Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's June......how did that happen?

Where on earth is this year flying to? I can hardly believe that 5 months have gone by since I wrote on this here blog! I'm sooo bad, I know.  I have a hard time dealing with the winter months. I just want to hiberbate and I'm not motivated to do anything. It's getting worse the older I'm getting, so I have to figure out how to manage my "winter moods" better next year. I know I'm going to have to take more vitamins and force myself to get out of the house. I never had any problems when we lived in Basel-Land as the winters were very mild and we nearly always had sunshine but here in St. Gallen the winters are hard and long. You know, I could very easily live in a climate that has a constant 20-22 °C!

But I promise I will be better in the future. I feel that I have my blog mojo back and am ready to fill these pages with my "stuff".

From May 28th until June 5th my mum and sister, Barbara came to visit. We had a lovely time and even managed to do some sightseeing. We went to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany and Melissa even managed to free some time that she could come with us. The weather was fantastic and the castle fresh out of a fairy tale. They used this castle for the exterior flying shots in the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Don't you just love that film? Although I was pretty scared of the child catcher when I was a kid!:)
The view up to the castle from the village of Hohenschwangau
Isn't it beautiful?

We took a bus from Hohenschwangau to get up to the Marienbrücke, the bridge we are standing on to take some photos of the fairytale castle.
Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge.
Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.Sadly, the castle was never completed. The King only managed to complete the first and upper first (kitchen and servants quarters) third and fourth (apartments and state rooms of the King) floors. He died before the could finish the second floor, which was to house his guests. It now houses a gift shop, a cafeteria  and a mutlimedia room.

He built the castle in honour of the composer, Richard Wagner, to whom he wrote:

«It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day (in 3 years); there will be several cosy, habitable guest rooms with a splendid view of the noble Säuling, the mountains of Tyrol and far across the plain; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world. It will also remind you of "Tannhäuser" (Singers' Hall with a view of the castle in the background), "Lohengrin'" (castle courtyard, open corridor, path to the chapel); this castle will be in every way more beautiful and habitable than Hohenschwangau further down, which is desecrated every year by the prose of my mother; they will take revenge, the desecrated gods, and come to live with Us on the lofty heights, breathing the air of heaven».

The entrance to the castle

You can only visit the castle with a guided tour (English and German) and the admission is 12 euros. (If you speak another language then you have the possibility to listen to the tour with a headset).

Looking out to the Marienbrücke
The view from the castle looking down on the village of Hohenschwangau and its castle
As we took the bus up we decided to take the horse and carriage back down

We were at the castle for four hours and it went by really quickly. The journey back home to Speicherschwendi took us two hours and I decided to see how fast our little Mazda 2 could move! I managed to get her to 175 km/h - not bad for a 1.3 litre engine!
When we got home we got the kids together (they'd had school that day) and mum and we went to the cinema to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was a busy but fun day!

More to come about our trip to Insel Mainau on my next entry.

Until then.....