Thursday, July 19, 2012

Expectations and The Alps

We spent the most magnificent day in the Bavarian Alps last Saturday. I feel it necessary to tell you, however, that the day did not start out magnificent at all. In fact, there were many tears and some mild cursing.

Allow me to elaborate.

Steven met Kasey and I in Munich on Friday with the intention of finally exploring this city in Southern Germany. We wanted to spend a full day exploring Munich and then spend another full day visiting the famed castle Neuschwanstein (AKA Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle.) This was a castle I'd wanted to visit since my early childhood, so I felt like my childhood dreams were being realized as we drove through the gorgeous German countryside to our destination.

Well, here's this for a childhood dream:

It was covered from top to bottom in scaffolding.
In the middle of high-tourist season.
I mean, really?!

I'd known that it'd been covered in scaffolding during the winter time, but the thought never even occurred to me once that they would leave it up through the summer, when hundreds of people visit the castle each day. I was furious and started crying. I'll blame it on PMS, but I was seriously so upset I could not hold back my tears. It just hurts when you wait to see something your whole life with such high expectations and you're let down. It didn't help that it was gray, rainy and cold and I'd forgotten my jacket at the hostel. I was shivering and angry about the fact that the line to buy tickets to see the castle, even with it's ugly construction, was forty minutes long...and I had pretty much written off the day as completely ruined (Hooray hormone induced over-dramatics!) Ever positive, my husband suggested we checked out this lake we'd passed on our way to the castle instead. I was feeling pretty indifferent, but thought eh, why not? And we got back in the car and backtracked ten or so minutes to Bannwaldsee, a beautiful lake with a campground on one of its banks.

The area was beautiful, and as we walked around my mood had begun to lighten. The weather had started to lighten up, too, the clouds retreating and the sun warming us up considerably. We were struck with the idea simultaneously that we should pick up a picnic lunch of rolls, sandwich meat, fruit, potato chips and chocolate for desert at the little camp ground quick shop and then rent a paddle boat to take out onto the lake.

Crazy Germans swimming in 65 degree weather. 

We were out on the lake for hours, enjoying the newly shining sun and the AMAZING 
three hundred and sixty degree panorama of gorgeousness we were provided from the center of the water. 

 The paddle boat was much bigger than normal ones, with a "deck" of sorts in the back where we could lay out, enjoy our picnic lunch and take naps while soaking up the sun. It was a little too chilly for my taste, but not uncomfortable. I would love to come back during a very hot summer, it would be so fun to jump off of the boat and swim! 

Believe it or not, I am grateful that Neuschwanstein was covered in scaffolding. Even though we did not have the day I expected to have, I think we had more fun sunbathing out on a lake with a view of the Bavarian Alps than we would have touring the castle with audio guides, no matter how big or beautiful it may be. That's how it is with life, isn't it? You expect one thing and are often handed another; the way you approach said change of plans will determine whether you're happy with it or not.

I'm glad I got over my disappointment and allowed myself to enjoy the simplicity of the day, even if it's not what I had planned or expected.

And P.S. Doesn't it look like an ad for hot chocholate or something?


mizhenka said...

Oh, no! I have always wished to see Neuschwanstein, and I'd be gutted if I saw that. When I visited Kyiv, I was looking forward to seeing the Lenin statue and that was covered up, too. It's not like you can just pop back next weekend, is it.

Lisa said...

I so know what you mean. I had traveled for hours from South Africa to Florida to visit Disney World. I wanted to see the famous castle....

Now with hindsight had I done some research I would have known that the castle was in fact just a tunnel with mosaic work but in my head I was going to walk through rooms dripping in splendor. There would be chandeliers in the ballroom and silver in the dining room and in Cinderella's room there would be an old fashioned four poster bed with a perfect blue dress hanging against the closet waiting to be put on.

I boo hooed for like an hour after I discovered it was just a tunnel!!!!

I still feel a little twinge of disappointment when the opening credits of Disney movie play and I see the castle.

The joys of traveling!!

OH I do now however research every place I visit to death!!!!

Lindsay Frost said...

I can relate to this post on so many levels! It has happened more than once that scaffolding was covering a sight in foreign country I had longed to see. It has also happened way more than once that I had a hormone related melt down while traveling. Sounds like your husband is a lot like my bf, calm, reasonable, and able to distract you from your meltdowns with a sight you didn't plan on seeing but is equally, if not more exciting than what you planned to see in the first place. That lake looks absolutely stunning! I can't think of a better way to spend a day!

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Kristina said...

Daryl, I totally understand your disappointment about not getting to see the castle you've wanted to visit for such a long time. I, too, am someone who gets easily upset about things not working out the way they are supposed to :D But trust me you didn't miss anything! I've visited the famous castle many more times than I can remember because every visitor from outside of Germany wants to see it. It is beautiful but it's not worth standing in line forever and fighting your way trough the crowded hallways. The picnic at the beautiful lake was definitely the better way to spend your day :)
If you really want to visit one of King Ludwig's castles I would recommend visiting Schloss Linderhof. It's definitely less crowded (but unfortunately still visited by lots of tourists) and much more beautiful. At least in my opinion ;-) It's also surrounded by a wonderful park with a grotto. You should check it out the next time you visit Bavaria!

engquist said...

We visited Neuschwanstein last summer and it was totally by chance. Our horrific travel experience booted us out Italy in a hot second and to a charming inn just on the Austrian side of the border. That said, when we did get to the castle, I had the cold to end all colds and it was raining like it had never rained before. I may or may not have moped all the way up the hill. It was rather pathetic, but in my defense, I couldn't breathe through all of the snot stuck in my head. Glad you got to experience something off the beaten path though! (And if you want some serious summer, you are more than welcome to mine! sheesh!)

hannah said...

You can't really complain because a historical building is covered in scaffolding. Would you rather it fell down on your head?

Nicole Marie said...

sad day about the castle!!

that's so funny, in barcelona in the winter if anyone was ever swimming in the freezing cold sea it was just expected that they were germans hahah

Alex Butts said...

ah I have got to get to that area! You must've been close to Bailey. Super gorgeous! Neuschwanstein was super diappointing for me too. Not much scaffolding during Oktoberfest but the weather was so gloomy it took away all the magic

Mimi Finerty said...

Stunning photographs! Your almost persuading me to come to Germany!

dearsafia said...

Daryl, it looks like you're having the most amazing time. Your photos are brilliant, I'm so jealous haha! Don't worry about the castle though, I'm sure you'll go back another time (though I know that if I was in your position I would feel the same!) You are an avid traveller though :) big hugs.

From Cupcakes, With Love x

Heather said...

That's too bad that it was all covered up, but I think if you stay in Germany long enough, you'll make it there again. I've been there three times in the last... year and eight months. So, it's not too hard to do. The last trip I didn't even take the tour, I just let my friends go in while I sat with a book, a pretzel, and a beer while I enjoyed the gorgeous view across the countryside. You'll get there again, and it won't always be covered up... don't worry!

Brhea {NoPlaceLykeHome} said...

Your photos are gorgeous. I love the day at the lake shot, really puts the viewer in the setting.

I am excited to follow along!

Lani said...

Oh, no! That really is too bad. I'm glad you made the most of the situation and had a wonderful day on a beautiful lake with friends. Hopefully, it's those memories that you will remember years from now. =) Plus, you've just prevented your readers from experiencing the same disappointment (I'll be in Germany next month & Neuschwanstein was on my radar). I hope your next visit will be better than you imagined!

The Braided Bandit said...

Ugh, sorry about the castle, I totally get upset when what is supposed to happen doesn't! Can't believe it was SO covered! But at least, from the pictures, you got see lots and lots of beauty still after that!

Giovanna said...

Oh wow! I cannot believe the scaffolding is covering the entire castle! I would be so upset too! But, your other photos are beautiful! Such a great place to explore! Glad your day turned into a positive one!


Giovanna said...

Oh wow! I cannot believe the scaffolding is covering the entire castle! I would be so upset too! But, your other photos are beautiful! Such a great place to explore! Glad your day turned into a positive one!


Veralynn said...

These pictures have my heart longing for Bavaria! I lived there in 2008 and it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my 22 year life, besides getting married and becoming a mama! I'm so jealous but thank you so much for sharing these photos...and I'm sorry about Neuschwanstein...what a disappointment!


eef said...

oh man, i hate when places are being worked on... that's the story of a lot of my travels. the parthenon was covered in scaffolding when i went! the hagia sophia had scaffolding in the middle (inside) ruining most photos... i know they have to do maintenance, but it seems like i was almost always hitting the times when sites were being worked on!

Joslin said...

What a bummer! I went to see visit last November and only one of the smaller sides was covered up. I can't believe they wouldn't work in sections so visitors can get at least one pretty angle to view it! I'm glad you were able to somewhat salvage the trip by visiting the lake. It looks GORGEOUS!

Casey said...

I literally just blogged about this a few days ago!!! I was so disappointed at all the mist, fog, AND scaffolding hovering over Neuschwanstein when we went to visit with my family in May. I wanted to cry!! Linderhof was much more beautiful...from the inside anyway. We're going back in November to TRY to see it covered in snow. Crossing my fingers that turns out to be beautiful!


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