London - May 6-8
Pre-Tour Mistakes

Tour Begins
Paris - May 8-10
Beaune - May 10-11

May 11-13

Reutte- May 13-15

May 14

Venice - May 15-17
Florence - May 17-19
Rome - May 19-21
Tour Ends
Ostia - May 21-22


The Gang
The Reunion
Surprised by:
Friendly people.

"Please tear the paper on the perferation." - seen on toilet paper dispenser in Germany.

We got our picture taken with a German bridge keeper.

Lessons Learned:
Germans are very friendly, tidy and outdoorsy.

Bridge keeper on the bridge over looking Neuschwanstein Castle.

May 13
Stopped in Lindau for lunch. What a charming town. We made a cute discovery on our mad dash to find a place to exchange our Swiss Francs back to Euros. It is a little known fact that Ruppunsel's tower is in Lindau. In fact, you can still see her hair cascading from the window. I wish that we could have spent more time there.

Mike in Lindau on our way to Reutte.

Ruppunsel's tower complete with hair. ;o)
We made a land luge run (Scooterbahn) in Germany on our way to our inn, Schluxen. I think everybody went for a ride, even people we did not expect to go. It was a lot of fun, and quite exhilarating, zooming down the track in the hills of Germany. You could really get going fast, as long as there were no slow-pokes in front of you.

May 14
Hiked from Austria into Germany to Neuschwanstein Castle. We took off from the Inn, up a slight incline and around a beautiful lake. A little bit before the lake, we stopped and took pictures of everyone standing next to the sign marking the German border. The hike was beautiful and reminded me of home, in Washington state, except for the German border crossing and the views of the castle. Tammy took a bus to the castle while Mike took the walk up the hill.

The castle itself was awesome, it was very grand. I tell people that it is the castle that you see on all of the puzzles. It was magnificent just looking at it from the outside and in the massive courtyard. Inside was very elegant even opulent, with a few quirky elements, including a room made to look exactly like a cave. There was a swan theme throughout the castle. It was interesting hearing about Mad Ludwig. The castle was never fully completed, but what did get finished was incredible.

After touring the castle, we hiked up to the bridge (Marienbrücke) above the castle and took some pictures. Tammy took the bus back down to the parking lot while Mike hiked back down the long way through the valley below the bridge. We stopped at our bus to get our picnic lunches which we ate by the lake. It was a beautiful day but rain did come just as we boarded the bus.

From Neushwanstein we rode to Wieskirche Church, in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. The rain stopped before we got to the church, so we all got to stay dry. Reid had us wait to look into the church until he explained everything. When we finally looked in, it was magnificent. But all was not what it seemed. The beautiful marble columns were actually painted to look like marble. And on one of the ceiling murals the leg of a cherub was not painted on the ceiling but was actually a cast leg sticking out from it. The art of illusion was very prominent in the beautiful church.

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