The Life of Bon: Europe part 1: A crazy suicidal king and accompanying castle!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Europe part 1: A crazy suicidal king and accompanying castle!

Alright, folks, I’m going to make my best attempt at travel blogging.  I got lots of great suggestions when I asked how to do travel blogging so that it stayed interesting, so here I am to give my best effort.  Also, I feel like I need to clarify that I do not always think reading about other people’s vacations is boring.  A lot of times I really love it, and it’s my favorite type of things to read.  Other times....  (Visions of family reunion sitting and watching a slideshow of 500 pictures of someone’s trip to North Dakota are flashing through my mind.)

So here goes!  My best effort.  I'll probably have to break this up into three or four installments.  But it's going to be fun- I promise!


Cool thing #1:  Neuschwanstein.  Abandon all hope on trying to pronounce that bad boy.

*** Interesting fact- on the way to Neuschwanstein Greg demanded we pull over the car for an emergency stop so he could throw up.  On the way home, my niece demanded we pull over the car for an emergecny stop so she could go potty in the grass.  It was really quite eventful!***

King Ludwig II of Bavaria was this total nutjob who spent his life building huge, ornate castles in which he spent very little time.  Ludwig took over the throne at the ripe old age of 18 and pretty much ignored all the state affairs in favor of his big fancy architectural projects, like Neuschwanstein- a castle Disney later used as model for the Sleeping Beauty castle. Ludwig built the castle as an homage to his favorite composed, Richard Wagner, and paid for the castle with own money and through extensive borrowing.  His advisers tried to restrain him, but he would have his pretty expensive castle, dang it!   The castle was in the process of being built for 17 years and he only lived in it for 170 some odd days.  Even now the inside of the castle remains mostly unfinished on the inside.  He was really into appearances, you could say.  He was supposed to marry this one girl (with whom his main shared interest was great love for Richard Wagner) but eventually broke it off with her, and he never had any mistresses.  From his diaries we know he had strong homosexual desires.  He was declared insane in his forties and days later he was found drowned in the nearby lake alongside his therapist.  HIS THERAPIST.

So with that awesome background story, I present to you the castle and nearby accompanying lake where Ludwig drowned.  Feast your eyes!

^^ Germany was experiencing a total heat wave the first week we were there.  I thought I was going to die if I didn't get in the lake.  So we did.

My sister and her two youngest who showed us all the parts of the town.  My sister is the bomb.  Interesting fact- my niece, Caroline, was not wearing underwear all day long due to some misdirected potty aiming at a potty pit stop in the grass.  Life is tough when you're four.

 ^^ Neuschwanstein means "New Swanstone castle."  Ludwig was really into swans.  Aren't we all?!

^^ Papa in training.

^^Ludwig knew how to pick his property!

^^ Certain tourists were really into getting pictures of my sister's white kids.

 ^^ We humored them, naturally.

 ^^ THE CASTLE!  Totally necessary for a single guy to have that much space, right?

^^ And the Sleeping Beauty castle.  See the resemblance?

We also went one day to visit Old Ludwig’s hunting lodge.  I tell you, this Ludwig guy is as fascinating as they come.  The grounds around the hunting lodge are gorgeous and now they have been turned into a park/ mini amusement park for kids.  (Reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson…)  Also, Germans are really into their fairy tales… all over the place there were these little houses where you could go in and listen to German fairy tales.  I understood absolutely no German, but I’ll tell you this much, most of those “fairy tales” seemed absolutely terrifying.

^^ Hunting lodge!

^^ Still in training.

 ^^ The kids got to sit on a throne and have people take pictures of them.  It was weird.

And now, get ready for creepy fairy tale pictures!

^^ Redhead with knife.  Not at all scary!

^^ Man with giant bugs in his bed.  Lovely!

^^ Hansel and Gretel witch.  Enough to give the bravest adult nightmares.

^^ We finished the day off the only way you can when you've just seen horrifying fairy tales come to life- with two ice creams!

And that's a wrap for travel installment #1.  Tomorrow you get to know all the things that Greg and I disagree on when it comes to travelling.  Fun!


  1. gorgoues pictures bonnie! and thanks for the refresher on crazy ludwig - we visited his castle when i was something like six so its been a few years :)

  2. I've been to Neuschwanstein! It was one of our first stops when we traveled abroad, and I fell in love with it. Some of my favorite photos from that trip are from the castle. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm just mesmerized by all the history in these castles. If only I could live in one :)

  3. I'm actually in the process of learning German (because we are going to Austria, Czech Republic, and Ukraine in December) AND I just came back from a LEGO convention (long story) in which someone built Neuschwanstein out of LEGO's: (don't know if you will be able to access that since it's on my facebook, so here's an other one: ).

    Anyway, I think it is "Noysh-Vahn-Stine." But I may be entirely wrong.

  4. Also, thanks for travel blogging--LOVE IT! :)

  5. I visited Neuschwanstein castle when I was 15 but it was undergoing renovations so you couldn't actually see the outside of the castle :( I definitely want to go back and see it in all of its glory one day!

  6. Great travel post - keep them coming! Your trip sounds absolutely amazing and now I feel like I need to read all about King Ludwig.

  7. Um, this was hilarious. Thanks for the laughs!

  8. So not only does it look like you had a terrific (and highly entertaining) time but you are rocking that bump like nobody's business Bonnie!

  9. Have you heard of The Ludwig Conspiracy? It's a book about that crazy king. I haven't read it but I keep meaning to. I liked the first Hangman's Daughter book and it's by the same author.

  10. These pictures make me miss being in Europe so much!!

  11. Anonymous6:33 PM

    So far yours is the only travel blog post I could make it through. Love the history lesson and pictures! Can't wait to read more about your trip 😊

  12. When you said "hunting lodge" I was imagining a cabin, not a mansion! It must be nice to be king

  13. I love the pictures! I think that I need a "hunting lodge" for my family. I am looking forward to the next post.

  14. haha. Great post Bonnie.

  15. Great first attempt at a travel post! I enjoyed reading it as well as seeing the photos. Not boring at all! Sensible writing with a touch of humour. Looking forward to more of these :)

  16. You did a great job with your travel blogging. That looks like an amazing day. And that lake is just gorgeous!

  17. It's absolutely beautiful! Looks like Greg got a lot of training for when your little girl comes! ;)

  18. You are a friend of Danica's and somehow it linked me to you via bloglovin. Yay! I live somewhere close to this castle but I haven't been there yet. :) thanks for the info!

  19. Is the second castle in Ludwigsburg (next to Stuttgart)?