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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Munich, Germany: Festivals, Towers and Fairytale Castles

One of the best parts of our visit to Germany was going on double dates with our German friends Matthias and Clara. On our first official "date," they took us to the Olympiazetrum to attend a huge food festival and tour the Olympic park. However, the U-bahn stop for the food festival also happened to be right next to the BMW museum. Quite "convenient" for our sneaky men, wasn't it? So, naturally, we pushed dinner back a couple hours to let the boys do their thing. And I must admit, we girls loved it too!
Although, we were mostly just into the pretty-looking cars and AMAZING bathrooms (seriously, you should go just to see those), and our engineers were all about the engines, horsepower and other technical things men gravitate toward. You know how it is.
Once they'd had their fill of Beamers, it was off to dinner. Twice a year, for two weeks at a time, Munich hosts a festival the size of a county fair just for food. It had a cool atmosphere, live bands, and booths with selections from all around the world. We went with the doner kebabs and nearly died and went to heaven in the process.
Then we were off to the Olympic Tower, built for the 1972 Summer Olympics. It is 290m tall (close to 1000 feet, if my 3rd-grade math is correct) and gives an amazing view of the city.
See what I mean? It's beautiful up there. You can see red rooftops and lush green trees for miles and miles.
Another double date took us to Herrenchiemsee, a beautiful castle built by the crazy King Ludwig on an island in the middle of a lake. I'd wanted to go to Neuschwanstein (the one that Cinderella's castle is patterned after) but the other three had already been and Herrenchiemsee sounded like an excellent alternative. We rode a ferry to the magical little island and enjoyed the gorgeous view along the way. No wonder the king wanted a vacation home there!
Once on the island, we set out searching for the castle. (You think they'd have it marked a little better, but they don't! Just lots of pretty little trails and pathways.) First, we found the "Old Palace." Apparently Ludwig didn't think the castle of his childhood was good enough and thus had to build a new one on the same island. Yeah, I told you he was crazy. Pretty sure I'd take that old one any day!
So it was off again in search of the King's castle. Turns out it is about a mile away from the dock through a beautiful forest. 'Twas a lovely walk, indeed.
And then we arrived. King Ludwig was a relative of King Louis XIV and thus built Herrenchiemsee to be a bigger and better version of Versailles. (You thought you recognized the exterior, didn't you?) Unfortunately, he died before it was completed but what he did finish is incredible.
We waited patiently for our tour time and then went inside. Oh my goodness, it was GORGEOUS in there! And quite advanced for its time, as well. Of course, pictures weren't allowed so this snapshot of our ticket will have to suffice. Imagine that times 100, mmmk?
After the tour, we ventured back into the courtyard, where Matt was tempted to dive in and swim with the frogs. I didn't blame him; it was 95 degrees and insanely humid that day.
So pretty, right? We took our time and enjoyed the island up until the very last minute when the last ferry of the day was set to leave. It was such a great afternoon!
And want to hear the best part? We have double dates scheduled with Matthias and Clara here in Southern California in less than a month. Woohoo!


  1. OMG! that is so so cool. :) I'm so happy for you! seems like you had a wonderful trip!!!!!

  2. Don't know how I stumbled onto you blog. But seeing all these pics makes me miss Germany! Looks as if you had a fab time in Deutschland & Europa!

  3. Wow, so amazing! As usual your pictures are gorgeous and make me want to plan a trip to Europe asap. Also seeing pictures of you and Clara makes me see how German we Grafs look. Kind of fun! That castle was amazing! The picture of you two kissing in front was really cute.

    I am loving these Europe posts, even if they're late! I'm so happy you're doing them!

  4. I am so jealous of your fab trip to Europe. Every post just makes it sound better and better!

  5. Ooooh, those pictures are reminding me of such a great time!!! I´m looking forward to more californian double dates!!!Love Clara

  6. Clara! I'm looking forward to them, too! Just SEVEN more days!!!

    And thanks, ladies, for your sweet comments! It's easy to make Europe sound and look good, I think :-)


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