To get excited, before our "move" to Switzerland we told Kaylie that Switzerland was fun becuase we would get to play in the snow a lot, and that we would see lots of castles. While we have seen a few, we had yet to go inside. Finally we set out to do so. It had been snowing all night so everything was covered in white. It really made it all the more magicial.
The drive there around the black forest was agian incredibly scenic. Yes I said drive...we rented a car, and Kaylie was perhaps the most excited of all of us. She kept asking if we were going to keep it, and whose car was it? Looking back we are pretty sure we had the setting on the tom tom wrong, because we never once got on a freeway in almost 100 miles. Becasue of that it was a little longer of a drive then we expected. I entertained the children by telling them stories of the real history of the black forest...and by that I mean the versions of Robin Hood and Snow White that I could best remember as told by Walt Disney. We read up as much as we can before we go on these little trips, but there is just so much history we are not familiar with.
When we got to Neushwanstien's castle, we had to park our car at the bottom of a hill, and then take a horse carriage up to the top. It was at the moment that Kaylie decided that this was Phillipe-the horse from Beauty and the Beast- for all those not fluent in the langauge of little girls, and from then on she was convinced that this was Belles' castle.
Her excitment could not be contained! While seeing Europe without children would be a less difficult/different experiece, it would certainly be less joyful.
On the way up, Tiny was holding Jeffs hat in her hands ( mostly because all the horse trotting was making her look green, and I wanted something ready just in case, as vessel for catching vomit). We were lucky in that she held her stomach, but Jeff was unlucky. Tiny took that hat and casually tossed it out the carriage. Jeff jumped out after it and then had to walk up the steep icy hill. The other riders laughed at her as she cried over the dissaperance of her father. Good thing she is cute.
This one too. While last time we went to a touristy spot it was the little one that attratced the crowds, Kaylie posed like this for about two seconds and the paparazzi ...aka hoards of Japanesse tourist..came from out of nowwhere.
The exterior of the castle is spectacular. Another reference to Walt Disney, he apparently modeled his castle at Disneyland after this one. This one is not a real castle, in that it is only 200 years old, and not from the Renissance. It was built by the crazy king Ludwig. There is a lot of speculation and mystery concerning his insanity certification and his death, in that they were probably false, and political moves. I am a nerd and am totally fascinated by all of this stuff.
The inside was over the top and grand. We could not take pictures inside; this is from google. We had a hard time understanding what our guide was saying through his thick accent, but no problem at all. It just so happens that Kaylie is a world renound expert on all things Belle and she was able to tell us which room was belle's, where the candlestick sings his song, the west wing, and off course where the Beast locks up Belle's dad. This one was easy. It was the eight story tower that spiraled straight up that Kaylie refused to walk up, and Tiny slept through. Lucky me, I got to carry the lighter of the two.
Although for the walk down the hill, both girls wanted dad. Good thing, even with 50 punds of children in his arms, he is guaranteed to have more coordination coming down an icy sttep hil then mom...for sure.
And of course what good is a day trip without soveniours and snacks. We almost decided to see something else, because parts of this castle are under construction, and we are so glad it did not change our minds. It has been Kaylie's favorite thing to date, and it is at the top of my list too. Anything with happy little girls I am in favor of.