Lichtenstein Castle and the Ulm Munster

September 27, 2011

Building in SchiltachAt breakfast this morning Lisa advised us that she’d looked up my printer on Amazon and the thing listed for around $100!  I figured it was a cheapie.  When we settled up our total stay at the Alten Brucke came to 112 Euros; that included “several” beers and our meals from last night.  That was a great deal.  I even offered one of my sausages as a parting gift.  (I am still gnawing on the other!)  After a quick walk to the EC (electronic cash) machine we went inside to say our good-byes.  We’d come to appreciate Lisa and Michael as attentive hosts.  House with grape vine SchiltachLisa and I had had a lengthy conversation the night before about her arrival at Alten Brucke as a tourist.  She had been an attorney in the U.S. traveling with one of her daughters.  She and Michael had sparked and now there she was; working hard but living her dream.  When we parted there were warm hugs all around.under a window in Schiltach

                The night before I had determined that we could squeeze in a visit to Lichtenstein Castle on our way to the Munster in Ulm.  We drove about an hour and a half to get there and as we traveled I was again struck by the alternative energy sources everywhere.  There are many wind turbines all across Germany.  We saw many houses and even a few barns with solar panels.  We have also seen at least one gigantic nuclear power plant with 4 towers.  I wonder if this is doing anything for the German economy.

We arrived at Lichtenstein around 11:30 a.m.  I had picked out three castles that we’d try to tour and this was the last one.  We purchased our tickets and were given an English translation guide for the tour.  Folks who say, “You’ve seen one castle you’ve seen ‘em all” haven’t seen Lichtenstein.  This castle is perched on a precipice of white rock about 900 feet up from the valley floor.  Schloss LichtensteinThere’s a large draw bridge and very spectacular views all around the valley.  We enjoyed the tour given completely in German although it does grow frustrating not to understand the little side stories the guides tell.

Our next destination was the Munster in Ulm.  This is a huge, gothic cathedral whose spire is the tallest in the world; at 528 feet.  The first stone was laid in 1377 but construction continued until around 1890.  Elaborate carved wooded choir stalls were added between 1469 – 1474.  There are a few life-sized carved humans at the front of the stalls as well; women on one side, men on the other.  The stained glass windows are enormous and some appear to be much more modern than others.  This is a beautiful place and well worth lingering in.

We traipsed around the old town long enough to mail our postcards, grab a quick beverage and then headed out to find our car and our destination for the night.  We had parked the car on a side street because road construction had really frustrated our GPS.  We then purchased a parking pass for the window although I’m really not sure if this was necessary.  Everything is (of course) in German so we just make our best guess and go with it!

The Munster in UlmGetting out of Ulm proved to be a small challenge but in no time we were again heading down the Autobahn on the way to Schwangau .  This is the location of “Mad Ludwig’s Castle” (Schloss Neuschwanstein) the model for the Disney castles.  There are two castles in this valley; the afore mentioned and Hohenschwangau, the first castle.  Neuschwanstein was built last in the 1800s and never completed.  The story is that Ludwig squandered his country’s money on his fairy-tale castle and ended up deposed and, several days later; was found mysteriously drowned in a local lake.Wood carved choir stall Munster in Ulm

As we neared Schwangau we were awed by huge peaks rising up from the flat plain.  The sun was sinking to the west and the sky glowed a lovely shade of pink.  There was even a little mist beginning to gather around the grasses where the cows grazed; their cowbells tinkling as though to add sound to the scenery.  We checked into our B & B for the next two nights, Haus Weiher.

This is a purpose-built B&B with what looks to be 4 rooms on the second floor.  Fra. Weiher showed us to our room with a view of the castle from the balcony.  She speaks very little English but her husband Fritz seems to do better.  We ditched our bag and headed out to get our bearings for the next day as well as a bite to eat.

A little whole-in-the-wall pizzeria looked to be right up our casual alley.  We shared a pizza, had a beer, and conversed with a very friendly German couple up at (what I can only refer to as a) bar.  She explained that when she was little German children had to take 6 years of English but her husband being older than she was did not.  He asked how we learned and Bill explained the CDs to him that we’d listened to for almost a year.  He too had learned the English he knew with a similar system.  All in all, it was a great night.  We were back to the B&B by 9:00 p.m. and looking forward to the next adventure tomorrow! 

 


Pictures

House with grape vine Schiltach
inside Munster
Schiltach, Germany town square
Schloss Lichtenstein
 
 

1 Comment

Vera Ruth Brandt:
October 2, 2011
Wonderful pictures. Looks like you are having great weather for you excellent adventures! We loved Austria.
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