Friday, June 29, 2012

Rite of Summer

Hobbes ...

... 13 years old and still enjoys a swim in the morning during the summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Europe Day 20: Frankfurt and Home

Our flight didn't leave until 3:15 in the afternoon, but because it was a Friday in Germany and we had to be at the airport 3 hour ahead of time, we were advised to give ourselves plenty of time so we would not be late.
So we got up early and passed on our last free breakfast and were on the road at 7 am for the 492 km drive to Frankfurt airport. We should of stayed for breakfast, as we made it to the airport in 3.5 hours with plenty of time to spare.
Oh how I enjoyed driving in Germany.

Then it was onto the plane and the 8 hour flight home. The flight was so long we had 2 meals, and 3 movies! Thankfully I was so tired, I slept for most of it, only waking up for food and the last movie, Green Lantern, which I saw the entire thing and wished I was asleep for.

When we got to Toronto, my wife's parents were there to pick us up and take us back to their place in Orangeville, where we had left our dogs and cars while we were away.
And then finally, the last 1.5 hour drive home at 100 km an hour, which seemed incredibly slow, to Toronto and home.

Here is our trip by the numbers ...

Airfare $598 per person, plus tax, (I will let you figure that one out) and a additional fee for selecting our seats ahead of time $160
total: $1899.92

Car Rental $1132.08, which included insurance and unlimited kilometres anywhere in Eastern Europe for 3 weeks, plus $40 surcharge for diesel.
Not a scratch on the car I might add,

and no speeding tickets....

Total: $1172.08

Cost of Gas when converted to Canadian dollars: $1135

Cost of hotels for 3 weeks, not including the 3 nights we spent at my brothers place (Thanks again guys!), 19 nights minus 3 nights = 16 nights, (I also included the 350 Euros for the Ferry crossing in this total), when converted to Canadian dollars: $1594

Grand total: $5801
Not too bad for 3 weeks...

Total distance covered: 6901 kms

And here again, in order, are the places we went and the things we did:

Neues Schloss Herrenchiemsee
The Sedlec Ossuary (The Bone Church)
Plitsvice Lakes National Park
The drive to Dubrovnik
The ferry to Bari
Serra San Bruno
The Amalfi Coast route
The drive through the Alps
Stechelberg, Schilthorn mountain
Trummelbach Falls
Schwangau, Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles

This is the first time I made a concerted effort to take more videos of our adventures, and because of that, its taken almost as long as the trip for me to post everything!
But I've had a lot of fun doing it and I hope you have enjoyed following along.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Europe Day 19: Fussen

We had worked up an appetite touring the castles, so we decided to have a leisurely lunch at the hotel restaurant, where I tried a local dish of Bavarian Red Deer, with cranberries, fried onions and pasta -- delicious!
After lunch, we took the 10 minute drive to Fussen, to explore the little town.

As luck would have it, I had managed to get in touch with an old family friend who lived close by and we met him and his girlfriend in Fussen for drinks. 
They took us back to their house to show us around and then we went to dinner at this little farm house a short drive from their place. I had the wild boar, potatoes and brussel sprouts, another fantastic meal.
And then it was time to say goodbye and head back to the hotel to pack and prepare for the long journey home the next morning.

Europe Day 19: Schwangau, Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles

After 409 kms and almost 6 hours of driving, we had finally made it to the last stop of our adventure, Schwangau, a municipality in the region of Bavaria, and the town closest to Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles

After 3 weeks of driving, I was done and we were both pretty much done with walking. We found a hotel and decided that this would be our last stop and we booked it for 2 nights. It cost 98 euros a night.

The next morning we set off to see the castles. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside, but I got lots of exterior shots.

Hohenschwangau Castle was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father King Maximilian II in 1832Hohenschwangau Castle was built on the ruins of the fortress Schwangau, which dates back to the 12th century.

King Ludwig II began construction on  Neuschwanstein Castle in 1869 but died before work was fully completed. In 1886 after his sudden death, it was immediately opened to the paying public as a way for the royal family, who still own the property to this day, to maintain it.
Neuschwanstein Castle has appeared prominently in many movies and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland.

Totally worth the 3 week wait!