Oberammergau, Linderhof & Ettal Abbey – 3

After another delicious breakfast at Colmberg we had to drive for several hours to the heart of Bavaria.  This little jaunt up north was really just to stay at the Colmberg Castle hotel again.  Rothenburg is fun, but for the hours of driving we felt it was worth it for the hotel.

Bavaria is so beautiful!!  It was rainy and reminded us of living the Pacific Northwest so we love it that much more.  Our first stop was Linderhof Palace – the favorite residence of Mad King Ludwig.  It is like a miniature Versailles  – he admired King Louis XV and there is a lot of grandeur in this little palace.  He never had any company but lived here two weeks each month by himself.  Even his dining room table came up from the kitchen on a pulley system so he could eat by himself without being bothered by servants.  My favorite part is the room of mirrors – we aren’t allowed to take photos but you could look it up I’m sure.  Mark loves what we remembered as the hunting lodge but it is actually Hunding’s Hut – from an opera by Wagner who Ludwig very much admired.  Mark likes it because there is a tree growing up through the middle of it.  We were bummed that once again the grotto is undergoing renovation.

We had about an hour to walk around the grounds before our English tour.  It was rainy and cold but quite enjoyable nevertheless.  This is our third visit to Linderhof but it was our best tour.  Because of Covid they are limiting each tour to 10 people.  I bet we’ve have 30-40 before (maybe 20?)- cramming into every corner.  With only 10 we could wander around each room much more easily.

Well – I was wrong – our first stop was actually Oberammergau.  Next year is the Passion Play so there are a lot of signs advertising that.  I’m glad to not be there with those crowds though it would be so exciting.  Most of the woodcarving shops were closed for some reason.  We did a little souvenir shopping and Greg found himself an awesome wool coat.  Mark has a new love for hot chocolate.  I haven’t really known him to like it in the past (think free watered down Swiss Miss that burns your tongue and never cools off – so now no matter how delicious we make it he shies away).   Anyway – now he likes it a lot in Germany so we needed to find a cafe that would serve us some hot chocolate.  We imagined getting it to go but found ourselves being seated.  It was a Romanian owned restaurant that the wool coat seller had recommended.  The young servers seemed to shy away from us when they heard the English but eventually the owner came and served us.  Hot chocolate and pastries… a great lunch.

We had time to a quick stop at Ettal Abbey and I remember why I love it so much.  It is many hundreds of years old.  The chapel is rounded with a vaulted ceiling.  No columns – for some reason this gave it a more reverent feeling for me.  It is beautiful.  The Abbey is huge – we didn’t take the time to learn much about it – just enjoyed the sights and hopped back into the car. Apparently I forgot to take any photos?

We a chose to stay at the same place in Schwangau as last time – the Waldmann Hotel. They are close to the castles and have good dinners – but the restaurant was taking a day off.  We tried another hotel that required a dinner reservation.  They sent us to a place that also required reservations but let us sit and wait.  We were so hungry – but again seemed to get a shy waiter – he seemed to think that if waited long enough the Americans would go away.  We didn’t go away and eventually he had to take our order.  Truly – the other family who had waited for a table finished their food and left about the time that gave our order.  So it was a late dinner, but eventually we ate and settled down for the night.  Fortunately Mark found out that because of small tour size, castle tickets can be hard to purchase.  He and Greg made plans to be at the ticket booth early in the morning… and here is where I will leave my saga…

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