As most of you know, so much a part of the trip is the actual planning of it. This one started in November when we were still trying to decide what to do for our anniversary in January - when Al checked the airfares to Munich and much to our surprise found them to be $250 round trip. Of course with the tax added it came to $332 but still a steal - how could we not go? We picked dates and booked the flight not sure where we were going. I had just been reading several of the trip reports of those who had attended Ben's Stammtisch get together at Urach and so many came and stayed in or near Füssen. We had been to Neuschwanstein twice previously, but had never actually stopped in Füssen. Why not stay there and make it a base for the week. I immediately went to Ben’s site and read all the recommendations I could find on Füssen. Suzanne’s B&B always came up along with a couple of nearby farms. Would have loved to stay where Ben did in September (a farm next to the Wieskirche), but we decided against a rental car so we chose to stay at Suzanne’s B&B (80€/day or 74€/daily for week). We have been overwhelmed with her kindness and helpfulness in planning our stay so we will see how it goes when we get there. Of course we told her BavariaBen recommended her! Everyone else on the board was also helpful with their suggestions. We had inquired of Suzanne if there were any airport pickup services and she made all the arrangements for us. It was also nice with her being an American as she has a bank account in the states and our deposit went there.

Day 1 - January 13th, 2004

Our flight from Philly to Munich was at 8:10pm. We decided to leave our house at 4pm to beat the rush hour. Ironically there was no one on the road and it was very weird. We pulled into the airport parking and were on a bus to the gate at 4:30. The poor driver was new and missed the turn into the departures twice. When we finally got off we expected quite a long line since so many of the overseas flight leave around the same time. To our surprise, we walked right up to a ticket agent. Again it was weird. We went through security with absolutely no one in front of us either. Went to the food court and had a piece of pizza to tie us over until the meal in flight. At first we thought the plane wouldn’t be full as there were not a lot of people waiting. Once we boarded though, a large group of students came on from a connecting flight from CA. They were going to Salzburg for 3 months and were quite excited. I had asked my doctor for some help sleeping and when they brought the meal I took my pill, ate and fell asleep for 4 full hours. That was a first for me. Landed a half hour early and the driver was there to pick us up and take us to Füssen. The price for that was 160€ for 2 - round trip. Arrived at Suzanne’s after 1½ hours and what a charming place.

Our room is #1 and is darling with a small entryway for suitcases and coats, boots, etc. The bathroom has a heated floor, which was wonderful. The towels in the bathroom are huge and thick and she has washcloths - a rarity indeed. Her husband has done all the woodworking in the entire house himself, which includes walls, ceilings, tables, wardrobes, you name it. Suzanne had a lot of problems with her legs last year and thought she was going to end up in a wheelchair so they did a lot of renovations. They moved the breakfast room downstairs and it has beautiful doors that lead out into her garden. They have also added a new suite that will sleep 10 and has it’s own outside entrance. Fortunately, her legs are OK and she is very happy with the results of her renovations and will be updating her website within a month to reflect the changes.

It was a sunny day and the weather forecast for the rest of the week was not very promising. We wanted to get pictures of the castle in the sun so decided to head out right away and eat lunch there. Suzanne’s husband Joe had broken two toes in his foot and couldn’t work so he offered to drive us to the castle and then pick us up again later. Our biggest disappointment though came right off the bat. We asked about getting the tickets to the Ludwig Musical and she told us the Musical went bankrupt on December 31. We were very upset, as that was to be our anniversary dinner and evening. She told us she had something else in mind for us and to go off and enjoy our afternoon. As soon as we got there we needed to find an ATM and we were hungry. Got our money and then headed up the long steep hill to the castle. We stopped for lunch at the restaurant ¾ of the way up and just had gulaschsuppe and wine schorlee for me and wurst and dunkle beer for Al. Then continued the trek up the hill taking pictures and videos all the while. There was a group of Japanese School kids that were part of a choir, waiting to get it. While waiting, they broke into song and entertained everyone. It was quite nice.

After walking around a bit and taking our pictures of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, we headed toward the walkway for the Marienbrücke, but sadly it was closed. We didn’t see anyone standing on the bridge while we were in the courtyard but thought we would give it a try. There was no snow on the ground this day and the road didn’t look bad. A few patches of ice here and there but they had do not enter posted in about 6 languages so I guess they meant it. Once at the bottom of the hill we called Joe to come get us and then we walked into town for an early dinner as we were really getting tired. We did find the Italian Restaurant that Marianne recommended near Woolworth’s and it is the San Marco. It is actually run by Turks who recently bought it and we had an excellent meal. Our meals were about 11.90€ and we had a tradition of each having 2 drinks each, beer for Al and wine for me. A young American couple with a baby came in and had eaten there the night before and liked it so much they came back. We enjoyed talking with them. He is working in Frankfurt for 6 months for the Army and he works 4 days and has 4 days off so they travel frequently. They were staying at the Hotel Lisl in Hohenschwangau for the ridiculously low price of 55€ per night when it usually runs 110€ and they were the only ones there. We were extremely tired and headed back to our room and went to bed immediately under the wonderful down comforters and happy to be back in Germany.

Day 2

Thursday awoke to snow. We had a very good breakfast along with two men whose car broke down on their way to Romania. We had just helped ourselves to a piece of ham and cheese and they came and took the whole platter and put it on their plates. Suzanne said they don’t get ham like that where they live. I told Suzanne I was interested in painted pewter figurines (I collect them and usually buy them in Munich) and Christmas ornaments and she told us exactly the stores to buy them. We started the day by walking all over the old town. Stopped first at the Tourist Info and bought a city map and got a copy of the train and bus schedule. Went up and down all of the main and side streets of the Fußgängerzone. It was quite charming in the snow.

The main street is the Reichenstrasse and is the identical route of the earlier Roman Road via Claudia Augusta. There are many charming shops of all sorts and even a Woolworth’s. The last Woolworth’s I saw was in Munich and that closed a few years ago. We did buy a great little 7-band short-wave radio in Woolworth’s for 7.99€. For some reason we did not bring ours. We found the store that sells the painted pewter (St. Mang Laden, near the castle). I bought some for myself and for gifts and the couple that own the store were just charming and both spoke English. Walked up to the castle and around the courtyard. They have a museum that opens in the afternoon so we didn’t see that. Stopped in at St. Mangs church to look at that on the way down from the castle. Went to the Hotel Kurcafe for lunch and it was wonderful.

I had a crepe filled with cheese and berries and covered completely with warm vanilla sauce topped off with a glass of wine. Al had Gulaschsuppe and beer and we thought we would go back for dinner that night. Since Füssen is not a big ski resort the month of January is their slowest time. Some stores were closed as well as a couple of hotels.

After lunch we walked in the snow on a Wanderweg that led past really cute little cabins on a hillside and you could tell there were lovely gardens there.

Suzanne later told us that towns people own them and they are strictly for gardens. You are not suppose to live in them, (they are quite small), but are just so picturesque and they do make wonderful gardens. There is quite a long waiting list for them. Continued on past the High School, indoor swimming pool and through some very nice neighborhoods. The kids were home from school and were all out playing in the snow or sledding. Passed a huge cemetery and took a steep footpath down to the Forggensee. It was very pretty with a fresh coating of snow. The large boat that runs in summer was high out of the water. Suzanne later told us the lake is a reservoir and the water is cautiously controlled. It has become very expensive for water over there and she pays over 3000€ a year for water. Partly because most of her guests in high season only stay one night so she is constantly washing linens. We continued walking toward the huge, but dark Musical Theatre. It was sad to see such a beautiful building, in such a beautiful location overlooking the lake and the castle, just sit empty and dark. After walking around the building we started the long walk back just as the setting sun was breaking through in patches of sky.

We rested in the room a short while before heading to Hotel Kurcafe for dinner, which was very good. There was only one other table occupied and they were a group of 5 and were Americans. Have seen a lot of them so far. Walked up main pedestrian zone to Café Ephesus. This was the only Eis Café in town open this month. This is a really cute little place but the people that run it were not very friendly. Suzanne said they are new owners, Turkish and struggling to get going. It was a great dessert - but aren’t they all!!! Back to the room to read and then to bed.

Day 3

Today is our 22d Anniversary. We had a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs that Suzanne made for us. I cannot say enough about how hospitable she was. The first morning she asked if we wanted coffee. Al doesn’t drink it and I do, but don’t like the strong coffee in Germany. She said it wasn’t a problem she would make me “American Coffee” and she did, every day. She also noticed the first day that I took a saucer and kept it upside down over my coffee to keep it hot. The 2nd morning she had a heated mug waiting for me. She also has a small refrigerator in her kitchen and she will keep a bottle of beer or water in there for you to have. Her charge for this was the same as the store. In busy season she won’t sell beer, but would let people put their own in if there is enough room. This was the first time I have had scrambled eggs in Germany or Austria and she said she would make them as often as we wished. When she saw which rolls we were eating she made it a point to have them every day for us. While we were eating Suzanne told us about a wonderful restaurant in another town that she thought we would love to go to for our anniversary dinner. She would call and make reservations for us and believe it or not would drive us there. Her husband plays cards Friday night with the men and she is always home. The restaurant is
Burghotel auf dem Falkenstein. (Click on English and then Burghotel. They also own the other restaurant on the same mountain but much closer to the bottom). This hotel sets just beneath the ruins of the highest castle ruins in Germany, the Falkenstein Castle. This was where King Ludwig had plans to build his next castle and in fact, the water pipes were already laid. You can see the drawings of his plans hanging in Neuschwanstein Castle near the gift shop after the tour. When she described the road to the castle I knew we would never drive it, even in good weather, so her offer was graciously accepted. She called the taxi company and they would charge 30€ for the trip so she charged us 20€. She made us reservations for 6:30pm.

Today we decided to try the Tegelbergbahn. Weather was undecided as to what it was going to do. She called for us to see if it was running and there was no answer so she thought it was. There is usually a recoding on if it’s not running. Of course I was anxious for pictures of the castle from the top but had guarded optimism due to the weather. Walked to Bahnhof and got a bus in 5 minutes and then was only 10 minutes or less to get there. Arrived to find it wasn’t running - bummer. Ran back to the bus but he wasn’t going to Hohenschwangau and pointed us to a walking trail that would be about 2.5 km so off we went. With the freshly fallen snow and walking thru fields and then through woods it was beautiful. Took one wrong turn as I was looking up for the castle taking this picture

and we missed the sign. Continued on what we thought was a trail and it led us up a hill to a woodshed where a guy was chopping wood. He graciously pointed us in the right direction and we were pleased that we even understood him. We got back on the right track and into Hohenschwangau and then bought tickets to tour Hohenschwangau. We had 45 minutes til an English tour so we took our time walking up the road and looked in the gift shop until it was our time. There were only two other Americans, six Japanese and the rest were Germans. They gave us listening devices to hear the tour as we followed the German guide. We enjoyed the tour and the walk back down but were very hungry. Stopped at Hotel Müller for Gulaschsuppe. Tried to stop at Tip-Royal gift shop where they have the Christmas ornaments but it was closed today. I am in an ornament exchange with a group of friends and we always do it after Christmas. A small note on the door said it would be open for Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Took the bus back to the Bahnhof and walked around in the Altstadt a while. Al was very tired from all the walking the past couple days and went back to the room to take a nap. I wandered along the streets delighted to be able to stop in and look at everything. I even managed to get myself lost for about 5 minutes in a small back alleyway. Finally arrived back at the room with time for a short rest and then changed to go to restaurant for our special dinner.

Suzanne was ready right on time. Was not a long drive to the mountain and then it seemed endless. The road was one lane only with a traffic light at the bottom, which she ignored!!!!! It was narrow and winding and nerve wracking as it was snowing again, but it didn’t faze her in the least bit. There was a road part way up that led to another family owned restaurant, but we continued all the way up. There were several parking areas about ¾ of the way up and so glad we didn’t have to park there. Would not have been able to walk that distance in the snowy weather. It’s very narrow at the top and not a lot of room to park. Upon arriving at the top she let us off and told us to call her 20 minutes before we wanted to come back. We were spellbound looking at the view around us. The ruins were further above and all lit. There is a path you can take to walk up there during the day. On the one side was a magnificent view of the town of Pfronten, and the other side the view was mostly Austria and you can see the Zugspitze during the day. There is also a very nice balcony to eat on in nicer weather that faces the Zugspitze. We stepped into one of the most charming restaurants I have ever been in. It was obviously a very, very nice place and beautifully decorated, but not to the point where you didn’t feel comfortable.

Our waitress was a charming young girl that surprisingly knew no English at all. It’s funny, but technically Al knows German much better than I do, but freezes up and can’t think. He also can’t pronounce anything worth a darn so the girl directed everything to me. We both had excellent meals and they have a lot of nice extras that are included in the meal. The only thing we passed on was the schnapps. If you are ever in the area and want a “special” place to go, this is it. It was not cheap, but we didn’t mind for our anniversary. It was 77.20€ that included our meals, 2 beers, 3 wines, 2 mineral waters and 2 killer desserts. The food was wonderful and the décor beautiful. After our dinner the hotel called Suzanne to come for us. We took our time looking around inside and out. Inside they have small items you can buy and also some antiques. There are also a lot of “things” outside to look at. It was snowing heavily and this made for a very interesting ride down to the bottom, where it was raining. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary and we were thrilled at Suzanne’s suggestion and participation.

Day 4

We were planning on taking the 10am bus to Oberstdorf today, which is a 2-hour ride down into the Alps. It was snowing heavily and we didn’t feel comfortable about a bus ride under those conditions so we instead took the train to Augsburg, which is 2 hours north of Füssen. Our ticket was 22€ for both, round trip. This is a special Bayern Ticket that will accommodate up to 5 people for that price for the day. Of course they never asked to see our ticket either way of the trip. We enjoyed the ride as it gave our weary bodies a chance to rest. Suzanne was amazing as usual. She got on her computer and printed us a city map and highlighted the places to visit. In particular she stressed we visit the
Fuggerei. I had never heard of this, but for that matter did not know much about Augsburg. A very wealthy man names Jakob Fugger (Jakob the Rich) built a unique social settlement for poor catholic people in Augsburg, which continues today. Catholic Senior citizens live there for 1€ a year. It was started in the 1500’s and one of the original occupants was Franz Mozart, the grandfather of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was a brick layer and he lived there for 12 years.

When we first arrived at Bahnhof we tried to use the toilettens and they wanted .80€ so we went across the street to McDonalds. Following our map we walked thru the Pedestrian Zone.

The sun was shining brightly and there were tons of shoppers around. They also have a small Viktualien type market that was crowded. Everywhere someone was selling Krapfen (donuts), and there were long lines of people waiting to buy them. I can’t remember ever seeing so many. We stopped at a sidewalk stand and I got a Brezel and Al a Wurst with Senf. It wasn’t bad either. Walked out of that neighborhood into one on the shabby side. Eventually it turned into an all-Turkish neighborhood and they had a lot of outdoor shops and small markets. Saw a sign for “Fuggerei Stubl” and realized we were near. Didn’t realize we could have entered there. Instead we continued and in 2 blocks reached Jakobs Wall, part of the original city wall and knew we passed it. Asked someone and they directed us correctly. What a charming little community.

These houses are so tiny - two rooms on each floor approximately 8 or 9 x12. There are about 4 rows of them with a street running through the center. It’s all cobblestones and beautiful ivy vines grow up the old walls. There is a small museum in which is one of the houses with sample rooms of how they lived then. A few houses away is a little gift shop and small café. We had a cup of Gluwein, which tasted good as it started showering. . Outside was a man dressed as someone in the Fugger family would have dressed in those days.

Headed back toward the old city and it alternated raining then bright sun. The city Dom is also undergoing restoration. What fascinated us most were the ruins beside the Dom. Found out they are (we think), the remainders of the Church of St. John (10th century) and relics of the Roman times. We were fascinated with all the ruins and spent quite a while looking at them. There were parts of columns, statues, large tablets written in Latin. There was a nice display with a lot of writing about it but it was only in German.

From what we could understand, Augsburg was named after Augustus Caesar who founded the city. The road from the Dom and Rathaus heads south to Rome even today. I would be interested in finding out more information about this.

Leaving this area we heading back to the Bahnhof thru the pedestrian area again. The stores were still open until 4pm and we had a 4pm train to catch. We thought Augsburg to be a very cosmopolitan city, but not as nice - in our opinion - as Munich. Prices are certainly cheaper than Munich and Füssen, but the clothes are not of a style that I would wear either. Guess I’m showing my age. Slept part of the way back on the train and then read the book I bought on the Fuggerei. We walked to Suzanne’s and dumped our stuff then went to the restaurant that she recommends called
Ritterstub'n. It was a good meal. They specialize in fish, which Al had but I didn’t. Excellent desserts. Back to room by 8:45, read awhile and then to bed.

Day 5

Awoke to a very heavy sky with no visibility. We decided to go and tour Neuschwanstein today. Even though we have been through twice before, how can you be there and not go see it. Besides it was 9 years since our last visit so good enough reason for us. Then we wanted to stop in that gift shop there across from where you buy the tickets. It started snowing while we were at the Bahnhof and it was coming down like crazy. We paid to ride up in the horse carriage. I don’t think either of us had the strength to walk up that hill again, especially under such snowy conditions. A lovely Filipino couple that were on their honeymoon sat beside us on the ride up. They spoke perfect English and we enjoyed talking with them and stayed together through the tour. We had to wait ½ hour for our tour and then we had a most interesting guide. He took his time and even answered a lot of questions. Again we thought about it being such a wonderful place. Outside, the snow was sticking to everything and it made the fairytale setting look like a winter wonderland. It was just beautiful. As we went down the hill, never-ending groups of people were making their way up to see this fantasy. We had an interesting talk with Suzanne about King Ludwig and the people in the town are very defensive when it comes to him. He provided a lot of work for their ancestors and even though they know there was a lot going on and is still a big mystery, they do not like people talking about him in an unkind way. She also told us the town’s theory of his death.

Upon arriving at the bottom we had lunch at the Hotel Lisl Café and watched the people, and the horse carriages ascend and descend the hill and at the same time could look at Hohenschwangau in front of us. Just perfect. After lunch we walked down to the Tip Royal store and found the perfect gifts I was looking for. Lovely people own the store and when they heard us speaking English they asked if we were staying at Suzanne’s. We were quite surprised. Here they saw Suzanne and Joe just before opening the store. Suzanne had wanted to see the house they inherited from the wife’s mother and told them we would be coming and what we looked like. They were so nice and very helpful. We left with our goodies and as luck would have it, a bus came right away. Trudged home with our goodies, sorted and resorted things to pack in our carry-on items and then we both took a nap. At 5, we headed to the Internet Café and spent 1 hour there. This is the one that Ben mentioned in his trip report. It is called Internet Video. We also saw another one in the pedestrian zone in a T-Mobile store. After figuring out the keyboard, (we never did figure out the @ sign, but fortunately all our addresses were there). It was funny seeing AOL all in German. Kind of threw us for a loop at first. When we signed on from Austria 2 years ago we got AOL in English.

We then went to the restaurant Zum Hechten for dinner. This was our favorite restaurant. It is also a small charming hotel with 65 rooms and balconies that overlook the city. The only problem some people have with it is hearing the church bells during the night, since it is in the pedestrian zone and close to the church. The restaurant is on the 2nd floor and there were quite a few local people there. We always take that to be a good sign. A group of men were in the corner playing cards. Our waiter was extremely courteous and helpful and pretty soon the owner, a woman in her 70’s came out and talked with us. She of course wanted to know where we were staying and agreed that Suzanne had a nice place. She asked if we found it in Rick Steves book and we told her no and of course told her about BavariaBen. She is also listed in several travel books and I think she said Fodors or Frommers. We had dessert as we had been having and we both ordered "Heisse Liebe" - vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce, which has long been one of our favorites. Imagine our surprise when the dish came out with 3 American size scoops of ice cream. It was wonderful! Watching the people in the restaurant was especially interesting to us and we felt very comfortable there. Walking back with the snow falling all around the old city was so charming. Read some and went to bed.

Day 6

Today was absolutely a wonderful day. First of all the sun was shining. We had wanted to rent a car for a day while we were here and Suzanne had recommended the Schlichtling agency listed on her website instead of Hertz which the TI recommends. We had sent them an email prior to going over and they said there is never a problem to just walk in and rent one with the exception of a weekend. We didn’t know which day we would rent it and wanted to wait and see on the weather. Suzanne told us on Sunday that Monday looked promising. She called and made all the arrangements for us and then after we had breakfast her husband drove us over to the place. It was only about 4 blocks but he liked doing something. The lady was extremely nice and helpful and we rented an Opel Corsica for 60€ for the day plus refill the gas we used. We never thought to ask about automatic or stick and it was naturally a stick. Fortunately we both do drive them and this little car was just perfect. Had no trouble with directions and we were on our way to the Wies Church. The ride was just beautiful. The snow was clinging to everything and the usually beautiful scenery turned into something from a storybook. Just stunning. The closer we got to Steingaden it was easy to see that they had received more snow than we had. When we turned onto the road leading to the church I just could not imagine this serene country road leading to such a beautiful church. We were the only car in the parking lot and the man at the Kiosk was just opening. We used the restrooms and I took quite a few pictures and videos outside before we entered the church. To say it is beautiful is an understatement. We stood in awe a couple of minutes just to let it all soak it, then for 15 minutes I took pictures and videos and walked all around. The Christmas trees were still up in the church and here they had beautiful candlelights on them. Plus there was a beautiful traditional nativity set up near the alter and on the one side another nativity under glass only all the people were dressed in Bavarian clothing. It was quite unique and beautiful.

Up in the front, on either side of the high alter was a passage way and from what we could tell this was an area where people left decorated candles, pictures of babies and notes of appreciation. A busload of Japanese came in about then and it became quite noisy, breaking the spell I was in so I walked out to the entry way to read some of the little brochures they have printed in many languages. Within 10 minutes they were all gone and it was once again quiet and serene. We walked outside and took some more pictures before we walked back to the car. I did buy a couple things at the Kiosk and the man was quite pleasant and wanted to chat. He gave me a small, (wallet size) but beautiful picture of Neuschwanstein on a matted card with painted flowers all around. It is suitable to put in a nice little frame. He also had some beautiful embroidered tablecloths at the unheard of price of 19.99€. In Füssen they had beautiful ones but they averaged 65€. I bought 2 from him. This is also an easy gift to carry home and my sister who watches our dog will appreciate one. We finally had to leave and headed toward Ettal Monastery. For some reason we had never stopped there either and knew very little about it - other than that the Monks had a brewery - hey, that is important, isn’t it?? Again, the snow made such beautiful scenery and I took a lot of videos out the window. As we neared Oberammergau we realized we were hungry but decided to bypass the village this time as we’ve been there three times and still had a lot to see yet. Pulled into the parking lot of Ettal Monastery shortly and immediately went to the Edelweiss Café for some lunch which was quite good. We always carry a Beanie Baby that is a Westie with us (as we have a real Westie and are very involved with them). We got Kirby out of the backpack and he enjoyed a beer with Al.

Got some nice pictures inside and out, but overall we were disappointed. We thought there were tours and there are not. We really didn’t know anything about Ettal and I had to buy a small book about it. Was surprised to find that there was a boarding school for 385 boys. The monks make liquor there as well as brew beer - that’s all Al was interested in, but again, no tours. While the church was impressive, the Wieskirche has it beat by a mile, in our opinion. We stopped in a shop across the street, which sold alcohol, and I was happy to find Jägertee. Since we wouldn’t be making it into Austria I wasn’t sure I would find some. Now my supply was replenished.

Leaving Ettal we headed back toward the road to Linderhof. For some reason we had never been there either - big mistake. The ride on the road out there was beautiful and again picture postcard with dozens of people cross-country skiing. and the mountains. We were shocked at arriving at Linderhof to see the beautiful setting. Unbelievable! I don’t know what I imagined, but not this. Each scene was prettier than the last. The walk there was nothing but oohs and aahs. The castle has scaffolding (no kidding), across the entire front, but they have a huge piece of material across the front with either a painting or picture of what it really looks like.. We did not take any pictures of it this way - or the gardens. Took a few inside but not allowed flash so they were fuzzy.

Decided this was definitely worth a return visit to see it in the summer. The tour guide said the work on the front is expected to be complete the end of 2004. The castle was as impressive as we expected and we could understand why Ludwig liked it so much. We had intended to continue on the road along the Plansee, into Reutte, Austria and then up to Füssen, but we were advised against it as near the lake the road tends to be in poor condition and it often unexpectedly closed. By this time of day it was also starting to cloud over so to be safe we went back the same way we came, which was certainly no hardship.

Arrived back in Füssen at 5:15 after a truly enjoyable day. We filled the car with gas to return it in the morning and then walked into the Pedestrian area to find a restaurant that we had not been to yet. Went to
Gasthaus Krone. This was quite an interesting place - sort of medieval. I had a great meal of pork and Al had salmon steak. Here his salmon was not filleted and he had to pick all the bones out, plus he said he didn’t enjoy it too much. They give you paper bibs as napkins. We actually felt a little foolish but everyone had them on. It was pretty crowded and again a lot of locals. We had dessert also and afterwards walked around a while, came home and read before bed. A great day indeed.

Day 7

We could hear it raining as we woke up but on the radio we heard that there was a really bad snowstorm in the Garmisch area. We were to have a mix with all snow tomorrow. Of course Al starts worrying about getting out of here in the morning. Suzanne said not to worry as they had plenty of snowplows and know how to use them. We didn’t want to go anywhere too far as we wanted to start sorting and packing this afternoon. We took the bus to the little town of Schwangau and walked around in the snow. Very cute little town and quite a few farms. Everything there was just lovely. Beautiful woodwork was everywhere.

We came upon a store - just behind the large Spar supermarket/gas station on the main road that was actually a linen outlet. WOW. Since I love to buy tablecloths I really hit pay dirt here. Bought 4 beautiful squares ones for 7.90€ and 4 small round ones for end tables at 2.80€ and a runner for 2.80€ also. Then we went into the Spar Market and bought more chocolate bars and a few odds and ends. We had planned on going to the Gasthof zur Post that Ben mentioned he likes but they were closed. In fact all the restaurants and hotels were closed with about 3 opening at 5pm for dinner, but everything else was closed until January 25th. Right by the bus stop was a small produce market and beside it was a tiny Italian Café. Suddenly pizza sounded just right. It was quite good and nice and cozy with the wet snowy weather outside. We split a Hawaiian pizza and had our traditional beer and wine.

Got the bus back to Füssen and walked around some more. Big wet snowflakes were coming down like crazy and we were cold and felt like some Gluwein. Only place that had some was the Ephesus Café so we went in. It is such a cute place but the waitress was just so sour. The Gluwein hit the spot however. Back at Suzanne’s we both fell asleep and then started sorting out our goodies that needed to be packed and then started on the clothes. Al paid Suzanne for the extras, which turned out to be a good deal for us. The Taxi to the Falkenstein was 30€ and she charged us 20€ and then we paid for the beer and the 2 bottles of water she kept in the frig for us. We also have for her a book of aerial photos of PA and a magnet of Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge. She loves magnets. We read a while and then walked to town for dinner. Had already decided to go back to Zum Hecten and are glad we did. Immediately the waiter welcomed us back and seated us at our previous table. In just a minute the owner came out and thanked us for coming back. She is in her 70’s and Suzanne said both her son’s died early and they are in the process of turning the business over to a nephew. Our meals tonight were absolutely the best, very appropriate. Al had a beef and mushroom stew with potato noodles, broccoli and salad. I had pork stew with potato pancakes that were thick and delicious with mixed veggies and salad. Also had potato soup beforehand and for dessert vanilla Eis with hot himbeereen sauce. Al had some kind of concoction that was three different berries with their sauces poured over lady fingers, a shot of amaretto and whipped cream. The waiter talked me into an Eir liquor and it was delicious. The owner said she likes it so much she could drink three. She spent a lot of time talking to us about the U.S. and about Rick Steves and Fodors. She was also curious as to how many rooms Suzanne had. Just a lovely lady. We finally left and walked around the Altstadt taking pictures in the snow.

Lots of people seemed to be out walking in the snow tonight. Perfect ending to a fairytale trip!

Home Again

We awoke to a snowplow going up and down and up and down our street several times at 5:15. Not to worry about being up at 6. Upon looking out the window there was a lot of snow and it was still coming down. Great - driving out of Füssen in a snowstorm made Al nervous about getting to the airport on time. Showered, dressed and finished up the little packing we had left. Suzanne was having breakfast for us at 7:30 as our ride was due 8-8:30 and we were hoping he would come at 8 due to the weather. Al took all the bags down, we ate and waited and at 8:20 the driver called and was lost. He didn’t arrive until 8:45 and then another 5 minutes to load up and say goodbye. He was very nice but didn’t take the best route and we ended up taking 17 all the way to the autobahn, which was so very slow. There were a ton of trucks on the 2-lane road and no opportunity to pass. He was very cautious however. It took just over 2 hours to get to the airport. By the time we neared Munich it was sunny. We were the last people to check-in at 11am. Flight was 12:15. No lines but 3 security stops. As luck would have it the tax refund and customs were on the way to our gate and went through there in a breeze. The girl at customs looked at one item and said not to bother unpacking anything else - GREAT! We made a beeline to our gate and they were already loading. Plane left right on time and landed in Philly a half hour early.

Auf Wiedersehen...


Suzanne's B & B

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