Bavaria Beckons

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Fairytale castles and majestic mountains, Lederhosen and Dirndl’s, Beer on tap and sausages – a tasy menu, and very tempting. The heady drive through majestic mountains with glorious views from Garmisch-Partenkirschen to Munich is a humbling experience. Garmisch-Partenkirschen - 2 towns that are now joined at the hip. Garmisch, the expensive and swanky sibling while Partenkirschen the poorer, more traditional sibling.  Zugspitz, Germany’s highest mountain resides here, and if you have a head for heights, take the series of cog-wheel rail and cable car trips to the top to enjoy views across to Austria, Italy and Switzerland, but dress warmly as even in summer it’s teeth-chatteringly cold up there, and in winter, temperatures drop to -30° brrrr.  Back on terra-ferma, meander slowly to Fussen and the magical Neuschwanstein Castle built by the very shy Ludwig to escape public life. “Spectacular” doesn’t begin to describe it. You have seen it … not only on chocolate boxes, but it inspired Disney to create the Magic Kingdom, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Start your castle experience in true fairytale style by taking the horse & carriage ride to the entrance to start your tour. Right next door is Hohenschwangau Castle - smaller and not as spectacular, but well worth a visit, providing glorious views from the balcony. Linderhof’s beautiful gardens include a cascading water feature with water that seems to flow from the very heart of the Alps, rushing and tumbling down 30 steps to a pool dominated by Neptune. A stone’s throw away is the delightful village of Oberammergau, renowned for the Passion Play it hosts every 10 years as well as its intricate and beautiful wood carvings. The Passion Play, the story of Christ, is held every 10 years in September, involves the entire village in Thanksgiving to Him … an absolute MUST. Take cushions to sit on and a blanket for the chilly evening, and be prepared for the crowds. Visit the beautiful Parish of St Peter & Paul church at the entrance of the village, a truly spiritual experience. A hop & a skip from there is the Kloster Ettal, a working Benedictine Monastery with a bit of a shady past, but be tempted in by the beautiful Baroque church and the distillery which produces a variety of liqueurs and beers – try some, they are recommendable. The spa town of Bad Tölz has an indoor waterpark as well as thermal outdoor pools of iodine water – very healing and soothing. Berchtesgaden has Lake Königssee, Germany’s deepest and cleanest lake, plus an old salt mine with a train ride, wooden slides, raft crossing and funicular rides to entertain. Obersalzberg is home to Hitler’s Eagles Nest on the peak above. A fist-clenching drive on the very edge of the mountain takes you to the parking area and the original brass-lined elevator which transports you secretively through the heart of the mountain, directly into the building. The tour is expensive, but WOW … absolutely mind-boggling. Then on to Munich and BIER FEST, amongst other things. A mesmerizing, opulent, majestic, magical and spiritual trip … take it and be mesmerized from beginning to end. Fairy stories DO come true

Jenny's Travel Blog