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Journal Entries
Day 1 - Travel
Day 2 - London
Day 3 - London
Day 4 - Brussels
Day 5 - Brugse
Day 6 - E. Belgium
Day 7 - S. Belgium
Day 8 - Lucern
Day 9 - Munich
Day 10 - Fussen
Day 11 - Aying
Day 12 - Salzburg
Day 13 - Czech Rep.
Day 14 - Czech Rep.
Day 15 - Prague
Day 16 - Travel
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Tasting Notes

 
Doug and Mike's 1999 Drunken European Adventure

 
So many biergartens, so little time. Doug & Mike's Drunken Europe Trip '99
 
   
Lake Alpsee at the foot of the mountains where King Ludwig's castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
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We are getting used to running for trains. Weíre not saying we enjoy it, weíre saying weíre getting used to it. After a 2-hour ride to Fussen, we toured Schloss Hohenschwangau. If you are keeping up with our escapades, you know our feelings on stairs. We still feel the same way. Today we took it easy with only a 303-step day, but that was quite enough.

The Hohenschwangau palace was built on the remains of the medieval structure Schwanstein between 1833 and 1837 at the request of Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria. The palace became the summer/hunting palace of the royal Wittelsbach family, where they frequently hosted activities such as magnificent tournaments of knights, bonfires on the mountains that were visible from miles away and hikes in the mountains. Everything in the palace was orchestrated to form a harmonious whole, as designed by Domenico Quaglio, who was Maximilianís art teacher. The inside walls of the palace are painted with over 90 murals, which depict a different story in each room. The cost for the "harmonious whole" was budgeted to be 12,000 guilders, but the finished product well exceeded 100,000 guilders. The result is one of the most stunning examples of a monument from the Romantic Age. Some of the highlights of the tour include, first and foremost, the scenery. Stunning views of the mountains and Lake Alpsee from just about everywhere you looked. Second were the impressive murals and the furniture, which, in order to carry out the harmony, they matched fabric color to paint colors. The oddest thing on display was a loaf of bread from 1891 that was a gift from the Volga Germans to the Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria. It was considered hospitable to bring bread and salt as a gift when you visited. On the tour they said they have to change the salt every so often because of humidity, but the bread was original. People preserve the oddest things. Also of note, the famous composer Richard Wagner spent much time in Hohenschwangau as a friend of King Ludwig II, and it was from the murals painted in this palace that he drew his inspiration for his "ring" cycle of operas. They rush you through the tours, and really donít want you to touch anything inside, so we spent a great deal of the afternoon outside wandering around the mountain paths and Lake Alpsee. If youíve seen a postcard, of German Alps, it came from this location. Itís the perfect place... even with the stairs.

The afternoon and evening was spent hopping (later the hop developed into a more pronounced stagger) from beer garden to beer garden around Munich and the surrounding areas. We learned that it is better to just ask for the English menu, and donít even try to speak German. They understand English much better than we understand anything we say in German. We hit 4 new beer gardens today, with some shopping in between. Check out the beer reviews for more details. Tomorrow on to Aying, and more beer. We may have to float home. Note: We actually had connectivity for 2 nights in a row!!!


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