The title of today’s post will be explained further into the update. Yes, there is a logical reason for the title – just easier to tell the story chronologically.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an idea to attend the original and biggest Oktoberfest, located in Munich, Germany. It is an annual tradition that has been held in Munich since 1810. Originally, it started as an invitation by Crown Prince Ludwig (later to become King Ludwig I) as part of the festivities associated with his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. So popular was this festival, it became an annual event. It evolved through the years and the festival included horse racing, an agricultural show, a carousel, and a small beer stand. The small beer stand is now many beer gardens (or “tents”) and the carousel is now as big as any large amusement park. Along with food and souvenir stands, the whole site is over 40 acres. And yes, I used my phone’s GPS to find my way out. Also, this Oktoberfest attracts over 6 million people each year.
I flew in late evening to Munich on the 27th from Edinburgh. At the airport and central train station, I saw people returning from that evening’s Oktoberfest. Some were in good shape – while the others, were not doing as well.
Flight from Edinburgh to Munich was a little less than two hours.
The next day, I headed over to the Oktoberfest site. About a 25 minute walk from my hotel. It wasn’t hard to find. There is free admission and you’re free to walk around and enjoy the entertainment.
At first I just walked around to see the various venues and attractions. Went into a few of the beer tents, sponsored by local breweries. Each tent was a different size and theme, but all served beer and food. Early in the day, you don’t seem to need a reservation to sit at a table. I was okay with walking around and taking pictures. Just drank a bottle of water.
On the site, and pictured below, is the large bronze statue of Bavaria, a female personification of the Bavarian homeland. Behind the statue is a “Hall of Fame”. Both were produced by King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Below is a video of a Beer Tent. The band was just finishing playing a song for the crowd.
Guys with funny hats.
Not too crowded in the afternoon. Below is at about 1:00 p.m. on the 28th of September.
Below is the Lowenbrau Lion (rotating) on a lighthouse-looking pedestal.
Below, are festival participants who are dressed in somewhat traditional wear. They were having a lot of fun. The traditional Oktoberfest Bavarian wear for men are lederhosen, gingham shirt, vest, jacket, and hat with feather. Bavarian wear for women is a dress with a white blouse, vest and apron. Many shops in Munich offered various styles for people attending the festival. Locals are proud of their Bavarian heritage and dress in the traditional way to honor and celebrate their common history. While some do not take the dress code too seriously.
I returned later in the early evening and found that the festival was starting to kick into high gear. Music was playing in all of the tents and many more people.
Below are more pictures from the evening.
Pretzels were sold everywhere. And some were huge.
It was at the point in the evening were I was enjoying taking pictures of the beautiful sunset than enjoying the festival. That is when I decided that I had enough of Oktoberfest and needed to plan some other activities for the next few days.
Neuschwanstein Castle (Sleeping Beauty Castle)
I remembered that Neuschwanstein Castle was somewhat close to Munich. This castle was the model for the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland and a very popular attraction (over a million visits a year) in this part of Bavaria.
So, the following day after Oktoberfest, I got an early train to the town of Fussen and from there a bus ride to Hohenschwangau and finally a 30 minute uphill climb to Neuschwanstein Castle.
Journey by train from Munich to Fussen was about 2 hours. (Fussen doesn’t show up on the map below – look for red marker.)
The pictures below are the village of Hohenschwangau and in the background is Hohenschwangau Castle.
From there (above) you can see Neuschwanstein Castle. And the long uphill hike begins (below).
When you first get to the castle, you see the following. (Where do you take the panoramic picture?)
Inside the castle’s courtyard (below)
A hike around the back side of the castle, I was able to take this picture (below).
Me – around the backside of castle
You can only get the following picture by standing on the bridge (pictured above). King Ludwig II built the castle with a view from this bridge in mind, a favorite hiking place of his in his youth. (Castle was built with his own personal funds.)
From this castle, you can see amazing views of the Bavarian countryside.
When I returned to Munich, I was able to capture another sunset picture from the train station. Had great weather all 3 days in Munich!
Salzburg (Sound of Music)
On my last day in Munich, I decided to go to Salzburg, Austria – only a little more than 100 km from Munich and about 90 minutes on the high-speed train. Salzburg, birth place of Mozart and filming location of Sound of Music.
As I got off the train, I was already planning which Sound of Music shooting locations I would visit first.
Mirabell Palace Gardens were used extensively to film much of the Do-Ri-Me segment. The first picture below, the gardens behind the castle, show one of the filming locations and in the background the Salzburg Fortress. (I couldn’t find the whole sequence for Do-Ri-Me on YouTube, only these two segments and you will see how the picture below fit.)
(behind the palace)
The steps in the picture above where from the last segment of Do-Ri-Me.
I saw several people acting out the scene where the above was filmed. I wasn’t the only one interested in the Sound of Music.
Mozart Bridge (Do-Ri-Me)
Sound of Music – Graveyard
The only other filming location where I took a picture was where the von Trapp family sang, but only got a picture of the outside of the building. Other locations were outside of Salzburg and I didn’t have time to get to them. Instead, I toured the fortress on top of the hill above Salzburg. (See below.)
Built up over the last 1,000 years, it looks over the old part of Salzburg and across the river, the new part of Salzburg, built up over the last 200 years. Another steep hike to get to the top.
At the top, I had a beer with a local who hadn’t visited the fortress for 20 years. (He said he didn’t want to wear out his welcome by visiting more often.) We talked for about an hour, then I left on my tour. Very interesting gentleman – traveled the world, climbed mountains, and gave me ideas of places to visit next time I’m in the area.
Steep climb to castle!
River (Old on left, new on right)
Salzburg Old Town street
Oh yes, I did find Mozart’s birthplace. (Above)
Got home late Friday, 30 September. Got organized and a haircut with a workout at gym too. Finally got the update posted today, Sunday. Tomorrow I leave for Barra, in the Outer Hebredes in Scotland, so my next post will not be until the end of this week.