Alcippe (alcippe) wrote,
Alcippe
alcippe

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Climbed a mountain today

Today I took the train out of Munich to Füssen to explore the Neuschwanstein castle. Left at 10am and got to Füssen at noon. It's a seriously storybook kind of village, with narrow winding streets that slope up and down with melon colored buildings packed in tight. 

Stepping out of the train station I witnessed all my fellow tourists passengers getting on to a big bus. That seemed easy and nice, but it also seemed kind of lame, so I held back and let them all ride away. I wandered up and down the streets a bit and then stopped in for lunch at a café. When I had finished my sandwich I asked the woman behind the counter how I could walk to the castle, and she happily told me to head straight across the bridge out of town and then go left along the road for 7km. She warned me that it was an hour's walk, but I smiled and told her that was fine. I headed up the way she had indicated, crossed the bridge, but then instead of turning left I decided to turn right and explore the mountain forests a little bit. 

There was snow on the ground and in the trees; I felt like I was in the land of Christmas. I went down a path to a stream and followed along it for a while until I came to a little cave where the water was pouring through. Genuine alpine water! It was so fresh, cold and clear it was like Evian spilling out all over the forest floor. There was a strange small wooden boat pulled up on the forest floor, covered with snow and I wondered why it was there. I jumped across some streams on the rocks, taking photographs and listening to the heavy melting snow falling off the branches, hitting the ground below. 

I walked up farther a little ways and came to a waterfall where there was a statue carved into the rock, some man from long ago who I did not know. The water was so clear and blue and I could see down into the depths of it unlike the Chicago river where you can only see maybe five inches. I treked around a bit more before deciding to backtrack and head up to the castle. It was a long walk, but I loved every minute of it. The mountains towered over me with pine trees standing like giants. Then I came around a bend and saw the castle way up above me in the clouds. The air was cold but steam was rose off of me and I had to unwrap the scarf around my head and take off my gloves. 

I am a girl from the midwest of North America which is dead flat, and I had never seen mountains like this in my entire life. It was an incredible experience to walk ever upwards and to see the world shrink below me. Farther and farther I went until the towns were tiny, the little orange roofs dotting the world at my feet. Then I came to the place where all the tourists were, buying silly hats and stickers, and the place where the horse driven buggys are there to take up the lazy ones. 

Finally I made it up to the very top where the castle is. The tourists all waited in line to get in, and I heard a loud speaker called off "English tour number 163 you may now enter." I admired the castle from the outside, took some photographs of the spires and statues, the incredible view of the valley from where I stood, and then, deciding I had no interest in standing in any lines or enduring English Tour number 168, made my descent. 

Tired from my four hour alpine walk, I had chocolate cherry cake and tea while I waited for the bus back to Füssen, and then dozed the entire train ride back to Munich. Got off at the wrong stop, but a very tall girl in cool boots saved me from getting lost; we rode the S-Bahn into the city and talked the whole while. 

I was exhausted when I got back to the city, and walked back to the Hackerhaus for dinner where I was seated across from a business man from Bonn. He was all excited to be able to practice his English on me and told me how he'd begun his Christmas shopping earlier that day, how he'd met his wife years ago when they were at University together, and how he was going to Croatia soon. Eventually he left and it was just me alone with my beer and my giant dumpling and slab of pork. God was I hungy. Ate the whole damn thing. 

Today was one of the best days ever.
Tags: europe
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