Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010 - Wally World in Germany!

My only picture of me and the castle!!!
After spending Thanksgiving Day testing toilets, (literally doing toilet tests for the 747-8) I decided to crawl out of my holiday funk and go to the world’s most beautiful castle. Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig in honor of some woman blah blah blah. Walt Disney fell in love with this castle and Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland. Folks…I am telling ya…when I picked up the little brochure at the Concierge desk at the hotel my heart did a little flitter flutter. I had to go see this castle. The tour left at 10:00am, I paid my $41.00 Euro last night, set my alarm and was downstairs this morning by 9:30am.

This is where the story turns into a Lacie Adventure…the kind of adventure that only I seem to have. I came downstairs at 9:30…fresh battery in my camera and asked the concierge where I was to meet the bus. He told me the tour leaves at 8:30 on Fridays. Perfect! I asked him why he didn’t explain that last night and he showed me on my ticket where in Bold print, it states the tour leaves at 8:30 on Fridays. I asked if there was any chance of getting a refund and he pointed to the next line that stated “No Refunds for missed tours”

Ok…no problem. I happen to be a strong capable female…and I wanted to see this castle. I asked how far the castle was and the concierge said about 2 hours away. Super! He said to head towards Füssen and I wouldn’t miss it. I figure I have mastered the autobahn, my GPS is my new best friend….I will create my own tour. I gathered my things, went to the Mercades and typed in my GPS Fussen.

I was on the road. I was feeling fine…I was driving my Mercades, listening to opera on the Autobahn, had a freshly made Café Mocha in my hands when the first few flakes of snow started to fall. Oh how pretty the little dusting of white was. I thought to myself…this is how romantic chic flick movies start.

I kept driving…looking for Fussen…and looking. I rechecked my navigation system and yep…I was heading in the right direction. Who am I to second guess the GPS? I mean…Susan is getting her information from a satellite…right?

Snow is falling a little heavier now…I slow down to a reasonable speed and keep driving…an hour and 15 min later Susan instructs me to take the next exit. I get excited…My castle must be close I am 5KM from my destination and I made really good time! I follow the left turns and right turns through little German neighborhoods and the doubt starts to creep back in. Then I arrive at Fussen (See picture). Fussen is a little sub-type neighborhood with 4 houses surrounded by GOATS! Yes…goats. I pull over to the side of the road get out of my car and look up at the sky and say to the man upstairs “Your kidding me right? Where is my castle????” I take a picture of the sign and head back the way I came to the gas station I passed on the way in. I walk inside and ask how much further Neuschwanstein Castle is. I got a strange look and then the very nice gas station man said its about 2 1/2 hours in the other direction. WHAT??? I said I typed Fussen in my GPS and it brought me here. He said “Mistake! I needed to type “Füssen”

Apparently those two little dots above the “U” are pretty dang important! Changes the whole word…Again…Super!

I’m not giving up. Sure it’s snowing but the roads are pretty clear. The rental car company charged Boeing an extra $165.00 Euro for winter tires…I’m from Seattle…I can do this. It was 11:15 am I would get there by three-ish and the castle doesn’t close until 6pm…that’s plenty of time. I was on a fricken castle mission at this point. I bought some more coffee and headed South East.

I drove about 100KM when the white out hit. Hindsight being what it is, I guess I should have expected some snow as I was driving straight into the flippin Swiss Alps! I pulled over…and just sat on the side of the road…drinking cold coffee with my seat warmers on trying to figure out if my Boeing life insurance covered stupidity. Assuming it did, I decided I was not going to let this beat me. I was going to see my freaking castle. I signaled to get back on the Autobahn and noticed that really wasn’t necessary as I was the only car I could see…WARNING!!! DANGER!!! Nope…didn’t even dawn on me that if the German drivers aren’t driving…something must be wrong. I kept going at a snails pace…kept driving…straight into the guard rail. “SHIT!!!!” I said out loud for no one to hear…no problem…my credit card insures the Mercades…my GPS said I was 20 min away…I kept driving up that mountain…my castle was so close…I HAD to see this damn castle! (It became the “Damn Castle” after the guardrail incident)

It was 4:30…It took longer than expected but I was driving during a blizzard. I still had time. I saw the sign…I made it to the top of the flipping mountain…I saw my castle…it was just over the next hill. Anticipation was running through my veins…I couldn’t wait to see the perfectly preserved princess bedroom, the kitchen, the ball room….all of it…

I pulled into the parking lot…and it was EMPTY!

WTF? I refused to accept the obvious. I got out of my car and walked to the ticket booth. I noticed at the time how silent it was. I could almost hear the snow falling and the crunch of the snow under my feet was amplified by the absence of any human life. There was no one at the window. This is when hysteria kicked in.

I saw what looked like a maintenance man and rushed over to ask him when the next tour was leaving. “He said No tour- Castle closed- lots of snow!” and literally walked away from me. I said “No Sh**” and stood there watching him.

Then I yelled “Wait!!!” And I tried to explain that I drove a really long time to see the castle and could he at least take my picture in front of it??? I put my hands together and begged “Please???” He grabbed my camera and shot a picture of my head with the castle in the background. I thanked him and walked back to my car.

I got in and turned the Mercades on and again just sat there…then out of no where…PURE RAGE! I started yelling at Susan (my GPS) Welp…This is my F***ing Wally World on my F***ing European Vacation! Am I F***ing being punked? Is there a F***ing camera??? WTF??? Why the F*** does this S*** always F****ing happen to me???? Really??? Really??? My Castle is F***ing closed…because there is a F***ing white out F***ing blizzard on my F***ing day off??? And WTF do the stupid dots above the letters really F***ing mean? Punctuation goes at the end of the sentence not on top the F***ing letters...SH**, F***, D***, Mother F***er, Piece of S*** stupid A** Castle!!! Oh…I felt better…

Then I looked to my right and the gift shop was open! So I got out of my car and bought some souvenirs of the F***ing castle I only saw from a mile away!

It took me close to four hours to get back to Munich and I had to write the moment I walked into my room.

I have tomorrow off also…Can’t wait to see what happens! I am planning on taking a train to the Christmas Market. Wish me luck!

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