Selfies…

I have never been much for selfies. My arms aren’t long enough and my nose always looks too big!  But I decided to go for it on this trip and Steve went with me…

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I’ve decided that the key is to get over yourself. No one has long enough arms.

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Also, it takes some manual dexterity to take a selfie with one hand. I’m not always successful, but I’m better than Steve who was not remotely interested in taking them.

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I also decided that you only need so many selfies. We did not overdo it.

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Jeff surprised us all by coming prepared with a telescoping selfie stick. He acknowledged that if that had been my idea, he would never have gone along but we were all glad he had it. You can fit 4 people and scenery into the frame if you can move the phone far enough away :-).

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Hiking at Kampenwand…

We took the S-Bahn (smaller train) to Kampenwand. It is a ski resort in the winter and a hiking spot in summer. There is a gondola to take you up the side of the mountain.

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You can hike to the top of the rocks, but we didn’t. We did hike to the Biergarten that is very near there.

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It wasn’t a hard hike.

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Along the way we watched para gliders taking off. There were lots of them flying around.

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There were cows! Actually, there are a lot of cows in Bavaria and they look somehow different from the cows I’m used to seeing.

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There is a small church…

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From this spot you can see another trail that takes you to a different high spot that overlooks the valley below. We decided to hike down and then up that little trail that you see in the next photo.

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Steve and I are still working on perfecting our selfies :-).

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There are several places to hike in Bavaria and I’m glad that Celia and Jeff planned this into the trip!

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Visiting Andechs…

From Wikipedia: “The Benedictine priory and erstwhile abbey of Andechs is a place of pilgrimage on a hill east of the Ammersee in the Landkreis of Starnberg (Upper Bavaria) in Germany, in the municipality Andechs. Andechs Abbey is famed for its flamboyant Baroque church (1712) and its brewery. Composer Carl Orff is buried in the church. The abbey runs a brewery, Klosterbrauerei Andechs.”

Just to be clear, we went for the beer. But first we stopped by Ammersee (Lake Ammer).

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These little boys braved the cold water for a swim:

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It was hot in the sunshine so we rode the bus up to the Andechs Abbey where you can see the church and grounds.

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This monk was waiting for a wedding to begin…

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I looked close and saw this photo, tucked behind Jesus’s feet on the cross.

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Building detail from the Abbey grounds…

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Next to the Abbey is a Biergarten where you can buy beer, sausage, cheese, and more.

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I haven’t said much about the sausage and beer. It was good but I’m happy to wait a while before I eat more sausage. The countryside around the Abbey is lush and green. In fact, the Bavaria is pretty much all lush and green at this time of year.

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One of the other things I noticed as we traveled around Bavaria is that most of the roofs, especially outside of Munich and Salzburg, have tile roofs. Even the barns have tile roofs!

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Amazingly enough, I have more pictures to share with you, but I’ll post them tomorrow.

More Photos from Sazlburg…

We got up early and walked more of Salzburg on our second morning. If you go, know that you can spend a lot more time in Salzburg and still not see it all. Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace and we didn’t go into any of the Mozart-related places. There just wasn’t time. We did walk the square and streets around those places.

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St. Peter’s Cemetery is lovely. In fact, all of the the cemeteries we visited on this trip were places I would be happy to be buried (except that I prefer cremation but that’s a story for another day). Each plot is like a garden and because there are many names on most of the plot markers, it appears that people are buried in layers.

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Even though the marker above is a little creepy, it is an arresting image. The marker below is a bit more restful.

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We walked and walked and after a while I got a little lost. It was good that Jeff was keeping up with where we were going.

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Fountain detail.

It is an uphill walk to the Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria von Trapp of Sound of Music fame was a postulant before deciding not to become a nun. This is the cemetery outside of the church.

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The views from each of the high places we visited were different.

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We shopped at a street fair…

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…had a bit of lunch and headed back to Munich on the train. More after the 4th of July holiday.

Photos from Salzburg…

We took the subway (the U-Bahn) to the main train station (the Hauptbahnhof) where we caught a train to Salzburg. Jeff navigated the subway and train systems for us. He and Celia both are from NYC and it didn’t take long for them to figure it out. It took Steve and I a bit longer.

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Salzburg is beautiful. The old part of the city, called Getreidegasse, is overlooked by the Hehensalzburg Fortress. It is easy to spot from just about anywhere in the city. I took the next photo from the Mirabell Palace Garden.

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We were only in Salzburg for 1 1/2 days. We walked through the Mirabell Garden on our way to the hotel. We (and just about everyone else) took pictures, with both cameras and iPhones. But I have to say that it’s an eye-opener to see so many people ignoring what’s right in front of them in favor of their device. I try not to do that so much.

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Our hotel, the Blaue Gans Arthotel (which was truly wonderful!), is on this street:

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The business signs are much like the decorations you see on Bavarian maypoles, but bigger and fancier. The blue goose (blaue gans) is the sign for our hotel.

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After checking in, we went up to the cafe at the Museum of Modern Art which is located at the top of Mount Mönchsberg. The views are spectacular! That’s the Fortress in the distance.

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The structures and vehicles almost look like toys.

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More tomorrow…

Photos from Munich…

I could be just like that person back in the day who would show hundreds of slides from their vacation to unlucky and completely bored family and friends. I did, indeed, take nearly 1,000 pictures but many were deleted and I promise to only show the best or most representative images.

This is a Maypole:

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This one is from outside of Munich, but you can find maypoles all over Bavaria (the southern region in Germany). Click here to read more about the tradition but what I learned from Mario, our tour guide to Neuschwanstein, is that every community has a maypole and they are usually painted in blue or blue and white (the colors of Bavaria). The decorations on the maypole represent different guilds, businesses, or organizations in the town.

One thing I noticed right away, and kept appreciating, is that Germany is clean and tidy. You often have to pay to use public restrooms, but that money pays for people who are there to clean after every use. Let me just say that it was really nice. I notice in looking back at pictures of the city that the streets are clear of trash. Maybe I was just in the nice parts?

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The other thing that hit me is just how new America is. It was not unusual to see buildings dated to the 1300 or 1400s and there were many older than that. Columbus didn’t get here until 1492!* Many buildings were destroyed in WW2, but much that is old remains, and we took pictures of it :-).

*UPDATE: Marty commented that there were people and civilizations in North America before Columbus arrived and of course that is true. I should have been more specific. I meant that the architecture that I saw in Germany was not also in America at the same time. The peoples that lived here did not build these sorts of structures or, if they did, I’ve never seen any. Columbus came to mind because of the dates on the buildings and it is a pretty simple historical reference point.

I might also add the Neuschwanstein Castle was built around the time of our Civil War.

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This tall building in the photo below is the Rathaus (New Town Hall). The famous Glockenspiel is located in the center front of the tower. Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures and we were never there when it ran. (FYI: a glockenspiel is a musical instrument that has a line of flat metal bars of different sizes that are hit with two special sticks. I had to look that up.)

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I could show you many more photos of lovely old buildings, but then I’d be that person who never knows when to quit with the pictures :-).

We visited gardens! These photos are from the English Garden in Munich.

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This is a huge park. We were there on a sunny, warm day. It has been a cool and wet spring in Bavaria so there were lots of people out enjoying the park.

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I’ll post more tomorrow.