Allen’s Adventures in Europe – Part Three

Introduction

Stewart Goes Walkies is pleased to present the third part in Allen Lai’s excellent Adventures in Europe.

One Day Four Countries
Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm and Linderhof Palace
Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm (1845 – 1886)

The weather seems to be improving the temperature is still around 10 degrees in the morning. Today is all about the King of Bavaria, Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm (1845 – 1886).

From the hotel, a three hours drive took us to Linderhof Palace. Ludwig II became king of Bavaria at the age of 18. Two years later, Bavaria lost the war to Prussia and following that Ludwig increasingly withdrew from the day-to-day affairs of the state in favour of extravagant artistic and architectural projects. He commissioned the construction of lavish palaces: Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace, and Herrenchiemsee. Behind the Baroque façade of Linderhof palace is a Rococo world with motifs from the age of Louis XV of France.

The rich and abundant ornamentation, with its many sculptural elements, is thus not merely an attempt at imitation, but far surpasses everything that inspired them, as well as showing workmanship of incomparable artistic quality. He spent most of his time in isolation, slept during the day, and played at night. His bedroom’s huge chandelier has 108 candles. I can’t help feeling sorry for the servant who had to climb up to light it and replace them. To avoid contact, even with his servants, he dined alone, and his dining table elevated from the kitchen below. His study was full of wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor mirrors. He did not have many self-portraits done, but he loved to check his mirrors.

Ludwig’s bed chamber with the magnificent chandelier
Ludwig’s study with the wall-to-wall mirrors
solitary dining arrangements

Ludwig spent all his own private royal revenues on these projects, borrowed extensively, and defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him. This extravagance was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation that has since come under scrutiny. Ludwig was taken into custody and effectively deposed on 12 June 1886, and he and his doctor were found dead the following day. He was 40 years old. Their deaths were ruled to be suicide but this too has been disputed. In comparison, it’s a tiny palace, but the inside is so packed. He was a hoarder. On the contrary, the surrounding gardens are beautiful, especially the water fountain.

Linderhof palace with the water fountain, the water shoots up every half hour for a full two minutes.
Neuschwanstein Castle

An hour’s drive away is his Neuschwanstein Castle. Few places on Earth look more like storybook illustrations than Neuschwanstein Castle. With its towers, turrets, frescoes, and throne hall, Neuschwanstein looks like it was plucked straight from your favorite fairy tale.  Ludwig II died before the castle was completed.  Neuschwanstein is rumored to be the real-life inspiration for the castle in the Disney classic, “Cinderella,” released in 1950. The resemblance, after all, is striking.

The dream-like Neuschwanstein Castle

The area is kind of quiet when compared with my last visit. Many shops were not open. And tourists were far fewer. This time I ventured beyond the Queen Mary’s Bridge (Marienbrucke) and climbed up the cliff to a nice view of the castle and no tourists.

The castle from above Queen’s bridge
The front of the castle
An alpine lodge where we stopped for lunch
The original Swan castle opposite the Neuschwanstein Castle
Swan lake missing the swans
Making friends in Kempton

At night, we drove to Kempton and stayed at the bigBOX Hotel, a very nice boutique hotel. Before dinner, I walked across the road to the Forum Allgau Shopping mall to get some necessary supplies. There, I had a chance to play street piano together with some locals and made friends with a nine-year-old. We had a great time.

Forum Allgau Shopping mall at Kempton. I love Germany, they are selling bottles of wine cheaper than soda
Playing street piano inside the mall and making friends
Liechtenstein

The next day, we crossed the border to Austria, and visited one of the smallest countries in the world,  Liechtenstein, before reaching Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a western European principality located between Switzerland and Austria. Despite it being one of the smallest countries in Europe; it’s also one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The United States is Liechtenstein’s second-largest bilateral trading partner after Germany. Vaduz is the capital, with a population of just 5000, with two main streets lined with luxury brand shops.

With a population of 5,000 people, this is one of the two main streets, all high-priced and upmarket shops

The police force consists of 50 officers. We stopped for lunch and some shopping. Vaduz castle is high up on the hill. Interestingly though, for reasons unknown, regular Rolex watches were sold out!

At Vaduz with the beautiful alpines as a backdrop
The governor’s castle
Conclusions

Once again, Stewart Goes Walkies is very grateful to our old friend, Allen, for his wonderful photos and report. You may see parts one and two here and here.

We look forward to more reports on his travels.

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

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Published by stewartgoeswalkies

Happily married man to a wonderful lady. Living in Hong Kong. In my younger days I enjoyed hiking, camping and rock climbing. I've trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Mt. Kinabalu in East Malaysia.

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