Traipsing Around Europe – Part 2

Traipsing Around Europe – Part 2

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Ah…time for the sequel after Part 1 of Traipsing around Europe! Part 2 of our big-ish trip was mainly centered around a few little towns in Germany before we von-trapped over to Austria and flew out of Munich again. We had a sexy beast driving us around comfortably for all of Part 2 and by that I mean the car, not Mr.C 😀

This part of the trip was just Mr.C, CocoJr# 1 and myself. It was a much more relaxed pace and lots of scenic driving through vast open green fields and the grazing cows. Mr.C did the long hours of driving himself even though I’m an excellent and competent driver. Turns out I quite like snoozing in the back with CocoJr #1 😀

First stop was to set the tone right for our designated driver by heading straight up to Andechs Monastery. If we were so inclined, this would be a body & soul kind of journey, alas it was more for the body than the soul. For those who are not familiar with the offerings of the monastery, this is for you:

Yep. Beer garden. 1000 year old beer recipe. Amazing views. Giant servings of food. We truly needed the walk after that so we explored the monastery and the grounds whilst the beer wore off to enable some safe driving to a town called Ammersee.

We did all our hotel & apartment bookings on Booking.com for very good value, although this was before we discovered Shopback so there was quite a bit of cashback that we lost out on (I refuse to compute the amount! Onwards and upwards!). Our hotel at Ammersee was very unassuming from the exterior, and we did take a look at the pictures of the rooms. I guess we stopped before we reached the funky rooms and only seeing the ‘normal’ rooms. Behold, our Tiger room, roarrr!

Jr was pleased, as you would imagine. He adopted one of the tiger figurines as his pet while we stayed there. 🙂 Some of the other rooms:

If you preferred stripes of a different colour..
Maybe something more avian would ruffle your feathers?

We walked out and about for dinner, a very tiny town indeed and we found a lake which was so pristine and calm with ducks and white swans paddling to and fro. Turns out Germany is filled with calm and pristine lakes, every little town we stopped had a lake or perhaps we choose to stop in towns with a lake? We walked past houses with pear trees in their front yard that if they just looked out their windows, they’d be able to pluck some pears!

I immediately thought of the roasted duck congee in HK and Peking Duck at this sight…

Stomachs rumbling, we found ourselves then seated in one of the 3 joints that were open for dinner and had some pretty delicious food although it wasn’t particularly a sight that sold you at the first glance. What totally stole the show was dessert and the wine. Portions are huge, as you can tell from the pictures. Activity for the day < food intake for the day makes for a couple of sluggish coconuts. We headed back to our funky room and we slept very well, we knew we were safe with our tiger keeping watch over us.

Fresh water fish from the nearby lake and salty mash potatoes
That fried dough as a side was really nice, at first I had no clue what it is was. I think its called a spatzle.
The star of the show – heavenly dessert

Truly amazing wine, and this is us saying so after our trip to Bordeaux. [Mr.C note: We asked where did the wine come from and was told by the proprietor that it was from one of the local wineyards. Best thing about travelling off the beaten path is discovering local gems like this.]
Come morning, Jr was up bright and fresh as he always is. The child has zero concept of sleeping in (or sleeping early for that matter)! Hearty breakfast and some running with ducks and geese later, we were on our way to Fussen for the night. We choose to stay at a hotel called Hotel Fantasia so this should have been expected:

Lounge Room
Mirror, mirror on the wall…are those stairs leading up or down?
Prettiest bathroom ever..

We were doing well with our accommodation choices thus far! The town was a lot more lively and touristy so we had a lot more to do in the evening. We had an early start the next morning as we were headed to the one and only Neuschwanstein Castle. This is famously known as the castle that Walt Disney emulated in coming up with the iconic Disney castle.

Heading up to Neuschwanstein Castle is certainly worth the effort and my, what a treat the view was! We were awestruck at the interior and how well the entire place was preserved. I mean, there was plastic coverings over the curtains! Our lil CocoJr #1, just 2.5 years old at that time, was front and center of the tour group listening intently to the guide the entire time, we were in equal parts impressed and very proud of the munchkin. Mostly pleased that we didn’t have to entertain the child, shushh him to listen to the guide or hold him back from running around restricted areas. The story of King Ludwig II is actually one that is somewhere between fascinating and sad – a rich man with illusions of grandeur and feeling out of place in the world.

On our exit, CocoJr#1 wanted to take the horse carriage down. The things we do for our lil fella, we stood in line and got on the carriage and sniffed their farts and poo all the way down. Jr was ecstatic and it was quite fun all in all. That marked the end of Fussen for us and we were back in our sexy beast, headed to Chiemsee. Yet another charming town around a lake. This place had more live to it compared to Ammersee.

We had a nice little room that was facing the lake. Our lil firecracker was loud enough for the entire town am sure. He seemed to like dictating the itinerary and credit given where due, he had some good suggestions. Amidst asking for hot chocolate every time we sat down for a meal / drink, he slid in a strong suggestion to go boating on the lake. So we did. It was super fun! We got our life jackets (this is not standard procedure, we had to request for it) and off we went. Handling the boat was easier than riding a bike. We let Jr have a go at the wheels and once again, his squeals were heard throughout town.

The view from the room and we took 1 of these lil boats out 

Come nighttime, as you would in a quiet little town, you find a quiet little place for dinner. We’ve been staying away from the German special of pork knuckles, one large meal at Andechs monastery was all we needed! We were by the lake so some fresh fish was in order and it was delish. We realised it was difficult to keep the toddler entertained in these quiet little towns as there’s not much to walk around as well. I could picture Mr.C and I spending a few days just chilling here, reading a book or playing chess (Mr.C does not enjoy this, I know because I made him play when we were in a secluded and idyllic villa at Lombok!). Jr was mostly very well acclimatized to the travelling but we could see he was getting antsy.

Salzburg, Austria to the rescue! Loads of walking here as it’s a city instead of a town. We stayed away from anything Sound of Music-ish, we read it was an overstatement and we didn’t quite need to see the rolling hills, we saw enough of that driving through Germany. So we stuck with walking through the city. We took it really easy in Salzburg, slow walks, fresh fruit, taking in the scenery and enjoying the street performances as well as talking to some of the locals.

We had reached a point where we had had enough of western food so we did one of our favourite activities in a foreign place, we went grocery shopping! We picked up some grub for breakfast, some ingredients for dinner that Mr.C then expertly whipped up in the kitchen of our cosy apartment! The next day we stumbled across a kebab shop, which was just perfect! I’m not certain if you have a kebab affinity like us, but we have tried and loved kebab almost everywhere we’ve been. Melbourne has the best, we tried some in San Sebastien as well and now in Salzburg. Always hits the spot after a few days of western cuisine.

After 2 nights in Salzburg, it was time to head back to Munich for our last night before we flew off to Singapore once again. We stopped at the Dachau Concentration Camp on the way back and it was such an intense part of our entire trip, one of our 2-thumbs up recommendation. You would not have thought that until you got there. We took the recorded guide and shared it amongst us as we walked through the camp grounds, we were a little too late for the guided tour. I think we spent a good 3-4 hours there just soaking it all in and listening to the history as well as the interviews of the survivors. It was actually quite emotionally draining at the end of it but I think we could have spent more time there. I vividly remember the sight of the wall against which executions took place and the blood stains. To think of these atrocities happening during the times our parents were alive, that’s not too long ago. Then again, there’s atrocities happening now. Are we a bit of a post-mortem society that looks back and shakes our head? Are we truly powerless to make a change against atrocities right now? I don’t quite have the answers but writing this bit takes me back and takes my thoughts further away. What I can do immediately is to be grateful. Grateful for what we have and the opportunities we have. (no pics posted, intentionally)

For those who might be curious, Jr. was perfectly fine the 4 hours in the Concentration Camp. It was an outdoor area for him to walk about. We explained the history to him in very high level terms. Good people, bad people, bad things, jail. Morals and ethics. Always do the right thing, even if it means making tough decisions. Nothing gory within the area to make it ill-suited for young children.

Our last night in Munich saw us staying in an AirBnB, our first! Cheap and good! We had a kind host who balanced between being chatty and giving us our own space. That night we ended up at a Spanish place for dinner for we missed Barcelona so much. It was time to recap our entire trip over some sangria and tapas. Hands down, we loved Spain the most. Germany had a more laid-back feel to it and the cuisine wasn’t as exciting to us, there’s only so much sauerkraut, sausages and pork knuckles you can do! Granted we did do a bit of seafood given our stays along the lakes, probably the only reason I survived Germany food-wise. Austria was lovely although at the tail-end of our journey, I think we were getting a bit tired with the constant moving around. This wasn’t really slow-travelling as we would have liked, we did move around from place to place quite a bit. So for now we were done, done and diggity-done with Europe!

Author: Ms.K

Ms.K is everything that Mr.C is, without the natural interest in investing and company financials! The activity planner for the family, the driver of random ideas and soon to be ‘retiring’ in to full time motherhood – Ms.K has no idea what she’s in for but remains super excited!

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2 Replies to “Traipsing Around Europe – Part 2”

  1. You made me want to go on a holiday right away!

    Thinking of Europe again later this year so will consider your itinerary when we get closer to trip planning.

    Happy new year!

    1. Happy New Year to you too JF! Best time to plan for travel, 4 days into the new year lol! I had the same inclination this morning, itchy fingers 😉

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