Guten Tag Ocean City! Cassandra and I spent some time in Bavaria this winter. Bavaria is a state in the alpine region of southern Germany. Munich is the capital and the
gateway to Bavarian tourism. Munich is a modern and ultra wealthy city. It’s a technologically advanced society with a thriving economy and virtually no unemployment.
We stayed at Le Meridian Hotel, a few blocks from the City Centre. After a nine-hour flight, we were ready to paint the town. Germany is six hours ahead of OC, so the best strategy was to stay on our feet that night. OC Locals Pete & Jodie were also in Munich that night, so we met up with them at Unionsbraeu Beer Hall and Brewery. Nothing like running into friends 4,000 miles from home to share an adventure!
The next few days we soaked up the city sights and markets. Munich’s skyline is dominated by the twin towers of the Frauenkirche Cathedral built in 1468. The city centre (known locally as Marienplatz) is beautiful. The main square is dominated by the Glockenspiel clock. At 11 AM each morning, the clock comes to life via lifesize figures that emerge and tell the story of Duke Wilhelm V. Bavaria is famous for producing the world’s best bier. It is the birthplace of Oktoberfest. Held to an impeccable standard of German purity laws, Bavaria is home to 17 percent of the world’s breweries. The most famous is the Hofbrauhaus. That was an amazing spot. It was packed at noon. Hundreds of patrons lined the hall singing along to a traditional German Oompah Band. The bier steins were as large as a man’s head and the men’s bathroom had 48 urinals to keep business flowing.
Germany has an amazing public transportation system. We caught a train to a village of southern Bavaria called Fussen. Fussen is the most famous stop on Germany’s “Romantic Road”. Fussen is a picturesque village near the gorgeous castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. We splurged on the five star Rubezah hotel & spa with views of both castles. This was a fantastic inclusive retreat with gourmet meals & wine pairings. It was the most amazing hotel we’ve ever stayed at – a complete work of art plus they even give you an I-pad to use during your stay.
It was incredible being able to see the castles from our room, the restaurant and the hot tubs in the spa. We took a horse and carriage ride up to see Neuschwanstein. Walt Disney was so inspired by his visit to Neuschwanstein that he used it as the model for Disneyworld’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. The castle was commissioned by “Mad” King Ludwig in 1864. The castle was never completed. The project put the kingdom in debt and Ludwig was mysteriously drowned in 1886. The castle is an amazing spectacle visited by more than 1.3 million tourists a year (predominantly Japanese according to our guide).
It snowed every day we were in Fussen and was over a metre when we left. We were sad to leave this serene utopia in the Alps. We truly enjoyed the warm Bavarian hospitality and flavorful cuisine.
Auf wiedersehen! – Sean Rox
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