"Voyage, travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind." - Seneca
Day 6 - 7 Reutte, Austria
Our drive to Austria was beautiful. The Sound of Music was filmed close by in Salzburg so you can imagine how scenic it was. Tall mountains sprang up as we drove down the road. They contrasted with the lovely green valleys where sheep and cows grazed. The alpine houses had more overflowing window boxes for me to admire. It was so nice just to look at the scenery and not to have to drive, navigate through unfamiliar territory or try to read the foreign signs. Since rain was predicted for the next day, we stopped for a luge ride. While it was not quite an Olympic-worthy luge, it was a fun break to ride down the luge and gaze up at the mountains. Afterwards, we headed to our hotel in Reutte. We had our afternoon wine break on the deck of the hotel which overlooked a field with some grazing sheep. The sheep treated us to a concert of their tinkling bells.
We had a delicious dinner at the hotel and a hearty breakfast the next morning, then it was off to see some castles. The first castle we toured was Neuschwanstein constructed in the late 1860s by Mad King Ludwig who died mysteriously at age 41. Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella's castle and has a fairy-tale quality inside as well. There are interesting murals on the walls and ceilings, a simulated cave, and a beautiful music room. During WWII the Nazis stored stolen artwork there. While we were touring the castle, our guide Martin got us a nice picnic lunch and then it was on to castle number 2, Hohenschwangau, which was built by Mad King Ludwig's father.
On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Wieskirche, a beautiful church in the countryside. (I hope I'm not overusing the word "beautiful" but I can't help it.) It was listed as the 65th most beautiful church in Europe. The church was built after it was reported that a wood carved statue of Jesus Christ was said to have had tears on it. The church was very ornate with carvings and paintings adorning the inside. Throughout the tour, Martin pointed out the different styles of churches and the significance of the various steeple forms. His insights added to our appreciation and observation of these architectural wonders.
ON GETTING INSPIRED!
There is so much history in this part of the world! We've walked on cobblestone streets from the 1200s, been to churches older than anything in the US, toured significant sites from WW II, and gazed up at ancient castles while we floated down the Rhine. We've heard stories about Mad King Ludwig, about how a US government official saved Rothenburg in WW II, and about what everyday life was like during the medieval age. Just makes you want to read and learn more about so many interesting people and periods. HOWARD'S READ: A Higher Call. BARB"S READ: The Book Thief.
- Mountains and valleys
- Luge ride
- Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles
- Visit to Wieskirche