With the Swarovski mouse (the first figure they ever made)
In front of the Swarovski factory
The golden roof
Olympic Ski Jump... so high!
Such a cool little church!
With our hotel and the castle!
After Arezzo we had some train trouble and my mom and I were stuck in Bologna without a train! The crew ended up renting two buses to take all of the passengers to Verona to get on a different train to Innsbruck and 4 hours later we were finally back on our way!
When we got there we were so tired that all we could do was eat dinner and go to bed.
The next morning we got up and went to pick up our rental car. The girl at the front desk was nice and was about to visit DC so I told her everywhere I knew that was good to go. We got our little car and it was a standard so my mom had to remember how to drive one and off we went to the Swarovski factory (they're made right outside Innsbruck).
We made it there easily with the help of Helga (what we named our navigation) and it started raining so we were glad to head inside. The tour was pretty bizarre, you sort of felt like you were on drugs or a weird movie because it wasn't the factory of how they are made, but rather like a crystal art show that was strange. Moving mechanical legs, walking mannequins, creepy sounding accordions, but it all was bedazzled.
At the end we went to the shop where they sold all sorts of crystals and the best part was definitely shopping.
Next we drove back into town, parked, and toured the city center. We went by Court Church, the Golden Roof, the river, the Imperial Gardens, and many other places. We took some cute pictures and had lunch nearby.
After the city center we drove out to the ski jump area and I was stunned to see how high it was. No one could pay me enough money to do that ever!! We also went by the stadium where they had figure skating and other events.
Innsbruck was very pretty, but the weather wasn't great so we were glad to move on.
The next morning we packed up and drove off to Schwangau, where Neuschwanstein castle is. I booked our hotel way in advance and knew it was close to the castle, but did not realize just how close it really was. Anyone who has been there will appreciate this because in the town you buy your tickets and then take a 40 minute walking trail to the top.
What we found out this time was that this was also a road, and my mom and I were DRIVING up it trying not to hit all of the tourists as we went to our hotel. Sure enough about 2 minutes from the very top there it was like 100 feet away from the castle! It was the craziest thing! When my mom and I looked out our window that night we were literally staring at the towers.
After parking and checking in we walked back down to buy our tickets and explore, then came back up and had dinner at the hotel. By that point we did not have much time till our tour but I wanted my mom to see the view from Mary's bridge, so I basically had her running uphill 20 minutes trying to make it to this bridge, we snapped a few pics and a video and then walked back to make it to our tour.
Neuschwanstein is really cool, but better from the outside. The inside was never finished and it doesn't really have the castle story we all dream about. But still, it was so fun to go there and be its neighbor for a night.
The next morning we drove through the next town of Fussen where they were having a Medieval festival so we stuck around and watched people getting ready. I bought a traditional German dress that I'm sure I will be wearing for costume parties to come (although I did not tell the shopkeepers that because they were pretty convinced it was going to be worn regularly like they did).
When the people started preparing for the festival we headed out and I found out that apparently I look German because within one hour I had three different people come up to me and try to start conversations before they realized I had no idea what they were saying! It was funny.
Off to Munich!