Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fussen, Germany, Thursday, August 9, 2012

The good thing about a car is that you really get to see the country. That was our plan as we headed from Prague to Fussen, Germany. Near Prague was another castle (Karlstejn) that is the second most popular attraction in the Czech Republic. We decided the extra hour needed would be worth it. We saw some rural country-side and narrow roads. One of the downsides of the GPS and our not being able to read the signs is that it was taking us right to the castle. That may not sound as such a bad thing, but as we rounded a last bend we came to an area where clearly no cars were allowed unless, of course, you count the police car that we saw up ahead past all the horse drawn wagons. Fortunately he was going the other way and we made a difficult turn around and went back almost the way we came. Here it got interesting. We were in a very small village and the roads were narrow. We must have got off track, but didn't worry because the GPS always guided us. However, when it was a rough one lane road and we were told to turn left onto the one lane (or less) gravel road we were a bit concerned. Instead, we turned around (after all there were no other cars around anywhere) and headed back. We got some alternative directions finally and made our way back. In the meantime it actually took us along a route where we got some great views of the castle. After a while, we also came to a spot where we could see the dirt/gravel road that we had been instructed to take join the one we were on.

Our plan  from here was to drive to Wurtsburg, Germany which is near Nuremburg. It marks the start of what is called the Romantischestrasse (Romantic Road) that continues on to Fussen which is where Neuschwanstein Castle is. Neuschwanstein is the inspiration for Cinderella's castle at Disney World. The GPS kept wanting to put us on the Autobahn so we had to program many of the little towns, plus there were occasional Romantischestrasse signs. We passed through small village after small village. In one the road was more like one and a half lanes because the milking barn jutted out. Each little town had its own church.

We did not make it all the way down this route as it was pretty slow going, but a couple of hours gave us a pretty good idea. We then programmed straight to Fussen, got on the Autobahn and put the pedal to the metal. We arrived in Fussen just before 11:00 PM. We were hungry and they told us the bar served food for another hour. We ran our luggage up to the room and came right back down to get something to eat. The bar had closed because no one had gone in for awhile. The desk then told us the only place we could get something to eat at this time of night was  MacDonalds. We should have gone to bed hungry. It was awful. I can't even say that at least it was something to eat.

Next morning we are up and ready to see this great castle. And there it was - wrapped in scaffolding and plastic for refurbishing. Aaaaaaarrrgggghh! There was one small section that gave you an idea that it really would be beautiful. I guess I am glad they are refurbishing things, but this one hurt.
The view outside our room in Fussen

The road out of our hotel

Hohenschwangau Castle - Also near Fussen

The famous Neuschwanstein Castle

What became our favorite sign - End of speed limits

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