Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Field Trip to the Chiemsee

The train station at Prien am Chiemsee, which translates to "Prien on the Chiemsee"
Last day in Germany.  We are off to a field trip to the Bavarian Sea, the Chiemsee.

The Chiemsee is a large freshwater lake.  In the middle of the lake is an island.  And on the island is a castle.  The castle is yet another castle built by the Walt Disney of Bavarian history, Mad King Ludwig.  Bavaria is downright lousy with castles built by Mad King Ludwig.  And he was deposed (removed from the throne via death) (as opposed to subpoenaed and subject to questioning under oath while a court reporter prepares the transcript), King Ludwig was deposed before he could complete another half dozen or so castles he had planned.

But first, the Haribo Bear!

The Haribo Bear selling delicious sugary snacks to all the good Northern European children
It was a long train ride from Munich so it was time to buy snacks and water.  Sadly, we bought nothing from the Haribo Bear.

We got there just a few seconds too late to take to the tourist train (designed by Mad King Ludwig himself!) from Prien am Chiemsee to the actual Chiemsee.

The train from Prien am Chiemsee
Instead of training it to the lake, we would hoof it.  It was only about a 20 minute hoof.

Going ... going ... 
And when we got there, the train already had pulled in.

The Chiemsee train.  At the Cheimsee.
There are two islands in the Chiemsee to visit.  Herrenchiemsee (a.k.a. "Man Island") and Frauchiemsee (a.k.a. "Woman Island").  There is a now-vacant convent on Frauchiemsee.  There is a Mad King Ludwig castle on Herrenhiemsee.

Castle or convent?  Castle?  Convent?

We chose the boat to Herrenchiemsee.  To the castle!

We're not taking one of these boats
Sister (L). Random photo-bombing stranger(C). B-I-L (R)
Random children staring at Herrenchiemsee 
Another boat pulling into the harbor at Herrenchiemsee
Leo, our Bavarian host and tour guide, standing up and taking pictures 
We arrived at Herrenchiemsee

Disembarking. Which is not called "de-boating," even though if we were on an airplane this would be called "de-planing"
We decide to hoof it to the castle.

No.  Not this kind of "hoofing" it
And after a short walk through the woods ...

Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee
Nueus Schloss Herrenchiemsee!

Straight-on view of Nueus Schloss Herrenchiemsee
The Bavarian Versailles!  This is the castle that Mad King Ludwig designed to be an exact replica knock-off reproduction of King Louis XIV's Versailles Palace in France.  (Mad King Ludwig was such an aficionado of King Louis XIV, a.k.a., "The Sun King," that he called himself the "Moon King," because like Count Dracula and the protagonist in Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime," he slept in the daytime and worked in the nighttime.)

Let's the tour the grounds, shall we?

Fountains (now with castle)
You may ask yourself, why all the pictures of the fountains?  You want to see the castle.  Well, first of all, there are a lot of fountains in the front.  And they look great.  And no photography is allowed inside the castle.  Even non-flash.

So fountains!

There's a real "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" feel to that last fountain decorating frog.  And that's really no accident.  Mad King Ludwig was a bad king.  He bankrupted his country on his castle-building spree.  His Bavarian Versailles, Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee, was severely unfinished (only 20 of 70 rooms finished) when he ran out of money and, more finally, ran out of reign.  And while he was a lousy king, we would have a made a great Disney imagineer.  His castle have a real Disney feel to them.  And it's no accident that his castles, especially Neuschwanstein, were so inspirational in the design of Cinderella's Castle in Disneyland and Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyworld (or is it vice versa?).  And the Excalibur Las Vegas!

So it was time to leave Herrenchiemsee.

Last view from the island of the lake
Time to take the boat back to the mainland.

I took about 50 of these seagull shots.  This is the one that came out.  Thank God for digital photography.
Then it was time for our last supper in Bavarian Germany.

A salad!  Contrary to what some may think, Germans do serve and eat vegetables.
Salad.  Grilled saibling (in English, "char") served on a bed of vegetables.  And potatoes.

Saibling (char) resting comfortably on a bed of grilled vegetables. Comfy!
And so the appetizer course for this three-country trip has now been devoured.  Tomorrow it will be onto the main course, Croatia, with Slovenia being served up next weekend for dessert.

Gute nacht and auf weidersehen, Germany

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