This morning we mapped out our route to Salzburg with a stop at Chiemsee (pronounced Keemsay… “see” means lake, by the way) to see a castle. We had long detailed instructions written out from google maps because we didn’t know how to work the navigation in the car 🙂 Conveniently we had Angie in the car to be the navigator. This was very helpful because I am a TERRIBLE navigator… partially because of the fact that if I read in the car I throw up! Let’s be honest though… part of the reason is because I’m directionally challenged… and left/right challenged. When Steve says look to the right, I almost always look to the left. I blame it on being left-handed when I was a kid and being forced to switch…it seems like as good a reason as any 🙂
So we made it to Chiemsee with only a small detour around the town (probably because I chimed in with advice. I need to just be quiet!) We decided to have lunch before we headed out on the boat to the castle and chose the one choice we had… which ended up being pretty good 🙂
After lunch we took the boat over to the island to see Herrenchiemsee. The boat cost about 8 Euros for the return trip each. Remember to keep your ticket if you go…they collect it at the end of the ride back!
We bought tickets for the English tour (10 Euros each) and then walked quite a distance to the castle (maybe 15-20 minutes). You could take a horse and wagon if you liked for a small fee, but we decided to walk. It was scorching hot again. I think about 37 or 38 degrees celsius!
When we got to the castle, which is known as the “New Palace” we had a bit of time to wait before the English tour started, so had a bit of ice cream, admired the grounds and the fountains and then headed in to look at the museum, which is included in your tour ticket.
The Museum was quite interesting, as it showed a lot of things about King Ludwig II’s life. Although most was in German, I was seeing some links to the things we had seen in Vienna on our tour and at the Treasury.
One of my favourite displays was when we found a replica of the King’s bedroom… or as I like to call it, “My new bedroom” 🙂
The tour of the castle was fascinating. There were no photos allowed so you’ll just have to trust me on this one 🙂
The guide told some very interesting stories and showed some lavish rooms. I think only about 20 of the 70 rooms were actually finished (at a cost of what would be equivalent to 350 million Euros today!!!), and she said that the King only slept in the royal bedroom for a few nights. His death was untimely… he was only in his 40’s and his death is shrouded in mystery!
He seemed quite eccentric. Although he was engaged at one point, he chose not to get married. He had a “magic table” at this palace. It was on a mechanical lift system that went down one floor, got “magically set with dishes and food” and then was lifted up again. If only I had one of those at my house 😉
He also only had one toilet, for himself of course… is this how the term “throne” was coined??? Apparently everyone else (servants, workers and guests) were just to go out to the woods to relieve themselves!
The entire New Palace was built to be a replica of Versailles as he admired the King of France as a “true king”. It even has a beautiful hall of mirrors like Versailles. They looked like they were having some sort of classical music concert there in the evening. I really wish I was there for that!
After our tour and our boat ride off the island we got back in our cars and headed into Salzburg. Let me just say that Salzburg is not an easy town to find your way around in even though we had very specific instructions. The street signs are not easy to find and are not easy to read. By some crazy stroke of luck we managed to find our hotel. We were literally just pulling over so Angie could turn on her *very expensive* data to google map it, when I saw the sign for our hotel right in front of us. We did not even know we were on the right road!
Then we had to deal with the issue of parking. The hotel says it has parking… but neglected to say… but only some parking… which is very small and tight. We were able to park on the street for the night, and did manage to get into the lot the next morning 🙂
We got ourselves checked in and settled and I had a little rest. Angie, Senne, Dianne and John went out for dinner, and Steve and I headed out a little later as we weren’t really hungry yet. We all ended up eating at the same place which was quite good and had lovely ambience. By the time we got there it was dark and we sat out on the courtyard. There were trees covering the whole patio with little fairy lights strung through the courtyard. It was quite a lovely end to the day!