Monday, November 18, 2013

Munich, Germany (Part II)

Day 4: Salzburg, Austria

Sunday of our trip we woke up early and drove to Salzburg, Austria. Located about an hour and half outside of Munich, Salzburg is where the composer Mozart was born and also where scenes from the movie The Sound of Music was filmed (!!!!). The city is absolutely breathtaking, with an old fort/castle up on a hill overlooking the city center, a river, and the Alps. Since tourism is one of the towns main sources of income, the whole place is clean, safe, and well maintained.

We decided to walk around all day, visiting everything we could. We started by going to a beautiful courtyard in the back of a church where Mozart was buried. Well, we thought he was buried there. It turns out it is his family plot, and no one is really sure where THE Mozart is buried. Either way, the courtyard was eerily gorgeous with lots of trees and greenery, along with very elaborate tombstones and catacombes.

After that we headed to Schloss Mirabell and walked around the grounds. There were multiple gardens to walk through, all of which were beautiful. The flowers were all planted to form designs, and there were some interesting statues throughout all the grounds. I could have walked around there for hours, but we only had one day, so we moved on.

Next stop was the city center, and the large cathedral that was in the middle. Words cannot describe how beautiful that cathedral was. There was so much detail everywhere you looked. From there we took the tram to the top of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and stole some great views of the city and the Alps.

Day 5: Neuschwanstein Castle and Alps Road Trip

The next day we drove to the Neuschwanstein Castle. This was built as a retreat for King Ludwig II, but was turned into a museum soon after his death. Guards came to imprison Ludwig, claiming he wasn't fit to rule anymore because of paranoia. Two days after he was taken, he mysteriously died. Coincidence? He was not able to finish the castle, but what was finished still remains in good condition. I call this the fairy tale castle since it was the model for the one at Disney. I'm so happy we took the time to visit, it was definitely a site to be seen, but the drive afterward was really the highlight of the day.

Once we left Neuschwanstein, we took a road trip through the Alps. The driving was unbelievable. UN-BE-LIEVABLE. We didn't know what to expect when we started to drive, but decided to take a "back road" instead of a major highway back toward Munich. The road brought us winding through the Alps, past a beautiful lake, and around some awesome hairpin turns. Some parts of the road were so narrow that 2 cars could barely get by; mix that with no guard rails, and it was an exciting few hours. It was one of the best drives we have ever been on and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes road trips or pretty mountain scenery.

Day 6: BMW Museum

We spent our last day in Munich at the BMW Museum, which ended up being perfect since it was the one day that it rained. Just like the ultimate driving machine, this place was the ultimate museum. It had some amazing cars on display as well as some really interesting background on the company and how it came to be the brand it is today. Jon loves BMW, so this was one of the highlights of the trip for him. I will say, as someone who likes BMW but is not a fanatic, this museum was still awesome! It had a ton of interesting things to look at and was a lot of fun to be in. The best room was the advertising room, which had BMW ads (tv and print) from when they first started up through today. It was extremely creative how they displayed their history and brainstorming ideas.

After we left BMW, we walked around Munich a bit more. Grabbed an afternoon beer and snack at Augustiner am Platzl (one of my favorite meals of the trip) and then headed to Hofbrauhous for our final dinner. Our trip was amazing to say the absolute least, and I already can't wait to go back.

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