In Stuttgart we visited the Porsche Museum. Carl and the kids had really wanted to visit the factory, but it is closed for factory tours in August, so we settled for visiting the Museum. The building is absolutely incredible - very modern. And inside were more Porsche's than you can imagine - everything from the first Porsche ever built to race cars and current models. After the museum, we spent a few hours walking around the Schillerplatz seeing the Altes Schloss and Neus Schloss. The gardens were lovely.
The next day we spent driving through the Black Forest. The views were spectacular!!!! We stopped in Triberg and had lunch and visited several cuckoo shop clocks. Of course, the ones I liked were extremely expensive, so all we bought was a watch for Christy. It was too bad that it was such a rainy day - some hiking would have been wonderful. After we drove out of the Black Forest our route ended up taking us past Lake Bodensee. We didn't know we were going to see it but Tom Tom took us on a different route than MapQuest had suggested. Despite the rain it was an awesome sight - just miles and miles of lake!! It would be a lovely place to spend more time if the weather were nice.
And then it was on to The Castles - Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Our hotel sat right under Hohenschwangau and our rooms had balconies that looked out on it. From the dining room we could see Neuschwanstein. They were as fabulous as I had hoped. We took a carriage ride up to Neuschwanstein. It is much newer than you would think (built in the late 1800's), and actually had a telephone system built in to it. Most of the rooms in the castle were never even finished. Hohenschwangau, on the other hand, is quite old, with the oldest parts dating back to the 1200's. Between visiting the castles we had a nice lunch of brats and beer in Schwangau at a little beer garden, and walked down to the edge of Lake Alpensee.
And from there it was on to Munich. Our first night in Munich we were able to meet up with one of Christy's friends, David Meirose who is co-oping in Munich and eat dinner at the Hofbrauhaus. I'm not sure I have ever drank such a large beer before! We spent the next day seeing the Glockenspiel and the rest of the sights in downtown Munich in the old city before dropping Christy off at the hotel where she was going to stay since she was spending the week after we left seeing Munich, Innsbruck, and Berchtesgaden with David. I would have loved to have had more time in Munich. But all good things must come to an end, and it was off to Frankfurt for Carl, Sean and I to catch our plane home.
It was a fabulous, once in a lifetime trip! And someday I hope to be able to return to Europe to see more!!!
The first picture is of Carl at the Porsche Museum in front of the model of Porsche he used to have. The second picture is in Triberg, and the third is of Lake Bodensee. The fourth is of Christy and Sean on the Marienbrucke bridge with Neuschwanstein in the background, and the last is the Glockenspeil at the Neus Rathaus in Munich.