Thursday September 17, 2009
Garmisch, Germany—Another rough night, but better than the first, kids seem to be adjusting to the time difference. Henry loves the “shed” or cabin and asked to go back to it all day long which made his parents very happy. (Not) You have to have a key to unlock it from the inside, so maybe tomorrow we’ll just leave him here.
45 minute drive to the WeisKirche, a relatively tasteful Rococo Church built in a field in the middle of nowhere. There was a service going on when we arrived so after watching from the back for a little bit we wandered around the fields and got to know the cows (with bells and full udders) and friendly horses a bit better. Lizzy loved the horse and even tried to pick its nose. After the service ended we made it inside and tried to find something Henry could find interesting since we’re bound to be seeing more churches…Cherubs were the trick. The weiss kuchen, a sort of apple flavored fried scone, also helped curb the whining.
Then to Oberammergau, a small village on the “Romantische strasse” that stretches from a point right in the center of Germany down to Neuschwanstein, which is known for its woodcarving. The carvings were exquisitely detailed, artful and realistic, especially the nativity sets, but we didn’t really feel like plunking down $500 for a nativity set right now…maybe in the future when the pieces will be chewed less. Had a really yummy lunch at an Italian restaurant. Lizzy makes friends with the female staff at all the restaurants we go to and here the cashier followed us outside for some cheek-pinching.
Next was Linderhoff. Of the three fancy palaces/castles that Ludwig II built (Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee, and Linderhoff) this was the only one that was completed and really lived in. It was actually quite modest in size…if not in décor…unless golden gilding and a “I really wish I was a snazzy French king instead of a Bavarian king subject to Prussia or Austria with Kleinfelters syndrome so I’ll just devote my fortune to shrines embodying Wagnerian operas” motif is your thing. Above the castle was the Grotto a building built to be a cave (and a good likeness at that) cum opera house (much more cave-y than opera-y). Great setting though, I guess I can’t make too much fun of a guy that put his castles right where I would have up in the mountains. And the cave was cool and really made. They built walls, covered them put dirt and plants over the roof to blend everything in with the countryside and even made stalactites and stalagmites. It was also one of the first places in Bavaria to get electricity. I find that interesting, a cave getting electricity. The cave was used for plays and operas. Can you tell Ludwig loved his opera? Interesting recluse guy.
Finally, back to Garmisch for some dinner and “knights and princesses” in the “shed”. Knights and princesses involves Dell and Henry hanging out in the loft, Henry with his sword, Dell with an invisible bow and arrow. Lizzy just sits on the floor of the loft while I bustle about downstairs tidying etc… and providing appropriate comments. Save me brave Henry, etc…. Henry’s Knight name is Sir Henry the strong eyesight—since he is strong and has good eyesight. Dell’s is Sir Daddy the clever hider. I think Henry shows a real knack for knight names, don’t you.