Gusties in the Mountains; an Unexpected Journey

Posted on January 29th, 2015 by

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While they did not find themselves battling a greedy dragon on the slopes of the lonely mountain, an unexpected journey was already brewing when the Gusties stepped onto the bus destined for the Bavarian Alps this morning. Today’s tour brought us through some of  Bavaria’s most remarkable places. Stop Number 1: Ammergau. Located deep within the German Alps, its isolation allowed the region to be spared from the devastation wrought by the Black Plague during the middle ages. While it became a popular area to visit over the years, the region still keeps its secluded feel. Small villages dot the snowy hills, above which the mountainsides are covered with frosted evergreen trees. There is a simple, yet majestic beauty in this place.

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When King Ludwig II of Bavaria was denied permission to undertake his expensive construction projects by the citizens of Munich in the mid-19th Century, he brought his plans to this region and began building his grand palaces. The most famous of the three he built was Neuschwanstein, known to many as the castle that inspired Walt Disney. While Ludwig II died before being able to complete his vision for the decadent project, what was constructed remains quite a sight to see. Surrounded by deep gorges and running water, one can look down over the countryside and see for miles. While Neuschwanstein was by far the greatest of Ludwig II’s projects, the one that he did finish, designed as a hunting lodge, was located nearby. Fluffy white gardens cover the glade behind the mansion of a hunting lodge he built. In the front is a series of fountains at the base of which holds a place for musicians to play.

All the places we visited have been unique and beautiful in many ways. Whether it is the peaceful green fields and shallow village canals of the Ostfriesland, bustling streets of Berlin, or the majestic dwellings of kings in the mountains, we got to be in each of these places and hopefully keep the beauty of them with us in memory as we travel back to Minnesota; a reminder of the beauty to be found wherever one goes.

 

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