Thursday, March 10, 2011

Last Day - Back in Nurnburg

Shoot, I think this is still Rothenburg. I'm pretty sure it is, in fact. But we were able to go all the way to the top of this tower in Rothenburg.

Here is the tower from the back side.
And this is the view from the top of the tower. There was a guy up top that said something to me in german on our way down the stairs, but I didn't understand him, so I just nodded and smiled. I did a lot of nodding and smiling this past week. When we got to the bottom of the tower, there was a sign that said it cost 3 euro to go to the top. I think the guy was asking me to pay, and I just walked right away from him. Oops!

Stairs up a big tower at the back of the city.
The most picturesque street in Germany. That's what the guidebook says. Really.

Now we'll do Nurnberg. This is the hangman's bridge. The hangman lived here above the bridge for about 200 years from about 1500 to 1700.

And the bridges over the city are really neat. Here we are on the bridge facing the edge of the city, and the castle.

When we went back to Nurnberg we planned to go through the castle becasue it looked really neat. I didn't go while Mark was working because I knew he wanted to go. Darn it. The castle is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years day and Shrove Tuesday. Guess what day Tuesday was. So since it was Shrove Tuesday we didn't get to see the castle on the inside. I guess I will have to go with Mark next year when he goes so we can see the castle.
Instead of seeing the castle, we went through the toy museum, which was super fun. They have all the toys we had as kids, but in German. And just about the most awesome train set-up I have ever seen. We also went to Albrecht Durer's house. He was an artist so long ago, and apparently someone that Nurnberg is very proud of. I don't know that I have ever heard of him, except that I believe one if his paintings is inthe game "Masterpiece".
And then we walked to the Parade grounds and Zeppelin Field.

These people would not move off the podium. After about 30 minutes all the other tourists that were waiting for them to move finally just scrunched up on the podium with them. They were still there when we walked away.

And on our way back to the hotel, we saw this sign. I can't read it, but it looks to me like you are not allowed to swim or kill people in this park.
This was a great trip!

Back to Rothenburg Day 7

This is probably my favorite church that we saw. It is just stunning. This is the church of a monastery in Rottenbuch that was used from the early 1000s through about 1300. The church interior was renovated now and then throughout time, and the most recent renovation was in 1750 when it was changed to look like this. The artwork was spectacular, and I just love the colors!

I can't even express how beautiful it was. The choir just took my breath away.

And Rottenbuch is just a little town. Probably smaller than Springville.

After Rottenbuch, we made our way to the autobahn (scary!) and back to Rothenburg, because we liked that town best. We started by walking along the wall again, because that was pretty cool, and look what we found. Can you guess what this is? It just hangs out over the city wall. I would think this would leave one a little too exposed for comfort, but there it is.

Below and behind the city is a church, a few houses and a nice old bridge. Here is the church, built in 1500 sometime. And Mark, built in 1964.

And here is the bridge. Built in the 1300s, and featured in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. The house next to the bridge is for sale, and part of the yard is under the arch of the bridge. Any takers?

And this is the castle in Rothenburg. We wanted to go in to see it, but it had already closed for the day.

After walking around a bit the church bells started. I love church bells. Enjoy.

Tegelbergbahn Day 7

After Switzerland we just drove to the romantic road and went to the first hotel our GPS brought up. How did anyone ever travel without a GPS? Anyhow, this is the place we stayed.
It was very quaint, very comfortable, and the hotel owners did not speak any english. Thited s was an interesting experience. The lady was so cute, and I wanted to get a picture with her, but it would have been one more thing to try to explain. So you will just have to believe me on that one.

They gave us the same things for dinner and breakfast, which made ordering that much easier. We had bread and swiss cheese, cold cuts and hard boiled eggs.

We left the hotel and went back near Fussen so we could go up this tram. They call it the Tegelbergbahn. Tegelberg is the town it is in. If you know me at all, you know this was Mark's idea, and it was a good one. Here is the view from the top of the mountain.

The tram.

And King Ludwig's castles on the way down the mountain.

Liechtenstein and Switzerland Day 6

I really went to Liechtenstein! It's smaller than Utah county, and it's really beautiful.
We wanted to go see the castle in Liechtenstein, but the monarch (The Furst with dots over the u) still lives there. Quite a house! And there are houses (real ones) next door to the castle.
We wanted to stop to look at the church but all the roads were closed and when we finally found a parking spot, we came upon this;
But we did get to the church after the parade passed by.

In Switzerland the clouds really came in. We couldn't see much, but we went through Walenstadt to Lake Walensee. This is all of the view we got while there, but we got to feed Swiss ducks and swans, and Mark made a friend with a cute little dog that wanted him to play fetch. There are a lot of people out walking their dogs all around this area they call Bavaria, and the dogs are super well trained! This dog's owner talked to us a bit while Mark continued to throw the stick for the dog. Very fun!

Austria Day 6

After the castles in Southern Germany, we went for a drive through Austria, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. It was a very misty day, but within 15 minutes we saw the best sight of the day. Ehrnburg Catle was built in the early 1200s, and used through the 1700s. The outer wall was built in 1733, which is what we got to first on our hike.

The view inside the wall.

There were 2 of these round buildings. One said it had been used to store munitions, the other had no indication what it was used for, but looked like it may still be in use today.

There were castle ruins on almost every hilltop. This was such an amazing drive. Even with the mist the Alps were beautiful. And there were these little cabins everywhere. We never did ask what they were for. They were in every field we passed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fussen Day 5

King Ludwig of bavaria was a bit crazy, I think. He was actually pronounced insane the day before he "mysteriously" died, but he left behind the beginnings of what could have been some fantastic castles. These are not real castles, to me, since they were built after the time of castles, and used until Ludwig's death in the early 1900s. But they are pretty neat.

This is the Hohenschwangau castle. Ludwig's parents lived here, and as a child he spent the summer here with them.

From the castle, the view is great. Look! We are in the Alpes!

Here I am on our way up to the castle.
After seeing Hohenschwangau, we walked up to the Neuschwanstein Castle. This is a really cool castle but most of it was not finished. Construuction on all of Ludwig's castles stopped when he died. But he parts that are finished are just amazing. We couldn't take pictures in the castle, so you will have to take my word for it.
View of Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau.

On our way to Neuschwanstein.

Front gate of Neuschwanstein.

This is a bridge that Mark wanted to go across. So we hiked over to it.

The views are just awesome from anywhere you may be.

Rothenburg Day 4

We decided to travel to Rothenburg yesterday, and then down what is known as the Romantic Road. We got on the autobahn for about 5 minutes and I thought we were going to die. Mark was going about 180 k/h or 110 mph. And we were going slow. Then we realized we had to get off at the next exit and I was sure I was going to die. But I was wrong. It's just very scary to go that fast and then exit. Nuts!
After the death road we got on a highway that took us through a bunch of smaller towns. Each one was like a postcard. In fact, looking through my pictures of the past two days I don't think there was a bad one in the bunch.

Each town has their church, and they are all very impressive structures.
We got to Rothenburg not really knowing what to expect. My friend and former guide Robert told me this would be a good place to visit. He was right! I LOVE Rothenburg! We got to the city and went through a gate where no people were at all. On the other side of the gate was a huge stairway up to the city wall, so naturally we climbed it and walked along the city wall.
Here is the staircase up close. The steps were very worn.
This is where we came down.

And here is a city street with a church steeple at the end of it.
The city hall. We climbed to the top of the belltower, but Mark was too chicken to pull the rope. So was I, I guess, since I didn't do it.

The town square.
The view of the from the Castle grounds.

The Caslte gate. The little door was opened at night to let only one person in at a time. One very little person.

This is the caslte gate wall. Guess what the weird face thing on the front is for? Really, they did have these holes to pour boiling pitch on unwanted guests!

A more picturesque view of the Castle gate wall.


The podium where the priest stands to sermonize.
The windows in the middle were made in the 1300s, and the ones on the right and left were made in the 1400s.
We only got to see a very small bit of the city, because we wanted to get to Fussen before nightfall. Our goal was to leave Rothenburg before 3. We finally drove out of the town at 4:15. The drive to Fussen was awesome, too, but now it's time to end this entry.