Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sleeping Beauty Castle!

Tom and I decided to take a guided tour out to see Neuschwanstein Castle, and on the way, we stopped at another castle, Linderhof, built by the same King, Ludwig II. I was not looking forward to the trip since it was grey and rainy in Munich, but it was sunny for us! And I may have had a minor meltdown when we pulled into the town and the side of  Neuschwanstein Castle that we saw was covered in scaffolding and I was worried it would all be like that and I would have terrible pictures of something I've wanted to visit for forever!
Waiting for the tour of Lindehof.

I'm sure this is prettier in summer.

Love him.
I honestly wasn't a fan of the first castle. It was small, and since it was modeled after Versailles, it was really over the top. In a small space, that just doesn't work for me- I ended up feeling closed in. The gardens were pretty, but I'm sure they're a thousand times better in the summer when they're green and the fountains are working!
The outside of Lindehof.

At least I got to see snow!

 I did get to take a picture next to a giant swan, so that was exciting. I should really make an album of all the awkward pictures I have next to's going to be awesome.
I would have gotten closer, but it was staring me down.

On the way to the castle, we stopped in a small town where the houses are painted with biblical and fairy tale scenes. Thankfully, we were able to find a Christmas ornament store there, so we have 2 small ornaments from Germany! We didn't get to take pictures of some of the really cool houses we saw driving in,  but it was a cute little town that would be fun to visit again!

I think Once Upon A Time could be filmed here.

When we got to the town below Neuschwanstein, we had some time for a quick lunch, then we headed up to the castle. We took a bus and then walked up to the "hanging bridge" (to quote my wonderful boyfriend) to take pictures of the castle. I was freaking out about having to go out on a bridge up that high, especially since I thought it was going to be old and scary. Apparently it's quite sturdy, even if it is old, but the boards still shake when people walk past you, which terrified me. Tom was fairly certain I'd cry and have a panic attack, but I did surprisingly well. Not only did we get some great pictures, I walked all the way across the bridge and back just to prove that I could. If that doesn't sound like a big deal to you, you obviously don't know how much I detest heights and that I get freaked out looking over high balconies sometimes.

After I hiked across the bridge and back. So proud and excited!

My Prince Charming. (You knew that was coming).

See that bridge?

That's where we stood. 
We had some time to wait around in the courtyard before our tour started, so we took some pictures, and I amused myself by watching a little girl count the steps from one courtyard to another. When she got stuck on a number I helped her, and I basically became her counting guide. When she finally made it to the bottom, she turned around to ask me what she'd counted to, then ran off to tell her family. Sorry if I freaked them out, but she was so cute, and so serious about it all that I had to help her!

I like making him smile for pictures.

Perfect for a destination wedding right?

Afterwards, we tried to ride back down in a carriage but apparently you need to buy the tickets for it before you go up, so we hiked all the way down. I did make us stop for ice cream when we got to the bottom since I was denied my carriage ride, but I don't think Tom minded. After that, we headed back to Munich to eat more delicious food and drink some more beer. It was such a long day, but I've finally seen the Sleeping Beauty Castle! I can check it off my life list!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's the Little Things

I miss so many things about the States, many of them people and food. My dream "welcome home present," which I've just made up, is a big box filled with little things I've mentioned missing when I talk to Tom or anyone else.

I miss:
-Candy for holidays
-Chick-fil-A and sweet tea
-Slushes from Sonic
-Tabloid magazines
-Kraft mac and cheese
-Spaghettios (yes, I am a 6 year old)
-Driving my car
-Starbucks! I get seriously excited when I see a Starbucks, and usually get something.
-Bookstores where I can read all the covers.
-My kitty
-Good milkshakes! I had a terrible milkshake today and it was depressing.
-Microwave popcorn
-Burt's Bees chapsticks
-The Gap

I will be in a huge shopping mode when I come home. Good thing I won't have any money!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Hills are Alive...

Tom and I met in Munich, stayed in a hotel close to the bahnhof (train station- the one word I know and I learned it from my mom), and then headed out to Salzberg to spend a day and a night there.

On the train.
I LOVED Salzburg and I didn't expect to. I was excited about the Sound of Music tour that I was hoping to do, but didn't have an interest in the city otherwise. I was so wrong. Our hotel was gorgeous and in the old part of the city, so I loved that.

Tom immediately got us out and exploring the city. We hiked up to the fort on the hill above Salzberg, which was not okay since it was incredibly steep and kept going forever. I demanded that we ride the funicular down, and it was totally worth it, even if it was a little terrifying.
Back of the fortress.
View from the wall.
The fort was cool, and so old and big! On a guided tour, we got to go up to the watch tower on top and see amazing views of Salzberg and the Alps. Slowly but surely, I'm facing my fear of heights and balconies so that I can take amazing pictures and remember where we got to go.

I seriously love this man. 

Salzberg from the lookout tower.
We walked around the old part of town, visited Mozart's cathedral, did some window shopping, found a chocolate store that had delicious champagne truffles, and had the best Italian food for dinner. I desperately missed Italian, so it was great to get some and to have it be so delicious that I ate all my food and a whole dessert, plus a little of Tom's food. Eating will be a theme of the trip, by the way!

Mozart's Cathedral
The next day, Tom graciously indulged my love of musicals and we went on a sing-a-long Sound of Music tour. I felt so bad for Tom at first. Not only did he learn tons of facts about a movie he didn't remember well, but he also had me singing all the songs, and telling him exactly what happened at each location.

We stopped by the house they used for the back of the Von Trapp house and the lake, and it was just as gorgeous in real life!

Then we drove over to see the house that was used for the front of the Von Trapp mansion, and got to see where the gazebo from the movie had been rebuilt! Sadly, they wouldn't let us take pictures inside, but at least we have a picture of us in front of it! Tom wouldn't dance with me, otherwise there would have been a whole photo shoot of me pretending I was Liesl, which I totally did in my head the whole morning anyway.

Avenue from the "I have confidence" song!

This was a surreal moment.

The Von Trapp house!
We drove out into the Lake District where they filmed some of the landscapes and the iconic field in the mountains, and that's when Tom decided the tour was pretty awesome. The views were gorgeous, and the town of Wannsee, where they filmed the wedding in the abbey, was so pretty! We've found a place we could definitely want to go back and spend more time in!

Heaven on earth.
 Also, getting to see where the wedding was filmed was awesome, but since it was Palm Sunday, the front of the church was covered in purple cloth, so it wasn't as I remembered from the movie. but I did get to walk down the aisle like Maria did! (Seriously, this day was basically me pretending I was in the movie. It was glorious.)

Awkward, but good shot from Tom!

The tour ended at the gardens where Maria and the children filmed Do Re Mi, so of course we visited most of the scenes from the garden and the song! Who didn't want to be in that movie when they were a kid? Exactly. 
The gardens.

Pegasus fountain! No, I didn't run around it. I'd have fallen in, and that'd be cold!

The dwarf they pat on the head. Apparently I like this pose for exciting moments...

The covered walkway!

We're adorable.

The statues!
The bridge they run over.
Afterwards, we had a little time until we wanted to catch a train, so we found a Christmas store and proceeded to buy Christmas stockings and ornaments for our Christmas tree!! If you know me at all, you'll know how exciting this was to me. And our stockings look like what I grew up with, and therefore seem more legitimate to me. Hooray! Overall, we loved Salzburg, and I wish we'd had more time there, but we had to get back to Munich for our tours there!

Next time: Munich, and lots about food.

I'm still here!

I've been so busy with traveling for the past month that I usually spend my free time during the week preparing for the next trip, and I completely forgot about the blog! Sorry guys! I have tons to update you on, like my trips to Portugal, Germany, and even Morocco!

I'm 6 weeks away from being home, and it's both incredibly exciting and terribly sad. I'll miss this school. It's become my home now. I feel at home there, I'm always greeted by teachers and kids, and I've even memorized most of the names of the kids I see once a week!

Side note: I saw Joel in the office today and he got all smiley when I greeted him by name. I also had 2 escorts to class after recreo today, along with about a million hugs from my kids. And I still love the whispered comments about how I'm "guapa" or how they get all excited when I say I have "un novio."

But I'm starting the home stretch! I've got a couple trips planned and then I plan on spending all my time packing and relaxing on the beach. Although the beach part depends on the crazy winds dying down. I fear for my sliding door sometimes!

Anyway, I promise I'm working on updates. I just hate uploading pictures because it's so slow!!

Un abrazo fuerte,