Last spring we went camping for a weekend in Bavaria, Germany.
From the moment we told folks we were moving to Germany, people told us we had to go and visit Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein).
It was raining when we stopped there on our way to our camping spot, but that was ok, because we got to stand on the viewing bridge by ourselves.
Usually this overlook is packed with people.
We were soaking wet by the time we got up to it, but still in relatively good spirits.
Most of us.
After the castle we drove to our campground and here is where I have to say that camping in Europe is not always my favorite. I am used to camping in America where the campsites are huge or where you can sometimes backpack to places where you can pitch your tent in the woods or a field or whatever, but the campgrounds in Germany tend to have a couple of fields where tents can set up and they can get super crowded. So we heard folks all night outside our tent. In fact, someone from another tent started yelling at the other folks to shut up. Which they didn’t. Also, to add insult to injury, this arrangement is not cheap. When you camp, you pay per person, so our little patch of green for one night cost us over $60. Yikes.
But the good news is that we found a bakery very close by the next morning so even though I was super sleepy, I had fresh bread and coffee before we went hiking. And oh, the hiking we would do!
Taido had been to Bavaria before so he was excited to take us on this hike that starts with a gorge trail.
The walkway has been cut through tunnels for about two kilometers. Super impressive!
And strangely hard to photograph, but we were all super impressed with Tai for knowing about it and taking us there.
After the gorgeous gorge, the trail opened up and we wandered along a river into the mountains.
Taido had walked this trail in the opposite direction after climbing the Zugspitze a couple of years ago. He had just happened along the Partnach Gorge.
The clouds came and went as we walked through the valley. Just bits of rain here and there.
The spring greens were bright and beautiful.
We reached a little hut by lunch time,
so we stopped for lunch and enjoyed cold drinks and hot noodles.
Along one part of the river were these piles and piles of cairns.
Little monuments to all the hikers who had come through and carefully stacked stone upon stone.
Of course one of us had to add to the cairns, leaving a little Chino mark.
After our gorge and valley hike, we packed up and headed to a new campground that was not quite as crowded as the first.
We did another shorter hike in the evening, and then had a picnic dinner before going to sleep.
The next morning we got up early to pop over to Austria for another climb.
It was supposed to start raining again in the afternoon and we were looking to beat the clouds before starting back to Tübingen.
We were super fortunate with the weather as rain was really predicted for the whole time we were in Bavaria. And while we did have some rain, for the most part we stayed dry while hiking.
We made a quick stop in Munich on our way back, as the boys and I had never been.
We hit the tourist spots.
And walked the city.
It was a little rainy, but not bad, and we stayed just long enough for the boys to get tired of walking around.
It’s crazy to me how they can walk forever in the woods, but they get tired when you drag them to a city. I think maybe it’s because there are so many places to stop.
I would love to have spent a little more time in Munich, but I’m glad I got to stand in the big square under the church tower even for a little while.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend, one of several we had last spring, driving around in rental cars, trying to fit in as much as possible. And though I loved Bavaria, I was also happy to get back to our lovely Tübingen and my cozy bed.