I didn't want to damage anything.

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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Garmisch Day 1-2ish - Birthday Trip

Well, the plan for the weekend was to meet my friend, who I know from Cal Poly, (Hmmm... how shall I call him? haha I know... oh, I can see the rolling eyes now.) Inigo in Munich on Friday Night, then travel onto Garmisch Saturday morning.

Inigo had just finished his finals on Friday, at the university in Munich, and was ready for a vacation. (So was I... ^_^) Well, we were discussing heading off to a night club in Munich, but it didn't happen. I got into Munich around 11:45pm, was already tired, and he told me that the one that he knew of was about 40 minutes away (by metro). Oof... That with the fact that the metro closed down around 2:30am put a damper on the trip. So we bypassed the night club for just a little dinner before heading to his dorm. Oh almost forgot, we also purchased our tickets for garmisch while still in the main train station.

Well, after crashing at his dorm for the night, we get up to clean room. You see, seeing that Inigo finished his finals on Friday, he didn't need to stay at Munich anymore. So he had to vacate his dorm, which required a little packing and cleaning. Well, while he packed I helped clean his dirty dishes, it was the least that I could do for the weekend that he helped me with. Well, as you can see pictures #1 through #7 was basically a look into Inigo's dorm/apartment. Well, supposedly, all he needed to do was to clean the dishes to get his deposit back. Would have figured that he would have needed to scrub down the bathroom and sweep the bedroom, but no, maids are going to take care of it.

Well, after having a little breakfast (#8) at a bakery around the corner... (practically), we headed back down to the main station so that we could offload some of our baggage before doing a little tour of Munich. So after dropping off our bags at the main station (#9 & 10), we headed off to a nearby museum that wasn't fair from Munich Bahnomhoft. Well, getting to the subway location for the museums, took a couple of pictures of the pictures that were at the subway stop. (#11-#13, I guess I retook picture #11, thinking that it was too dark, eh oh well) So I followed Inigo from the subway stop, down the street (#14-17), till we came to the entrance of the courtyard that had the two museums. (There were other paths that you could take, but the columned building had more of an "entrance" feel to it) (#18)

At first glance, I tried remembering why I snapped off #19, because I couldn't really see anything. But I zoomed in more, and noticed that I had tried taking a picture of a couple of statues that were across the street. (Obviously, I didn't do a good job, well, I was in a little bit of a rush, only had about an hour or two to spare.) Well, Inigo informed me that these museums were focused on Greek history, and it was interesting to see some Greek lettering in the "entrance hall". (#20 - 26) Well, after coming out of "entrance hall", we saw one of the museums on the left, (#27) and one on the right (#28). Well, Inigo asked me if I wanted to have my picture taken in front of the mock "Trojan Horse", so I said sure, and handed over the camera. I should had made sure the flash was off. :-/ But Inigo toke pictures #29 through 32. Well, I snapped off another picture of museum #27 (#33), and headed into the other museum (the one with the trojan horse in front). It was fairly small overall, with only about 4 rooms, but it was still filled with ancient pots, statues, and vases. Was about to smack Inigo around this point, because he said that it would be cool to eat something from the bowls that we saw. He hasn't gotten to the point of appreciating the work, history, and beauty of the artifacts. Took a couple of pictures of the museum (#34 - 41), and it was a bit of a rush through it all. But it got to the point where we needed to leave to catch the train. So we started to head back towards the train station. Snapping off #42, 43, and 44.

Well, Inigo and I got to the train station on time, with a few minutes to spare. We pulled out our bags, and I checked out the times for our train trip. Unfortunately, the ticket itself didn't give a gate number for us, but we still knew what time we needed to leave. But I couldn't find our train on the billboard so I went to information. Well, when I got the gate from the worker at the information desk, Inigo finds our gate on the billboard itself. I had missed it on my brief look. So we get the same gate at the same time. It was kind of funny. :-) Well, the station at Munich was as interesting layout. It had about 30 gates or so, with about 15 or so on the inside of the station that focused on ICE and IC trains, while tracks on both sides of the station focused on the Regional and City trains. For those that don't know, ICE and IC trains focused on major cities. So Inigo and I ran for the tracks outside of the station to catch the train to Garmisch. We got to the train just in time. With the time that it took getting from the metro, getting a little lost within the main station, getting the bags and finding out which gate took a little more time than planned, but it was still enough. :-)

So we were on our way. Inigo and I talked about quite a few subjects on our way to Garmisch. We had time to spare so what else would be do... take pictures? You know like #45 and 46? Naaahhhh... :-) We basically talking about businesses, stock markets and the connection between the two. I'm not an expert in any way, but I think I know a little, more than what Inigo did. Kind of opened his eyes about business ownership and the pros and cons of business ownership. It was a bit of overcast as you can see from those two photos, so I was hoping that rain wouldn't be in the forecast for the weekend. (I had enough rain to last a lifetime) hehehe :-)

Well, once we got to Garmisch we put our bags in a locker seeing that we had gotten to Garmisch couple of hours prior to Inigo's parents getting there. So seeing that Inigo and I were there early, we went ahead and explored the town. We basically walked around in a circle, eventually heading back to the train station. Took a couple of photos along the way (#47-57), and during our touring of the city we saw a few cows (#49, 53, & 57) and those were just the few that I took pictures of. :-) We stopped off for something to eat, but the place that we stopped off at was just an ice cream cafe. Which was fine with the dinner that I had. :-) What I had (#52) was an interesting creation. In was Vanilla Ice Cream put into these little spaghetti strings shapes, and topped off with Strawberry topping. :-) Very tasty. :-)

Well, after we had done a full circle, we gave a call to Inigo's parents and found that they had just gotten to the hotel. So we grabbed our bags, and Inigo hailed a cab. Well, after going through a military checkpoint (the hotel/resort was sponsored by the US Forces), Inigo signing me in (No, Inigo isn't in the military but his father is), we get to the hotel. The resort was pretty big from what I saw. (#58 & 59) I didn't really take too many pictures of the place, was pretty busy by that point. But I did take a few pictures of the view from the room patio (#60-62).

Well, after having a buffet dinner (roast beef w/ mashed potatoes), and relaxing at the spa that was at the resort, I did a little bit of reading and enjoyed a VERY GOOD sleep. (The spa was heaven for me!) :-)

On the homefront

Hey there everyone,

Well, I got home okay, but I'm still behind on my updates here on the blog. I still have my Garmisch trip to write about and then my Paris weekend.

I'm currently working out the Garmisch trip right now, and I should be done with that soon. Possibly even by tomorrow. Well, here's part of the Garmisch trip, Day 3 should be coming soon. Talk to you all later.