Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Creepy Castles and Fairy tale Towns on Halloween!!

Mine and Andy's arrival to the first castle on Saturday morning, Oct 31, is shown in the photos below.  The weather was misty and foggy, lending to the day a mysterious, slightly creepy, dark, eerie vibe (aside from the gorgeous fall foliage, which was a fiery explosion of reds, oranges and yellows.  I LOVED this, as autumn is my favorite season).  

Obviously we could not ask for a more fitting Halloween day.  

See the photos below for the lead up to our viewing of Lichtenstein Castle...

Annnnnnd....Lichtenstein Castle.

This castle was absolutely breathtaking.  Possibly the best one I have ever seen in person, within my life thus far.  It had a sort of Lord of the Rings/Avatar look to it, perched on the cliff like so.  And yet, it also felt kind of enigmatic, haunting and just was really beautiful.

After seeing Lichtenstein Castle shrouded in mist and mystery, Andy turned to me and asked, "Want to drive down to Neuschwanstein Castle??"  I lit up in excitement, saying absolutely.  This is one of the most famous castles in the world, and certainly the most famous in Germany.  You all know it as the "Disney" castle.  And it is in fact the very castle that Walt Disney took his inspiration from for the Disney castle symbol.  

However, see the photo below for the real original (which Andy and I decided to drive to):

Sadly, this was not what we saw.  But I will get to that in a bit... ;-)

Upon mine and Andys arrival to Fussen, the town in which the ultra famous Neuschwanstein Castle is situated, this is what we saw.  See the photos below...

My heart cracked a little bit.  The fog rolled in so thick and rapidly that this was literally all we could see.  And when we ventured out towards the area to try and get the incredible view in the photo I showed you guys far above, of the castle in all its glory, we only saw white.  Total foggy whiteout.  My heart cracked a little bit with this disappointment, but we still managed to get some really neat photos in the surrounding woods (as well as enjoyed some Bienenstich cake :-) one of my favorite German desserts).

After seeing Neuschwanstein Castle (or actually, in reality, not seeing it.  And instead, seeing the woods around the castle), we departed from Fussen around 7pm (after dinner) and then drove the 6.5 hours to Cochem, Germany arriving there around 12:30am.  We used my nearly dead phone for GPS.  Neither Andy nor I had cell phone service in this area.  Upon arrival to the hotel, which took us an additional 20 minutes longer then expected because the address the hotel is listed at online is not the actual address of the hotel when using a GPS (when we plugged in the hotel address listed online to the GPS on our cell phone, we were brought to an empty area on the highway with a stone huge wall in front of us, surrounded by a few small houses), we nervously rang the doorbell.

The hotel proprietor of Hotel Winneburg answered the doorbell in a RAGE, asking us, "do you have any idea what time it is!?"  He came downstairs and let us in, raging on and on about how dare we come so late, that we should have called him first, saying how could he have known who was really at the door, and that nearly anywhere else in Germany we would not likely have been let in so late.

We attempted to apologize, telling him our phones had no service in this area, that we had arrived much later then expected, and telling him we hadn't intended for this to happen.

Yet, he wouldn't hear any of it.  He interrupted us in his anger, continuing to rant the same angry points over and over again.  Finally, tried and frustrated myself, I just said, "look, we get it.  Can we just have the room now please?"  He looked at me angrily and then showed us in.

The next morning though, I enjoyed an incredibly tasty breakfast in this little area of the hotel.  The cinnamon raisin toast was just delicious, as well as the hot chocolate.  As were the organic apples he offered us, which the hotel owner had grown himself for his own guests!

The next morning, he was much more cheerful, warm and friendly to us.  We all apologized to one another the next morning.  Though comically, the hotel owner told us "if you had just offered me an apology..."  I thought to myself, we did, but you were in such a rage last night that you literally wouldn't listen to our side of the story, nor our apology.

He chatted with Andy and me and then said something incredibly awesome, which actually made my entire month and took my breath away.  He said "when I looked at the guest list again this morning, I noticed her name" pointing to me.  Then he said, "her name is memorable, so I recognized her on the list, plus I recalled her photo from online.  I know her from the travel blog."

Inside, my heart stopped and I paused, confused and in awe.  However I said nothing in response to his comment, Andy and me finishing up our friendly conversation with the owner.  Once he left our table, I turned to Andy and said, "wait, did he say from the travel blog???"  Andy smiled and said, "yes, he did."  My mouth dropped open, shell shocked.  

Somehow, this man in this tiny town in Cochem, Germany knows about MY blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This made my month.  I was shaking with excitement and joy.  No one has ever referenced it to me before like that, a total stranger.

Granted, I am assuming he likely googled me.  The hotel is somewhat small, so maybe he googles each of his guests...?  Who knows.  But even so, this was INCREDIBLY cool for me.  My writing and this blog have been a great source of joy, happiness, anticipating excitement, creativity and surprise for me.  So this was just...:-D

The gorgeous Hotel Winneburg.

And now, on to photos of the spellbinding Cochem, Germany.  This city was like something out of a dark, bewitching, medieval, fairy tale.  I LOVED it.  The fall foliage made it that much more charming and gorgeous. 

Looks a bit like Edward Scissorhands castle, overlooking the city below ;-)

Walking through and exploring Old Town in Cochem.

Incredibly tasty lunch of fish and schnitzel!!!

And the gorgeous stained glass windows of the inside of the restaurant.

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