Sunday, July 15, 2018
Our morning started in the beautiful village of Oberammergau, Germany. It is so nice to wake up to beautiful pastoral scenes and be greeted by a wonderful breakfast that included smoked salmon. Hotel Arnika was slightly out of town, but the views and the feelings of peace made the walk into town negligible. The front side rooms would have been better, but the family room we were in was nice in that it was actually two spacious connecting rooms, both with bathrooms and sitting rooms.
After checking out, we drove 15 minutes to Linderhof Palace. If you have never been to this region, I would suggest going to Neuschwanstein instead (built by the same king, but much larger and more famous), but we had already been there and wanted to try something new. Linderhof is small, but amazing. Ludwig II designed and built this palace and considered it to be his “Royal Lodge,” or his bachelor pad. Quite nice.
As we were driving to the palace, we were a bit surprised that we couldn’t see it from the road. Once we arrived, there was a nice path leading to the grounds.
You can only tour the inside of the palace by 30-minute guided tour, which is well worth doing. The Baroque style rooms have exquisite detail and are heavily influenced by Versailles, in France. Ludwig II longed for the good old days where kings had almost limitless power, and he set Louis XIV and all that he stood for on a pedestal. Ludwig II was also an admirer of Wagner, and some of his rooms reflect this admiration as well.
The grounds were quite nice, with lovely architecture, several gold leaf fountains, beautiful gardens. We wandered around a bit, then decided to get on the road.
Innsbruck, Austria was our next destination. The city is the capitol of they Tyrol region, has hosted the winter olympics twice, and is believed to have been continuously inhabited since the stone age. We parked our car and walked into the old city, which was filled with restaurants and had a lot of charm. We picked a restaurant that was fairly busy and had a nice view of both the old town and the mountains behind it. My goulash was quite good.
We wandered a bit more and were disappointed to find that the exterior of the Cathedral of St. James was under construction and was completely covered. The inside was very beautiful and should definitely be seen if you are anywhere near the city.
We could have done a lot more in Innsbruck, but we were ready to get to our final destination, so we easily found our car. It was in an garage on Burgerstrasse, yet by a vegan restaurant. Not quite as funny as the sausage vending machine yesterday, but it still made me laugh.
Driving through Austria is so beautiful; pictures just don’t capture it. This is a place where you feel like you are watching one of the most amazing nature shows. I was perfectly content sitting in the car, contemplating the beauty.
Once we arrived in Kitzbühel, Austria, we scoped out the town a bit, and realized that most of the grocery stores are closed on Sunday. Our stop at the TI to get hiking information revealed that there was one that was open until 6, so we beelined it over there about 45 minutes before closing.
I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the close quarters the four of us have been in the last month or so, and was becoming quite cranky and rude. We decided it would be best for Jeremy to take the boys out for dinner while I ate in the apartment. A little separation is good. By the time the boys returned, I was feeling quite a bit better.
There is a pay laundry machine in our apartment building, but it was being used, so we decided to go to the laundromat a few blocks away instead. Once again, we are mostly back to having clean clothes. Yay! I’m not sure if we will have any more in-building laundry machines for the rest of our time in Europe, so hopefully we can leave this town caught up and only have to make one more laundromat stop. Or I will have to hand-wash a few things, which is fine for 1 person, but really annoying for 4. At least the weather hasn’t been hot, so shirts and pants are lasting a bit longer, at least as long as the kids manage to stay out of the dirt at the playgrounds.
Kitzbühel is a little larger than I was expecting, but I think we are going to have an amazing time here. The Kitzlife apartment alone is wonderful. It is large, spacious, modern, and has a balcony with an amazing view that this picture doesn’t quite capture: