Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday With Ludwig

SUNDAY, 9/6:

This is the view from our apartment balcony tonight.  Yes, we have an apartment, and yes, it has a balcony.

Greetings from GaPa, or to be a little more accurate, Garmish-Partenkirchen, two towns merged into one in the middle of the German Alps.  That mountain you’re looking at is the Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany.  The clouds around it are the remnants of a nasty weather system that moved through today, dumping a ton of rain and keeping temperatures all day at a balmy 45 degrees.

That’s right.  Last Tuesday it was 91 here, and now it’s 45.  You’d think it was Marquette or something!

We spent most of the day following in the footsteps of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.  As I teased yesterday, he was kind of like the Brian Wilson of his time.  You know how Brian Wilson (or by now have at least Googled Brian Wilson to know) was a bit... extraordinary in the way he dealt with the world and in the music he created and now he’s now beloved by millions?  Well, Ludwig was kind of like that.  He loved to spend his family’s money building castles, he was the major benefactor (and perhaps secret lover) of composer Richard Wagner, loved going on midnight sleigh rides--with his servants wearing royal blue costumes and tri-colored hats, and was eventually controlled to the point that he couldn’t go for a walk without the permission of his “doctor”, much like Wilson was controlled by his “doctor”, Eugene Landy.

Of course, unlike Wilson, Ludwig died a mysterious death when, in 1886, he drowned in two feet of water (this despite being an excellent swimmer), followed an hour later by the death of his “doctor”, also in the same two feet of water.

There are many theories as to how Ludwig really died, most of them having to do with his relatives being sick of him spending their money on ornate places to live.  We visited one of those places today, the Linderhof, and, well, you can at least see where the money went—

While I couldn’t take any pictures inside, rest assured that the inside is just as spectacular as the outside, including rooms filled with mirrors, life-sized ceramic peacocks, and a table that magically rose from the floor full of food for those days when Ludwig didn’t want to deal with people (which, in all honesty, was most days).  It also had these gardens outside of it—

And a specially-built grotto dug deep into a cave so that he might escape from the world (even more than usual) and listen to Wagner music.  In fact, the grotto is done up exactly duplicating Wagner’s opera “Tannhauser”, complete with angels in the background and cupid in a boat!

The grotto, believe it or not, had Germany’s first electrical system installed so that Ludwig could sit in his literal man-cave and listen to his music in private.  Like I said, a bit eccentric and a bit ahead of his time.  But now, the people of this region adore him

On June 13th, 1886, a by-then deposed Ludwig was away from the Linderhof, under house arrest at one of his summer homes, on the shore of Starnberger See, when he met his mysterious end, the site of which is now marked by this monument—

There’s also a chapel there; unfortunately, it is undergoing a complete renovation and is closed to the public.  All in all, though, it was an interesting way to spend part of a day, learning about one very fascinating, enigmatic, and all-around beloved dude, King Ludwig II.

The rest of the day was spent here in GaPa, which looks like an Alpine town—

Loraine and I carried on a long-standing tradition and had ourselves our Italian dinner date night, something we’ve been doing since our very first trip over here.  We found this place called Colosseo, where Loraine had Penne pasta with walnuts and arugala, and I had an amazing Rigatoni with gorgonzola.  Since I bored you with food pictures last night I won’t bore you with food pictures tonight.  Let’s just say that we’ve eaten well for two nights in a row and leave it at that!

On the way back, we strolled through a shopping district, admiring things like signs to get you to buy your lederhosen!

I actually think you’re supposed to wear a shirt UNDER the lederhosen; but then, if you did, the saying on the poster, “Lust auf Lederhosen”, probably wouldn’t make as much sense.

Yes, even in Germany (actually, especially in Germany), sex sells!

Tomorrow, we’re thinking of climbing into a gorge.  Oh, and spending the night in Austria.  Hopefully, it’ll be warm enough for us to do both.  So wish us luck!


  1. I want your life!! Totally awesome stuff. In Dallas today, 96 degrees. I want 45 like in Germany...

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