Every lengthy foreign trip has to have one of these days, when you find yourself at the mercy of a screwed-up transportation system. Usually, the Germans have their train times down to the second, but this morning there was a transit strike…and the short of it is that we never got to Schloß Neuschwanstein. But we somehow had fun anyway, and we'll be able to get to the castle tomorrow (the strike was resolved today, but too late to benefit us). It looks as if a rented car, something we originally thought impractical, looms in our future.
The long of it: we got up early enough to make the morning train that takes tourist to Füssen, the village near the castle. However, that early train had been pushed back some. We took two trains, out the Buchloe station, already behind schedule, and then waited forever on the hot platform with a million other tourists (almost eighty-percent of them from Asian tour groups) for the train to Füssen. When the train finally arrived, it was only two cars long, and when we saw the others pack into that train so their faces were slammed against the glass of the doors, we realized this wasn't going to work. An hour and ten-minute train ride under packed conditions, only to arrive at Füssen so late that we would barely have time to see the castle before it shut down? Nope, sorry Mad Ludwig—we'll see you tomorrow. Dad, Reed, Colleen, Daniel (Colleen's French Grandfather in-law), and I had an excellent lunch in Buchloe at an Italian restaurant (so close to the Italian border, the Italian food in Bavaria is invariably excellent), then missed two trains while waiting because we were getting too laid-back, and finally returned to Starnberg at around 4 p.m. Reed ceaselessly practiced studying German verbs from his 555 German Verbs book, and I kicked back and enjoyed the scenery of Bavaria and occasionally lectured about the region's history to anybody who cared to listen.
Unfortunately, my iPod crashed today while waiting at Buchloe's train platform, and I won't be able to restore it until I get back home. I was looking forward to listening to Wagner while walking around Neuschwanstein, but no such luck. I'll just hum the Pilgrim's Chorus from Tannhäuser until somebody smacks me.
The family was thinking about going on a boat ride around Starnberg Lake for the rest of the day, but it has started to rain again, so who knows what else we might do the rest of the day.
So…probably some Schloß Neuschwanstein photos tomorrow. Given the transit workers don't strike again.