18th August 2012 (Bed 65)
A very excited Maria and her family greeted us as we drove up their driveway. We first met Maria when she took part in a Youth Christian pilgrimage that was being held in Sydney with a stopover in Melbourne. We offered to let her and another girl stay in our home for a few days. She loved Australia so much that she returned in 2010 and toured for 1 year. Her parents were very grateful that we took care of their daughter s and wanted to repay us. Repay us they surely did!
We ate and drank like kings. Maria’s mother prepared many traditional meals for us, which we thoroughly enjoyed. They planned and organised two amazing day for us to enjoy in their lovely village of Frasdorf and the surrounding area.
After a delicious lunch we drove a short distance to Aschau where we took the Kampenwand Cable Car (German: Kampenwandbahn) which was built in 1957 (a very good year, I may add) up the 1,500 metre high summit. As it was a very clear day, we had a spectacular view of the villages and lakes below. The weather was perfect and the skies were so blue. We walked up the slightly steep paths admiring the beauty of the area before stopping at a cafe perched on the side of the mountain. After more Bavarian beer and yummy traditional cakes we made our way back down the mountain and headed back to Maria’s place where another great meal and lots of beer & wine was awaiting.
19th - 20th August 2012
Today I woke to heaps of birthday wishes from both Maria’s family and all my friends & family on facebook and e-mails. Today I had two things to celebrate, my birthday and one year since I retired. Am I bored? Nooooo .... way!
Our whole day was planned for us. We took a short drive, parked the car and caught a small steam train to Chiemsee Lake. On the lake there were two islands that could be reached by ferry, Herren Insel (Man Island) and Frauen Insel (Women Island). Marie’s parents had booked and paid for everything. Our first boat ride was to Herrenchiemsee. Here we found the famous palace built by King Ludwig II. The palace was surrounded by manicured gardens and humongous fountains. Apparently, Ludwig was obsessed with Louis XIV so he modelled the palace after the Palais de Versailles.
The Palace was quite extraordinary (sorry, no photos allowed inside, but heaps outside) and it is no wonder that Ludwig, who apparently LOVED gold, he almost into bankruptcy. Yup, he was a crazy man! He was found dead (only 40 years old) in the lake (rumours have it that he committed suicide) before the palace was completed. King Ludwig had built three palaces, with two of them had not been completed before his death.
The second boat trip took us to the smaller of the two islands, Frauen insel, where we had a great leisurely walk. The island had lots of authentic Bavarian restaurants and small craft shops that had products made by the locals. We spend a good part of the day on the islands, enjoying a lovely lunch and even managing to fit in afternoon tea (Bavarian cakes, of course).
After a full day of walking around in the heat, a quick dip in the lake was in order. Then back home (wherever I lay my head, is my home....How true!) to more food, more beer and wine before retiring for the day.