castle

Fail whale castle

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The trip to Neuschwanstein castle from Munich took 2 hours one way on in the train, and the whole day to negotiate the travel and explorations. Being the inspiration for the Disneyland castle, it’s something I’ve always wanted to see. Imagine our surprise when we discovered it was covered in scaffolding and wrapped in plastic! Ive attached a photo of what it should look like and what it DID look like. Only the front of the caste was unwrapped for inspection. It was a little disappointing from a photographic perspective but the tour through it and the walk down into the waterfalls and rainforest type gardens below was beautiful. The tour guide was concerned about the climb up to the castle but our hostel in Munich had a broken elevator and we were on the 5th floor (102 stairs) so the climb was no problem to us billy goats.

After Munich we arrived back to Austria to Innsbruck, which is a mall village surrounded by enormous snow capped mountains. Sophie had found a special deal on the Hilton hotel so it was pretty exciting and a nice break to stay there and eat a REAL breakfast. We even had TV WITH English speaking channels and movies woohoo! We ate so much breakfast that we didn’t need lunch and had an early tea at 4 pm instead.

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It rained for the whole day we were at Innsbruck but we walked up the mountain to the Alpine zoo regardless. Being a weekday and raining meant we pretty much had the zoo to ourselves and the boundaries between the people and the animals were almost non-existent compared the the Melbourne Zoo so we got some terrific photos.

Goodbye to Germany and Austria. We have conquered 7 countries now in 4 weeks and are about to explore our 8th, starting with Venice in Italy where the temperatures are soaring higher up the 30s and we will stay with my Twitter friend in her B&B.

I'm writing this in the bus on the way to Venice. Already the contrast from Austria is huge. Apart from the magnificent scenery across the mountains, the roadstop along the motorway was very different to the 'orderly' German and Austrian ones. It was hot, messy, loud and confusing. Bring on the new culture I say:)

I love a good castle!

‘Speak to me oh chocolate lips’! Colin shouted to the GPS, which had stopped talking to us. Pity he had his window open, his loudest voice on and a Spanish woman was standing at the curb in full earshot.
I decided that driving to Tossa del Mar was too precarious for our first experience on Spanish roads, in a manual car leaving from the centre of Barcelona. Tossa del Mar required driving along the coast for 2 hours on hair pin bends. Unfortunately we missed the turn off and ended up going anyway.
When I retire I am going to eat olive pate at a Spanish castle overlooking the beach in the sunshine while drinking beer. I tried it today and I think it was 10 of the best experiences I’ve had. Yes it was worth the hairaising drive to San Feliu via Tossa del Mar and is what this holiday is all about. Experiencing the  ‘off the beaten track’ villages and having adventures.

Driving into Tossa del Mar village, sent us plunging into 10cm wide roads with 1000’s of pedestrians and no cars other than us. Were we meant to be on the road? No idea. After parking the car, we took a ticket and aimed to return after 2 hours as it cost 3 Euro per hour. Guess who lost the ticket? Me. After a frantic search, we begged the ticket woman for mercy and got away with a 5 Euro bill. Phew!
Travelling with the MOTH is like travelling with Croc Dundee. Here we are in this gorgeous ancient town, waiting to order tapas and he asks the waitress for an Australian menu rather than an English one. We could hear the laughter out the back when she went and told the kitchen staff what he said.
The MOTH has decided that there are no crazy driving conditions he hasn’t experienced after today. The GPS took him on some pretty precarious trips… I mean ‘adventures’.
We arrived in Sant Feliu safe and sound and are about to enjoy a nice meal overlooking the ocean. Tomorrow  Girona…

More photos here: