Apr 282010

Here I am – FINALLY, the real traveling has begun!

By the time Bauma had concluded I was fully recovered from my high fever the week prior. I loaded up my backpack, said goodbye to new buddy and roommate Joerg (the only USR employee other than myself to make it to Germany during the air-traffic freeze), and headed out at 5am for Schloss Neuschwanstein, aka “Mad Ludwig’s Castle.”

This was the one and only tourist day I had on my calendar for Bavaria, and if you search Google Images you’ll see exactly why – Neuschwanstein truly looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Designed by a stage designer rather than an architect, overlooking a postcard-perfect view of sprawling green fields on one side and the bavarian alps on the other, it became the model for one of the world’s most well-known corporate logos: the Disney citadel.

Perhaps you can imagine how heartbroken I was when I arrived and, after nearly a week of perfect blue skies in Munich, the weather was wet and gloomy. Fog almost completely obscured the scenic views below, and slippery rocks closed the three-hour hike to the towering cliff from where you can normally take the actual “Neuschwanstein postcard shot.” The only time I can remember getting that screwed by weather was in Rio, where I had no view from either sugarloaf or Corcovado – two places known specifically for their their spectacular panoramas. Damnit.

Oh well – at least i can now cross that World Heritage site off my list, even if I didn’t come home with the perfect photo I’d hoped for. Of course, as soon as I boarded the train back to Fussen – the nearest transport hub to the castle – the weather cleared up and the skies were blue once again. What luck ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Since there was no telling how long the blue skies would last, I decided to spend a few hours wandering around and photographing Fussen rather than returning immediately to Munich. I’m so glad I did. It turned out to be a delightful little town, sandwiched between some pretty spectacular snowcapped peaks.

It’s interesting, those couple hours of shooting really made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve played with my SLR – or any camera for that matter. It really felt like I’d forgotten how to take photos – whereas I used to see the world around me literally jumping out in front of my lens, here it seemed like a forced effort to find scenes that really capture the vibe around me. So on the train back to Munich I dusted off my old Nikon D40 manual and photography notes…in hopes of plucking my photographer’s eye back out of wherever it’s been hiding. Hopefully I’ll get back in the groove of things before too long. Hopefully I’ll never spend so long locked up continuously in the US again either ๐Ÿ™‚

  11 Responses to “Mad Ludwig's Castle”

  1. can’t wait for those pic’s

  2. Good luck reviewing the manual……your pictures have always been great….you need to keep that up ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Justin-

    Hey, you don’t know me, but you just provided absolutely the weirdest moment I’ve ever had in my 26 years on this planet. I stumbled on to your blog while reading about freelance programming, and in your last post you linked to the company US Radar’s webpage. I clicked on your link, and the photo slideshow was on the frame that said “LOCATE IT”. See the person in that picture, the girl in the shorts? I dated her for five years, and broke up her with three years ago. She went on an archaeological dig in Italy while we dated, and I know those shoes, the shorts, the hair, the whole deal.

    It gets weirder. A mutual friend told me she moved to… drumroll… Germany a while ago.

    …There are 6.7 billion people on this planet, and that just happened. Real life is turning into Lost.

  4. Aunt V: I’ve got a TON already…but most likely won’t upload more than one per post until I get home. Maybe – we’ll see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

    Andy: Thanks! That means a lot from a photo-guru like yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

    Matt: Whoa, that is insanely weird! I’ve had a few twilight-zone moments myself…but that would probably top them…

  5. Looks like an awesome castle. You better take a lot of photos now because you never know how long the camera will stay in your possesion in far east Europe, ha ha.

  6. This one had BETTER make it through the trip! I definitely don’t want another repeat of Brazil ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. There’s a difference between force majeure and scoundrels though. It doesn’t count when you drop the camera on the floor at A-Bar or fill it with sand and saltwater in Morro Sao Paulo :p Do I have to remind you of the Norwegian television crew that had their whole canoe stolen from their hotel in southeast Europe and noone of the hotel staff had seen a 5m canoe with two legs leave the lobby…?

  8. …and hey, how come you get smileys in your comments and I don’t?

  9. True, but in the end, a gone camera is a gone camera!

    Smileys should happen automatically – it worked for Andy’s comment above…

  10. wordpress smileys get automatically converted if you insert the right text. For instance “:p” doesn’t work but “:-P” should…..you need a space before and after the smiley.

    You can see a whole list of all wordpress smileys on my site:
    Just click on any article….above the comment box, there is a button “ๆ’ๅ…ฅ่กจๆƒ…”….click it and then once you press on a smiley, it will give you the appropriate wordress code ๐Ÿ˜† :mrgreen: ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. That’s rediculously elaborate for a smiley system! But thanks for the info ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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