we were all pretty sad to leave switzerland behind, but as we continued on to southeastern germany, it pretty much felt like we drove right into a fairytale.
in bavaria, we visited neuschwanstein castle and the darling, adorable towns of oberammergau and mittenwald. we loved all the natural beauty, fascinating history, and complete storybook charm.
it didn’t hurt that we started at the place that inspired disneyland’s sleeping beauty castle – the ultimate fairytale icon! neuschwanstein, majestically perched on the mountain with its towers and turrets, is pretty darn magical. we loved exploring the grounds and the inside in the crisp afternoon.
^^ our first view of the castle. i was pretty excited to see this in real life after seeing so many pictures! ^^
^^hohenschwangau castle is at the foot of the mountain and is where the builder of neuschwanstein, king ludwig ii, grew up. his determination to build a much grander castle full of grandiose art and ornate decoration on top of the mountain was a bit extreme. he borrowed a lot of money and put bavaria in some pretty steep debt. after ludwig’s untimely death, work on the castle ceased, and most of the interior is still unfinished to this day. ^^
^^ it’s a pretty legit hike to get to neuschwanstein from the base of the mountain. pretty cool to see views of the castle around turns going up! ^^
^^ the bridge that offers great views of the castle was closed for construction, which we were a bit bummed about. we didn’t have enough time to hike around for a complete view, but we scrambled around some paths to see the castle from different angles. it’s just so nuzzled into those gorgeous mountains! ian really wants to visit neuschwanstein, so when i go back we’ll find some epic viewpoints! ^^
^^ the views from (rather than of) the castle were plentiful and stunning, though! ^^
^^ the shadow of the castle on the mountains. pretty cool! ^^
^^ we couldn’t take pictures inside the castle, but did get to go out on this balcony. the interior was so luxuriant! ^^
^^ sunset from the castle balcony! ^^
^^ i had to include this “pre-picture” … we have lots of these :) ^^
^^ haha! selfie attempts! ^^
we stayed the night in oberammergau and were stunned by the cuteness of the town when we all went out for a morning walk. the flower boxes and the ornateness of the church blew us away!
our next stop was mittenwald, which we learned is the violin-making capital of the germany, in addition to being just the loveliest, mountain surrounded town you ever did see. our mom is a violinist so this was a prefect spot to visit!
^^ a common sight as we navigated around different places on our trip :) ^^
^^ a still capture as we filmed a segment of our music video – haha! ^^
^^ at the violin museum. incredible to see such fantastically beautiful instruments that are hundreds of years old and really fun to learn about the amazing violin making process. ^^
^^ a good action shot :) saren is often teaching us. she and aja both have so much information in their heads! ^^
^^ love, love that stacked wood. ^^
^^ this photo is from our walk up to a chairlift, which we rode to the top of a peak overlooking mittenwald. riding the lift was so much fun, and it provided both some tremendously beautiful sweeping views and some peaceful alone time since it was a one-seater lift! (we looooove being together and when we are we are constantly engaged in interesting or funny or deep conversations. so after several days of pretty much non-stop awesome sister discussions, it was good to have some solitary time among all the beauty :) )
^^ at the top, after we ate lunch on a terrace with amazing views! ^^
^^ see how my mom has her arms out on the ride down? love her and how she has taught me to love the world. ^^
^^ back to the parking lot. you’ve gotta love the tiny cute cars in europe! ^^
our drive into austria included some amazing scenery and awesome conversations, but also included some super gnarly traffic at the border and a very upset nyc baby (not used to having to stay in a carseat!!).
but both cars finally made it to salzburg, and we met up at a restaurant to eat some wiener schnitzel together!
bavaria really is a fairytale! and gosh, i love my sisters, sister-in-laws and mother so so much!