As we headed back to Munich, we drove along Austria’s beautiful Plansee Lake. So beautiful in fact, that it deserved an unplanned stop for an early lunch and some time to play.
From there, it was a short, winding drive to Linderhof Palace – a grand, yet small-in-comparison, estate of “Mad” King Ludwig. It was to be a short pit-stop, yet we were all thoroughly impressed. I think the girls would like to live in a palace, with grounds such as these to run and explore in…and could you really ask for a more beautiful setting?
A bit further on, we stopped ever-so briefly to capture an image of the stunning Ettal Monastery, set in the hills.
Ah, Munich…a city that Brett and I love and have been looking forward to returning to. Yet, after seeing so much natural beauty, arriving in Munich (during rush-hour, no less) had us a bit disenchanted at first..
It didn’t help that our accommodations this time were slightly disappointing, only due to the fact that I missed our book’s description of the area south of the train station being a bit seedy. I guess if you are going to run a hotel in a rather run-down area, why not fill it with hearts and cherubs!? Although street noise at night was a bit of a problem (for me!) our room was delightful, as was breakfast, and the staff at Hotel Monaco was pleasant and helpful.
And yes, we still love Munich!
We decided to visit the Residenz, a museum of Bavaria’s royal past. The audio guides are included with entry, and I know one particular 6-year-old who would have listened to every description had we had the time. Highlights – the magnificent jewels, the Antiquarium and the All Saint’s Chapel, which was greatly damaged in World War II and only reopened in 2003.
We met up with some friends from Seattle, who are currently living in Munich – a work colleague of Brett’s who moved his family to Munich about a year before we moved to Denmark. The girls enjoyed having other kids to play with and it was nice to swap stories and compare German and Danish culture, which actually has many similarities. We had ice-cream, walked through the English garden (where we had to watch the river surfers, of course) and dinner at the Chinese Tower Beer Garden.
Our last day in Germany was spent walking through Munich on tired feet. We put together a picnic lunch at Viktualienmarkt and stopped as many times as possible, spoiling ourselves with ice-cream, kuchen and yes, even a stop at Starbucks, at which point Matea announced she was homesick. Since we were sitting inside a Starbucks, I assume she meant for Seattle. I have to admit, Starbucks has that effect of me as well.
And just like that, it was “Auf Wiedersehen” Germany and we were on a short flight back to Denmark, where school was about to begin!