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Day 15 - Thursday, 13 March 1997

- 05 June 97 - 14 July 97

Innsbruck, Austria - Day trip to the Bavarian Royal Castles --- Bayerische Konigsschlosser --- and Oberammergau

With the exception of our afternoon "welcome" tour in Brussels, today was our only other bus tour. It was a different look at the countryside from the train, and a nice break for a day trip. (But, for travel, we'll still "vote" for travel by train.)

We were picked up at the hotel by a "collector van" and taken to the bus for a 08:00 departure. Traveled west on the Autobahn following the valley of the River Inn, crossed the Alps into Germany at Fussen and stopped after a "few miles" in the village of Hohenschwangau (about a 3 hour stop) to visit the "favorite" of four castles of King Ludwig II - Schloss Neuschwanstein (supposed to be the the inspiration for Cinderalla's Castle at Disney's Lands), and his father's castle (King Maximillian II), Schloss Hohenschwangau. There were plenty of swans flying free in the area - hence the "schwan" - in their castle names.

The Schloss Neuschwanstein of King Ludwig II was under construction from 1869 to the time of his death (under mysterious circumstance) in June 1886. The exterior of the castle proper was substantially complete but the interior and furnishings were only about 1/3 finished, and have remained unfinished. No photography is allowed inside the castle, but books and tour tapes are available, reasonably priced, which do the castle justice better than any "snapshots" could. We've included scans of two exterior photo's from the tour booklet. What is finished and open on the castle tour is royally magnificent.

Returned to Innsbruck via Oberammergau, the Ettal Monastery, Garmish-Partenkirchen, and Seefeld. It was a full day of riding and touring, actually a longer day than we anticipated, and were delivered back to our hotel (by the big bus) about 18:30. Our tour bus driver, "Fast" Eddie, did a remarkable job - both in wheeling his bus thru the narrow streets and in providing commentary fluently in Italian, Korean, German, Austrian, and English. On the way back, at the stop in Oberammergau, Lin asked him about the fields full of little barns - he said "Oh, you mean the nooky-nooky houses", and later spoke about them on the bus, describing them as hay and equipment barns, also that some people might stay in them cheap and maybe get "some experience".

Capped off our last day in Innsbruck with dinner, schnapps, and Bavarian Accordian at the Burgtaverne - another wonderful day. Off to Zurich in the morning.

---- PHOTO ALBUM - DAY 15 (12 Photos - 126.3Kb)


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