Munich & Music
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
This page focuses on Day 7 - 10 of our tour with stops in Munich & Salzburg!
The tour kicked up a notch as we traded the secluded Swiss mountains for the "big" city of Munich or München to the locals! But first, a quick stop for lunch in Lindau.
Barbara's Take: Munich offered so much as soon as we arrived! So much so, we forgot to snap a picture of the hotel! It was nice with a good breakfast. The wi-fi was spotty...Kristin's room had it next door, but we didn't. It ended up being okay as we connected in the lobby and became de facto greeters as everyone from our group returned "home" for the night!
We hit the ground running, well walking, shortly after arriving in Munich. We had about an hour to explore the nearby Viktualienmarkt and Marienplatz before meeting for our orientation walk and group dinner. Afterwards, we took a nighttime stroll before getting our first glimpse at the famous Hobfräuhaus!
The morning brought a city walk through the Old Town with our local guide Anna. We all agreed she was the best of the trip! She mesmerized us with not only Munich's history, but also her own, and she didn't shy away from the city's darker past. After saying goodbye, we had the rest of the day on our own.
John's Tip: For an encompassing look at Munich's place during one of history's darkest times, visit the Nazi Documentation Center. It explores what led to the party's rise and works to educate people to keep it from ever happening again. It's free and well worth your time.
Kristin's Take: On our final night in town, about half of our group visited one of Munich's famous beer halls! I split off from my parents and went to get a first hand experience. I couldn't recommend it more. I'm not really a beer drinker, but I accepted the challenge of sipping from one of the giant steins. I also had one of my favorite meals from the Hofbräuhaus restaurant. To make the night even better, I got the chance to chat with a couple of locals who were kind enough to teach us a little German and the proper way to eat my dinner.
In the morning, it was time to leave Germany behind with Austria on the horizon. However, we had two more stops to make. As for the first, it's best to start this part with "Once upon a time..."
Neuschwanstein Castle - Just the Basics:
- Stopped for a couple hours during travel day
- Provided Meals: Picnic lunch by the lake
- Overall Impression: A fairytale dream destination come true
Barbara's Tip: We had two choices for getting up the mountain...a bus or hike. Don't be a hero. It's okay to take the bus if you want. The hike can be intense at times and you don't want to be worn out before walking through the castles and it's many, many stairs.
Our Take: This castle is something to behold! It's said to be the basis for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and you quickly see why. While it was the home of a "mad" king...you would be mad to miss your opportunity at seeing it. The area boasts more to do than just take a tour inside. A walk along Marie's Bridge offers up the best pictures of the castle. We also enjoyed the view from a nearby lake during our group's picnic lunch!
The next stop was quick, but thrilling none the less! We strapped into our seats for a luge ride down the mountain.
Kristin's Take: The first few hours in Salzburg were some of my favorite on the trip! Our hotel location was amazing and dinner was superb. Multiple people said it was their favorite meal of the trip to that point. We did the typical orientation walk, but continued it after dinner. Something about seeing Salzburg all lit up was magical...even the rain didn't dampen my spirits!
The morning brings us another city walk with a local guide...this time it's Brigitte. The rest of the day was all ours! After a delectable lunch (at an aptly named eatery for us) our arranged afternoon activity, a Sound of Music bike tour, fell through due to the rainy weather. We adjusted and enjoyed more time exploring Salzburg. This included some of the Sound of Music inspired locations and the mighty fortress keeping guard up top.
Our Take: Our goodbye to Salzburg seemed fitting, a concert dinner featuring the work of Mozart! This was a trip-defining evening. It also brought a few laughs as our bus driver, Ricky, got pulled into the act!