Bavarian Bugs

Fussen, Germany
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I have another memory from childhood - a peacock room where every surface was gold, and a grotto with a swan boat. I thought this memory was from Neuschwanstein but discovered today that it was from Linderhof - another of Mad King Luddie's extravagant castles.

Once again, it cannot be described in words how absolutely magnificent this palace is. There are only 8 rooms on the King's floor and each room has every available surface covered in gold paint/gild. The effect is far too "busy" but at the same time overwhelmingly stunning. The King lived here for the last 8 years of his short life virtually as a recluse. He rarely had visitors and had operas performed in the grotto for an audience of one. He also didn't like seeing his servants - he had a dining table installed that was lowered to the basement floor, loaded with food and then raised to the King's dining room. I really want one of those !!

I introduced the BOSS to one of my favourite lunches - traditional German sausages, mustard and breadrolls. She is now hooked - must be in her blood.

The ride today was past a gorgeous lake and through lots of different valleys. Again the weather has been fabulous and it was spoiled only by the smell. This week all Bavarian farmers have been having a competition to see who can produce the foulest smelling fertiliser to spray on their fields. They have excelled themselves by manufacturing the most evil concoction that can make anyone dry retch at 100 metres. Dry retching inside a helmet at 80kph is not recommended.

The only thing worse than the smell, is the bugs which are attracted by the smell. Bavarian bugs are big, nasty black things that sting like a bullet when they hit you on exposed skin at 80kph. They make an awful mess on your visor but the really smart ones swarm around waiting for you to raise your visor, then they all kamikaze dive through the gap. Those that aren't killed immediately by the impact, get caught behind your glasses and buzz their last dying breath on your eyeball. Due to the smell of the Bavarian farms, it is mandatory to breathe through ones mouth. However, the nasty Bavarian bugs know this and take full advantage of the gap between the bottom of your helmet and the top of your collar to execute a perfect barrel roll into your open mouth.

To wash the taste of Bavarian bug out of my mouth, we stopped at Oberammergau to taste-test their Apfelstrudel (tiramisu is no longer on the menu this far north). The little town is quite pretty with many of the houses painted in wonderful designs and a lot of handicraft shops, particularly wood carvings. However after all the gold at Luddie's palace, we just couldn't get excited about a few carvings of the nativity scene or the Virgin Mary.

As it was to be our last night in Fussen we had to solve the mystery of exactly what Schneeballen were. So we bought one each. They turned out to be pastry wrapped in a ball and baked and then dunked in an incredibly rich sauce. For dinner that night we stumbled across a small pub and had the best pork steak ever. It seems we are eating our way across Europe - 1000 calories at a time.

01 Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace
02 Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace
03 The Princess and her palace
The Princess and her palace
04 Tapestry room
Tapestry room
05 Kings Study
Kings Study
06 Throne Room
Throne Room
07 Peacock room
Peacock room
08 Venus Grotto
Venus Grotto
09 Peacock throne room
Peacock throne room
10 Oberammergau
12 Oberammergau
13 Oberammergau fountain
Oberammergau fountain
14 Wood carvings
Wood carvings
15 Best Apple strudel ever
Best Apple strudel ever
16 World Cup - what world cup??
World Cup - what world cup??
17 Schneeballen
18 The BOSS attacking a schneeball
The BOSS attacking a schneeball
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