Germany, Briefly

Clearly there’s a lifetime of exploring to do in a country the size of Germany.

Unfortunately we could only scratch the surface as we headed towards Italy. We can legitimately now say we’ve been to Luxembourg but not that we’ve “set foot” there. Luxembourg was just somewhere we drove through. Another time maybe.

Zweibrücken

Thursday Sep 19 – Our first port of call was Zweibrücken. A two night stop in a superb “Stellplatz” (Aire de Camping Car …. but German) operated by the local hotel. €15 but worth it for the most luxurious sanitary block imaginable. (€50 deposit for key).

Rosengarten Hotel, the Stellplatz.
Sanitary blocks don’t get any better.

There’s a lovely riverside, tree-lined, walk into town, which we did. It takes you past the Rosengarten (Rose Garden), a beautiful little park. We popped in to see a sort of exibition/market in the gardens. It was lovely and warm, the gardens were immaculate and still in flower.

Some amazing exhibits in the Rosengarten
The gardens felt very “English”
The 20 minute walk into Zweibrücken

Saturday Sep 21 – Our plan to stay in Ulm was scuppered by a requirement for an “Environmental Sticker”. Basically Ulm is a “Green Zone” and has a kind of pollution tax for smelly diesels, like Humberto. Since we didn’t have time to find/buy one we bailed out into the small town of Illertissen.

Illertissen Schloss..and Bee museum
Illertissen camping.

There’s not a lot to say about Illertissen. The campsite was unusually rammed full, so we were sent to an area normally reserved for tents. Only after the fact did we realise it was day 1 of Oktoberfest!!!!

It seems every motorhome and caravan heads to Munich on this day. We certainly saw thousands of them on the roads for the next few days, all München-bound.

I did my usual explore on the bike and found a lovely Schloss on a hill. It contained a museum about the town and Bee museum. If you want to learn more about Illertissen’s link to medicinal Bee toxins… then visit the museum. (Actually it was an excellent place to visit, very well done in fact).

Illertissen Schloss Chapel!!

Monday Sep 23 – We continued our journey South and headed for Füssen.

I figured if you ever wanted a spectacular photo of a castle then Neuschwanstein was the one to go for. The Stellplatz in Füssen (one of 3 all next to each other) puts you 10 minutes drive from the town of Schwangau, the home of the castle.

Füssen is a lovely Bavarian town in its own right and we’ll worth a visit. Lots of shops, Cafés and restaurants, all in an affluent-looking centre. It looks exactly like my mental image of a Bavarian town (Shops selling Leder-Hosen of course).

Füssen. Extremely Bavarian, and lovely.
Well, what did you expect in Bavaria, during Oktoberfest?

As lovely as Füssen is, the was about photographing Neuschwanstein for me.

On Tuesday morning I was on the bike at 7am. By 7:30 it was locked to a signpost in Schwangau. By 8am I was sweating my way up the ludicrously steep path to Marenbrucke (Marien Bridge) from where the best views are afforded.

Marienbrucke … all alone. Amazing.

Amazingly I was all alone at this time of the day. In high season you have to join a queue to access the bridge! (There’s a coach drop-off point 100 yards away for lazy tourists, making otherwise difficult access very easy).

Well then. Neuschwanstein. What can you say? I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Worth getting up early for, yes?

In all I was there for around 2 hours, waiting for the perfect light. I watched hundreds of people (mostly Chinese by the bus load) come and go. I took many photos of couples, using their phones, while I waited, but it was worth the wait.

The Schloss in Füssen
I became the Official couples photographer for the morning. This is from the panoramic viewing point, across the bridge and up the path.

All in all a stunning couple of days, but our journey was heading south to Italy.

Over the Austrian Alps …..to Italy.

That’s Germany… see you in Italy.

Lee

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