bwilsondünkenindeutschland, 2008      
page 2, Bavaria , part 1... Neuschwannstein (June 11 — 14)      

...and quite a bit of this — a 15% grade.
















On the way out of Ulm I met a daycare class on their way to the park for an outing.

Just like in France, kids are well looked after in Germany. 
Daycare? No Problem













Along the River Iller, southward from Ulm.











Into the Allgau region of southern Bavaria on the 11th. 

The foothills of the Bavarian Alps.













Tip to travelers:


If you're going to Bavaria, and have a sensitive nose, travel in May or July.   June is the month the fields have their annual meal. 

Here's one downing a tankful of liquid manure.

                  Phew !!!





  A long steep climb on the Fussenerstrasse ( the road to Fussen)  near Oy im Allgau.




Nesselwang im Allgau, well into the alpine foothills. 





I overnighted in Nesselwang June 11. It's a major ski resort. Most of the hotels and restaurants were closed. Their season is November to March.


























































The story of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the palace's builder,  is just as exotic and improbable as the palace itself.  Neuschwanstein is not a medieval fortress —  it was built through the 1860's, 70's and 80's

From the time of his accession in 1864 til his deposition in 1886, the young king didn't do much except build castles, dress up, and sponsor the career of composer Richard Wagner.  His obsession with Wagnerian operas and the romantic myths of  medieval Germany dominated his life — and drained the wealth and vitality of the kingdom of Bavaria.  He was eventually deposed by his government on grounds of  mental illness, and was found dead one day later, drowned in a lake near Munich.

The project drew craftsmen and artists from throughout Europe — masons, sculptors, painters,...
Ludwig, to his credit, treated them well. He, on his own initiative, provided his workforce with sick leave, pensions, and other benefits that were virtually unheard of in Europe at the time.



Construction was halted immediately upon Ludwig's death. Only the third and fifth floors were completed, and only these are open to the tour.      







Photography isn't permitted during the tour of the castle. Maybe because it would disrupt the schedule, and maybe to encourage purchase of the guidebook. I bought one, and scanned  a few pictures.

The king's bedroom.  Typical of the decor throughout the palace, except for the four-poster bed, which exceeds the standard.

The carving of the bed took five craftsmen about four years to complete.
  Detail of the carved canopy.  






















  Almost every square metre inside the castle is covered with murals depicting scenes from Wagner operas.
Hundreds of them.

In this scene, on a wall in The King's Study, Tannhauser  sings in a contest in The Singers' Hall




  This is the Singers' Hall at Neuschwanstein.

Ludwig was looking forward to holding competitions that would bring contestants from around Germany to sing ballads and medieval lieder.

Sort of ...  "Wagnerian Idol"





The Throne Hall.  Designed in the Byzantine style. The throne itself is one of the items that was abruptly cancelled. No Throne.

The figures standing between the palm trees in the fresco are the Six Sanctified Kings — European kings who had been made saints: Edward the Confessor of England, Louis IX of France, Henry II of Germany.....

Ludwig may have been thinking that there would some day be a seventh, but he didn't have the presumption to leave himself a space between the palms.







A mural in the King's Dressing Room, showing scenes from Der Meistersingers.








  The view from the balcony of the Throne Hall [this one's my own photo], looking north over the lakes Alpsee and Schwansee.  





Late in the afternoon, leaving the castle behind as I head north towards Munich.  





























Patriotischkuh  [patriotic cow]






June 13 at Starnberg, a very high-end lakeside suburb south of Munich.  There  was almost no access to the lakefront.  All taken up by villas and resorts.  Lots of barbed wire and gated driveways.
A shrine, in the Bavarian style, on the road to Munich  














Let's start another page. Call it "Bavaria, Part 2"