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21st October 2016
German Roadtrip, Part 1
After Oktoberfest we embarked on our epic road trip through the Bavarian countryside.
With a lot to see and only a weekend to see it in, we hopped into our new Batmobile and sped off into our adventure.
Flying down the Autobahn (no speed limit, a bucket list must for the driving obsessed!) to Oberammergau.
Stopping off at Ettal Abbey along the way.
We weren’t the only ones.
If you’re wandering what he’s gesturing at, just look at this…
Quite simply the most opulent and jaw droppingly beautiful church I’ve ever visited.
Impossible to resist, you just have to take a pew, lean back and take it all in.
The Abbey (then much smaller and simpler) was founded in 1330 by King Ludwig the Bavarian, but was destroyed by fire in the 1700s.
Swiss born architect Enrico Zuccalli was responsible for it’s spectacular rebuilding, and the newly glittering baroque church became a main point of pilgrimage in Bavaria.
A phoenix, rising from the ashes.
Proof, if ever it were needed, that even when you think everything is over and you’ve lost… you’re really only just beginning.
We lit candles for those we wish were with us, and those we don’t even know.
And headed out in search of strudel.
Dusty pink jumper dress (<£20 also comes in black and cream)
Pink Chanel bag
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What Ettal village lacks in size, it makes up for in Strudel.
Be sure to stop by the bakery for a slice.
Caffinated and ready to roll, we jumped back in the car and onto our next stop.
Get it, we’ve got so much more to see!
Speeding through landscapes that look like paintings.
Not a terribly long way, just over to Oberammergau.
The town of fairytale houses.
Or literary if you will.
The houses are painted with Bavarian fairytales and stories.
Of all the frescos or “Lüftlmalerei”, my favourite was the school house painted with the tale of Hansel & Gretel.
The town is surprisingly large, with what feels like hundreds of little woodworking shops and a smattering of cafés.
Hoo you lookin’ at?
Right in the centre of town you’ll find the shop of dreams.
A cuckoo christmas shop.
Entirely dedicated to hooting clocks and festive ornaments.
It smells like pine, sawdust, cinnamon and paint.
We chose a table outside a traditional little restaurant for lunch, and watched the world go by.
Vegetarians, skip down a bit.
Meat eaters, you’re going to love Bavaria.
Schnitzel, slow cooked pork in gravy with some of the best crackling I’ve ever eaten, dumplings, spatzle (a sort of wiggly mac n cheese) and my favourite, sauerkraut*.
*Sauerkraut, I’ll have you know is one of the best foods you can eat. A great deal of emotional and mental heath is linked to your gut, if you have an unhealthy digestive system it can lead to depression, health problems and all sorts of misery. Your gut and your mind are inextricably linked, in fact the gut is often called “The Second Brain”. Sauerkraut, that humble little dish, is actually better for your gut than any pro-biotic drink or yogurt you can buy. Full of lactobacillus bacteria it’s wonderful for healthy flora in your intestines, it helps your immune system, levels out digestive problems, great to help avoid bowel cancers, and can even make you happier. I could go on about this forever, but if you’re interested do some reading up. If you’re happy to take my word for it, you can get huge jars of the stuff for about £1 in the Polish/German section of your supermarket. Or make it yourself.
Now, back to Bavaria!
We continued on our way (well, ten minutes out of our way actually, but a worthy detour) and stopped off at Schloss Linderhof.
Built by “Mad King Ludwig II” (more on him in my next post) as his own mini tribute to Versailles.
A country palace nestled like the jewel in a crown, among the most beautiful gardens.
Though inside is where Ludwig’s eye for detail really shines.
And I mean shines…
The palace drips with gold, precious stones and priceless antiques.
Obsessed with Versailles and King Louis, Ludwig almost bankrupted the Kingdom of Bavaria with his quest for outlandish perfection.
Just look at those wall panels, they’re plush velvet embroidered with heavy gold silk.
He commissioned hand painted porcelain chandeliers for all of his castles, and insisted the casts be destroyed after each one was made.
Ensuring that each was truly one of a kind.
The frescos on the ceiling are also quite unique to Bavaria. Below you can see a cherub has escaped from the painting and has come to life in the plasterwork.
The woman’s foot dangles into the room below, casting a shadow onto the roof, while the folds of her dress continue seamlessly.
The effect is quite breathtaking. Just look again at the detail in the roses surrounding her.
Sorry if this is all a bit in depth. I’m sure there’s a good chance you’re feeling like this right now…
So we’ll move on!
Out into the Bavarian countryside and onto our hotel for the night.
Keen to wake up early the next day and get to our first proper fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein, I had hoped to stay here.
But seeing as we booked our trip all of 2 days in advance, it was fully booked. So we opted for the village of Ludwigstrasse.
Which, although still quite a way away was en route and turned out to be remarkably charming!
Painted in the classic Bavarian style, pastel colours and biblical scenes.
Staying at The Atlas Hotel, we tucked the car in for the night and went out for sausage and schnitzel.
Pop back for the next chapter on Monday.
In the meantime, go and build your own i8 and choose a colour, ours is matte black and I’m utterly besotted.
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