Neuschwanstein Castle Week-End

Tuesday, April 26

imageWhy is it always raining here? We had good weather last week, but this week doesn’t look so hot.

Currently having ozone IV, detox IV and, of course, I had my daily lampadina earlier this morning. They cranked up the heat and now I’m getting a tan! I knew I should have gone to Cuba or Florida in the winter. I need those feel good sunshine rays.

imageOn the week end Mary and I decided to go to Linderhof Castle (where Ludwig lived until his castle was built). But we didn’t make it there. There was a sign on the road. I thought it meant it was closed, but Mary said, who cares, let’s go around it. She was driving and it didn’t matter to me.

imageThe GPS said we were 24 kms away. So we threw caution in the wind and went for it. The scenery was really beautiful and Mary was loving it. We saw the Bavarian alps behind a gorgeous emerald lake. I felt like I was in British Columbia again. At 21 km, we came to an abrupt halt. We could drive no longer. There was a baracade. Nuts. Back we went, another 21 kms.

Arrived at a gas station. The young girl told us the only way to Linderhof was to go around the entire lake which would take about an hour. It was already 3:30 and we figured we probably wouldn’t get there before it closed. What a disappointment.

imageWe rerouted the GPS to Villa Toscana in Fussen where we ate at a very cool medieval type restaurant equipped with honey wine in ale horns. Delicious! I know the guy in the lampadina machine said not to have any alcohol, but I had to do it. He also said not to bath and put creams on, but I kind of had a shower with gel and shampoo/conditioner ’cause I wasn’t too clear on that.

imageThe next day we went directly to Neuschwanstein hoping to beat the crowds there. Imagine our surprise when we looked out the next morning to see snow! Wasn’t expecting that.

imageWalt Disney modelled his castle in Disneyland after visiting Neuschwanstein. I think Ludwig was only 17 years old when he became King. He was a bit of a recluse and didn’t like servants hovering over him, so he had a table built on some sort of a pulley system where it would disappear down a floor to the kitchen, food would be placed on it by the servants, and up it went back to the dining hall for him to eat.

 

imageLudwig was betrothed to a princess from Austria but he called it off after 9 months. That didn’t sit well with the people who were expecting an heir. They were also not happy that all their King was interested in was building elaborate fairytale castles rather than govern public affairs. It didn’t help that he was gay. So the people protested and tried to have him committed. He had a brother named Otto who was a whack job and was deemed mentally ill. That certainly didn’t help. Inbreeding? Ludwig and his psychiatrist were discovered dead in a nearby lake. Both drowned under mysterious circumstances.

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imageOnly 10 rooms out of 104 were finished and opened to the public which is really too bad.  It would have been very interesting to see what Ludwig had visioned for the rest of his castle.  The views from the upper floors were spectacular.  Unfortunately, you couldn’t take photos inside the castle.

 

 

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imageMary decided the best way down was via horse and carriage. I wholeheartedly agreed, so off we went!

 

Those horses sure could have used some diapers!  It was everywhere!

A woman recommended we eat at a nearby restaurant after she heard us talking about where we should go to eat.  She said a nearby restaurant made a goulash soup that was the best she ever had. I ordered it and I say it was disgusting. And our waitress was slow and rude (no tip for her).  Mary had the sausages with mash potatoes which I’m not allowed to eat (pork= too many free radicals).  Why is it that when I’m with someone their food is always better than mine? She ordered wine.  I was jealous until I saw there was Gluhwein on the menu and then my eyes just  lite up with joy.  Too bad that the man in the lampadina machine said I wasn’t suppose to have wine!  Sometimes, you just have to live on the edge!  Christmas fruity hot wine! Yum! I was so excited. That was the best part of my meal!

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We then meandered off to Hohenschwagau Castle which was Ludwig’s Parents summer home. It was a beaut. Can’t take pics inside there either.  Just outside.

It was really cold over there and we went shopping briefly so I could buy some warmer clothes.

Mary and I flew home at 200 km/hr and it wasn’t me driving either!

Here are some great hats I tried on earlier in the day.

Una vaca espanole (for Biagia), a beer hat and a Viking one too!

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Martha’s Vineyard


Excerpts from my diary of our New England Coast, Sunday, August 19, 2013

IMG_3508Apparently President Obama has been vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard over the last two weeks at a 7.6 million dollar home.  We passed the driveway today…couldn’t see the house, just the dirt road.  Our tour guide told us he wasn’t allowed to do his normal route because of all the security around.  We had heard about the presidents visit when we were on Cape Cod and decided to wait until he was gone to visit the island.

IMG_3458The thing the kids liked the best was going on the oldest carousel in the world from Coney Island called “The Flying Horse”.  It didn’t look like much and the horses stayed glued on the ground, but the big attraction was catching the  “Brass Ring”.  Positioned on the inside and outside of the carousel was a lever that spewed out IMG_3436metal rings.  So as you are going around and around, you needed to reach over and grabbed one of the rings.  Then you catch any of the rings, you place them on the rod on your horse’s head.  If you managed to be in the right place at the right time and you get the Brass Ring (colour is different), your prize is a free ride on the carousel.  My kids loved it.  It cost $2.50, but the line up wasn’t too bad and they seemed to be on it a long time.  Neither of them got the brass ring, but that was a memorable experience.  I’ve never seen a carousel like that before.

Our Tour Bus

Our Tour Bus

We took a tour bus in the morning and went around the whole island, minus Edgartown because the roads were too small for our big bus.  The set up was kind of weird.  Three bus companies.  One was down in the wharf area; the other two, you had to call them.  We didn’t have a cell phone and there were no pay phones on the island.  Fortunately there was a lady there who was called the company that was ranked the highest on trip advisor, so we asked her to get us some tickets too.  They wanted $50 bucks per person and they weren’t going to come and get us unless we had 15 people.  We were six.  The lady told them she thought it was too expensive and she didn’t want her two tickets anymore.  I wasn’t about to waste my vacation time looking for 11 more people to book a tour with them, and we didn’t have a phone to call them back to arrange for them to come get us, so what the heck?  We went with the tour company that was there. I actually thought our tour guide was quite good.  There really wasn’t a lot to see, yet he had us laughing.  Around the corner is a boulder.  And here is our tiny post office.  We don’t have a lot of crime at Martha’s Vineyards.  This is our police station with all the flowers around it.  There are only 4 policemen here.  A few years ago, one of them was out of commission for a while because he put 4 bullets in a turkey. It was big news around here…a quarter of the police force wasn’t working.  Drove on the bridge where they filmed the movie Jaws.IMG_3459

Bridge where they filmed "JAWS"

Bridge where they filmed “JAWS”

We went by some dirt driveways of people who lived there, but you couldn’t see anything but an open wooden fence.  Jackie O., Kennedy’s wife, had lived on around 374 acres of land there…couldn’t see the place.  The tour guide said when people buy property at Martha’s Vineyards, there are many regulations.  You can only build on a small section of your land, the rest has to be left to grow wild..no cutting down trees.  The parcels of land are gigantic too and when you sell it, you can’t sub-divide and sell pieces of it.  Thirty-three percent of the island is natural.

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The kids were tired from getting up early this morning and fell asleep on the tour…until we got to a place called the Gayhead Lighthouse.  It was named that because of the colourful rocks around the place.  We had 30 minutes to roam around and we actually got to go up  in the lighthouse for $5.  That was really neat….’crept it was rather hot when the light went whizzing by our heads. After the tour we ate and walked around.  We saw the cutest gingerbread houses.  I think that’s why everyone likes Martha’s Vineyards so much.  The houses are really unique.

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Cape Cod, Provincetown


Excerpts from my diary of our East Coast/New England Coast Trip; Sunday, August 18, 2013

 

IMG_3211Drove up the coast of Cape Cod today.  The houses are gorgeous and the shops are so quaint.  I found a place where they sold shells and was able to get a seahorse and a blowfish…new additions for my art lesson on underwater sea creatures.

 




IMG_3265IMG_3261We drove all the way to Provincetown, where one of the Tourism operators told us to be aware that alternative people and families lived there. It was fun.  I wish I had a camera ready when I was driving by two large men in pink and white tights and tutus.  Frick did  get a good shot of a guy in a gold dress.

 

Beach Shot in Provinceton (northern point of Cape Code)

Beach Shot in Provinceton (northern point of Cape Code)

T-Shirt Hey Bob?  How's the water? Bob?  Bob?

Hey Bob? How’s the water?
Bob? Bob?

Tank of Lobsters Who Farted?

Tank of Lobsters
Who Farted?

Should have bought one of these Lobster           T-shirts for my husband!

Tomorrow we’re off to Martha’s Vineyard.

By the way, I found Dedo (remember him… He’s the gargoyle I was looking for in France with his fingers crossed…a nun put him high on the roof top of Notre Dame cathedral so that any angels coming down to earth wouldn’t be afraid of the scary gargoyles).  Well, I found Dedo in a quaint little shop in Cape Cod and brought him home.  So now he sits in our garden amidst the other gargoyles we have (Spike…who picks his bum, our chained gargoyle on a coffin, and the wacky one hanging on the wall of our house).

 

 

Dedo

Dedo

 

Spike

Spike

 

Spike busy scratching his butt

Spike busy scratching his butt




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Boston, Harvard/Cambridge University, Cheers Bar & Plymouth Rock

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Didn’t get a chance to write much in my diary on August 16/17….so todays excerpt is some of the photos we took as we travelled through the Boston area.  We went on a bus tour of the area which encompassed … Continue reading

New England Coast, Salem, Massachusatts

Excerpt from my diary of the East Coast/New England Coast Trip, Aug. 15, 2013

IMG_2742IMG_2771Boo decided to go to the Art museum in town while me and the kids went to check out the Witches  Dungeon, The Witch Museum, and the Pirate museum. My favourite one was the witches dungeon where some actors/actresses did a reenactment of one of the witches trials.

What happened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 is really fascinating stuff.  A Puritan Minister had two daughters named Abigail and Betty who started acting crazy one day.  They screamed and threw their Bibles on the wall in church, crawled on the floor, barked like dogs, crawled into the fireplace, and had episodes of being in a catatonic state.  Their parents didn’t know what was wrong IMG_2805with them and  called for a doctor to examine them.  He told the parents that there was nothing wrong with them physically, but someone had “Bewitched” them.  (The children had a nanny named Tituba, from the West Indies,who often told the girls and their friends stories about voodoo and witchcraft and they would sometimes “act” it out which was a a real no no in those days).  The parents asked the girls to point out who was a witch, and so they did.  They started accusing the townspeople of witchcraft.

Innocent people were sent to jail even though they did nothing wrong.  During the witch trials, the judge would ask the accused if they were innocent or guilty of witchcraft.  If they pleaded innocent, they would lose their property and be hung.  If they pleaded guilty, they would lose their property, but were allowed to live because they “confessed”.  Tituba was asked if she was a witch.  She said, “Yes”; but she got off scott free because she didn’t have a property to lose and wasn’t sent to the dungeon because she “confessed”.

IMG_2744Some of the adults began directing Abigail and Betty to accuse certain people in town of witchcraft.  When the accused people were hung, their property and livestock would be sold cheaply at auctions. Entire families were sent to the dungeon simply because of greed. Prisoners were asked to pay for their own cells, hand-cuffs, food and drink, and even their own hanging.  If they couldn’t afford the cost of being in jail, family members were asked to pay.  If they were unable to pay, IMG_2762the prisoner would be sent to a special cell that looked like a vertical stone coffin in which they were forced to stand all day, hand-cuffed to the wall.  Not a nice place.  Constantly dark and dingy, and sometimes the nearby river overflowed into the dungeon making their lives even more miserable as they had to live in waist high water until low tide.

One day, a police officer openly stated that the girls who were accusing others in the town of witchcraft should be hung.  Unfortunately, he was then accused of witchcraft and they hung the police officer instead.  Two dogs were also hung on Gallows Hill because the girls said that the dogs were possessed by the devil and they gave them the “evil eye”.

IMG_2761The hysteria didn’t stop there.  Leaders of neighbouring villages would often hire the girls to point out the witches in their towns too.  At one point, there was over 150 people in jail (and they only had about 600 people in town).  The madness came to an end in May, 1693 when the girls pointed to the wife of the Governor of Massachusetts of being a witch.  No more putting people in jail just because someone said so.  The witches trials happened over a 1 1/2 year period.  Sixteen people were hung, three died in prison, and one person was “pressed to death”.

Here are some quick pics of other interesting things we found in Salem.

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My favourite pirate wasRachel Wall.  She would lure boats towards her pretending to be “In Distress” and once people came to her rescue, they were ambushed.

 

 

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There are some great stores to pick out wonderful stuff for Halloween.

Our newest acquisition was Ugh and Lee (photo on right).  Wish I bought the ghoul too. but we didn’t have much space in the car!


New England Coast…Salem, Massachusetts (Night Ghost Tour)

Excerpts from my diary from our “New England” trip on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It was raining a bit on our way out today.  I sped on the interstate behind a black car, not realizing it was a cop car.  He put on his lights.  I thought he was pulling me over, but lucky for me, he just took the next exit.  I guess he was trying to warn me that my lights weren’t on or something.  Needless to say Boo is driving now.  We are thinking of driving to Salem, witchcraft capital of America.  I think we’re going to get some good pictures there…not sure of what though.

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We made it to Salem (last few letters from the word Jerusalem) and went on a Night Ghost Tour. I’ll try to get some good day shots of the places we visited tonight.

Some of the most memorable places on this night tour included:

IMG_2903A house where a prominent man locked up his young maid in the attic when it was discovered she had smallpox.  He was afraid his wife and baby were going to come down with the fatal disease and locked her upstairs on the third floor attic without food or drink until she died… She scratched the boards and screamed until she eventually died.  The family ended up abandoning the house for several years until a new, young family moved in.  The husband went crazy one day and killed his wife by pouring hot wax and boiling water down her throat and then he smothered his baby with a pillow.  Kids stuck pretty close to me after that story!


IMG_2904IMG_2787A memorial where the last words the innocent people said was engraved in stone.  Stone seats with the names of the “witches” and how they were killed.  All those condemned were basically hung from a tree except one elderly man in his seventies…who was “pressed”.  Giles Corey was savvy about the law and knew that if he confessed to being a “witch”, he would be allowed to live, but would lose all his possessions.  He had 5 boys and was determined to keep his property to bequeath to them.  He also knew that if he claimed he wasn’t a witch he would be hung.  So he said neither that he was or was not a witch.  That angered the folks trying to get a “confession” out of him so they lay a flat board on top of him, placed three men on top of that, and then kept adding large stones as well .  It took three days for the poor old man to die in this manner.  The prosecutors were unable to get a confession out of him, so his family got to keep their land.

Then we saw a corner of a building (which I believe is now owned by Bell) where the witches were held captive until their trials.  Tomorrow I’m going to try to go take the kids to some kid friendly sites (a witches museum, the  witches dungeon, and a pirate museum with cove/boat), while Boo goes to the museum to see art and faberge eggs.