Didn’t get back last night. My Old Kentucky Home weather changed and both shoulders were ‘ertin’ big time, along with all other joints including hair follicles. Do they have joints? So, tanked up on pills and crawled in nest where I spent the rest of the night and most of today. Had a battle of wills with my printer for a change, tore the jammed paper, but finally got it out in shreds.
So, we’re going to Neuschwanstein Castle first. It’s the castle Walt Disney used as a model for his Cinderella castle at Disneyland. Except this one has real gold inside. Mad King Ludwig bankrupted Bavaria building this castle, and another minor one, that was unfinished.
The castle is up a winding road, and you have the option of taking a horse drawn cart or walking. We (or rather, Mom and Elaine,) chose walking, so I followed along. Picture it this way. O, Elaine, O, Mom………………………..O, me. That was the way it went all over the country. Elaine is all legs, mom walked every day for fun, I have short legs and walk into walls. They would stop for a rest period, and just as I came puffing up they were ready to go again. I finally sat on a tree trunk and told them to pick me up on their way back. They gave me a few minutes to rest then, since we were hiking to a lake for a picnic lunch.
So, after touring the most breathlessly beautiful castle you can imagine, we came out, and mom and I decided to take the horse drawn cart down to the car. Or maybe it was a donkey. Not sure of that, but I do remember the driver well. He really took a shine to mom. Only knew a few words of English, but during the entire trip down to the car he only took his arm from around her shoulder when he wanted to grab a brown paper bag out from under his seat for another nip. “For the cold” he would say. Mom kept trying to scoot over closer to me, but I was already about to fall off the edge of the cart, so I couldn’t help her out much. I sure wasn’t going to trade places with her.
Elaine beat us down the hill, and asked about mom scarlet face. She wouldn’t answer, so I told E. the story, which sent her into gales of laughter. Took a while before she was able to drive while mom stood there fuming at both of us.
We did a lot of shopping in Germany, so much that we had to ship most of our items home because we both found so many bargains. I still have one of the saucepans I bought, the rest having been lost in the shuffle of divorce. And the food, oh my. The second night Elaine had to work, so Gary took us to a restaurant and we ordered some of the best food I have ever tasted. They immediately brought out an appetizer that went on every table, and Gary urged us to try it. We were a little bit suspicious of his motives, but looking around, we saw everyone else in the restaurant eating it with gusto, so we dug in. The first bite showed why Gary hadn’t joined us. Pure lard with pepper stirred in. Spread on toast. So even though the rest of the meal was wonderful, we left the appetizer behind, much to the despair of the inn-keeper.
Blaine’s leave finely arrived, so we took off for the tour of Southern Germany and Austria. Elaine was not feeling well on the day we had booked the “Sound of Music” tour, so mom and I set off alone, with me holding a load of Austrian coins Elaine had given me for emergency use. Otherwise the mark would be accepted. She also warned mom of the different names for the bathrooms, because mom’s motto is “never pass up a bathroom, because you don’t know where the next one will be”. So when the bus stopped for a rest stop and photo op at the lake across from “Max”s castle” in the movie, and mom didn’t immediately run to the ladies room (Austrian name forgotten), I wondered, but she was so engrossed with the lake and the drive with the trees the kids had been hanging from, and getting photos of them, she just never left the spot.
So we got back on the bus and went in to Salzburg to visit the convent where Maria had been before becoming the nanny, the cemetery with the grave stones they hid behind, then an old castle that had nothing to do with the movie. And all the time mom was whispering “I have to find a bathroom”, I asked her why she didn’t make use of the one at the lake, and she said she didn’t know there was one there. Water closet — that what it was called. When our guide showed us the king’s water closet, a hole cut in the stone over the mountain face, I have to admit I was worried about whether she would try it out, but even though she looked longingly at it, she left it alone.
From there we went to visit some catacombs that had been discovered when part of the mountain had split away a century or so ago, making them fairly new. So interesting to see what the early Christians went through to practice their religion, but with it’s own humor because mom was sill asking if we could break away and find a rest room. I had to keep reminding her that if we broke away then, we wouldn’t know what time to meet back at the bus for the trip back to Germany.
Tomorrow, the end.