Yes you read that right. We went through four countries in one day! Granted we only stopped very briefly in Lichtenstein and Austria, but still it counts! We were supposed to leave at 9 in the morning, so McCall and I went to eat breakfast earlier than usual and got all packed up so that we would be able to get our own rows on the bus. It wasn't like we didn't want to sit by each other, but the same people (cough JJ and Zach cough) would always get their own rows and it had to stop! We planned out that I would sit in the row in front of her so we could still be by and talk to each other, but we would also have lots of space (yes we really did care enough to plan this out!). So of course the one morning we were ready five minutes early to execute our plan the bus was late. We waited and waited.... 5 minutes late, ten minutes late, twenty... it was then we were told that that morning when Martin was driving the bus around he accidentally backed it into the overhang by the front entrance! So he had to go off to get a temporary fix until we got to Munich. The bus finally came about an hour after we were supposed to leave originally and by that point almost everyone was in the lobby waiting.
Luckily when we were waiting to get on I positioned myself so that I was one of the first people on the bus, snagging a row for me and the row in front of me for McCall. I thought I was in the clear too soon, for when JJ realized I was in "his" spot (exaggerated eye roll), he had to still sit there -_-. Which makes sense since the back two rows were off limits due to the broken window, but I think even if there were tons of seats open he would have still sat there just to make a point that it was "his" seat. Well, I am a very stubborn person so I refused to move to. It was fine though because it gave me an opportunity to get to know him a little better, we bonded over mutual love of the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Kansas city barbecue. Since it was a long driving day, everyone on the bud used it to get some of their assignments done- I was still working my way through Ladies Paradise (everyone's least favorite book, except me!). JJ and Catherine had this understanding where he would play a movie through his headphones, but turn on the subtitles and position it so Catherine could watch it too.
Our first stop was Vaduz, Liechtenstein! We all voted to spend like 45 minutes in the town to say we went to the country. There wasn't a whole lot to do in 45 minutes so we just used it as a bathroom break and then looked at some souvenirs in a gift shop. They were also selling passport stamps for Liechtenstein, which I thought was kind of a waste of money because you don't need to pay like 5 euro to say you went to a country! But it's whatever, I didn't judge those who did it. We could see the castle from where we were and apparently you can pay a large sum of money to rule the country for a day or something? That's pretty whack!
Since all the food was incredibly expensive, everyone opted to wait until we stopped for gas (Martin wanted to wait too) to buy food from the gas station since everything in Austria is WAY cheaper. McCall and I split the cost of a 5 euro bag of something like 10 apples- pretty good deal!
We drove for a little longer and then we got into Germany! Our next stop was the Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavaria region in Germany! There are actually two castles right by each other because this one...
was built by Ludwig II's father when he was a boy, but then when Ludwig II came to power he had the Neuschwanstein built as a recluse for himself, but he died before finishing it. At his death, the castle was opened up to the public for viewing.
^^^ in the foreground- Cat, Kayla, Claire, and Amy. Castle in the background
You can see from this picture that I took in the same spot as the one before it, just looking another direction, that they are very close! But we didn't have time to visit both, so we just went and saw the famous Neuschwanstein castle, known as the Sleeping Beauty castle because it was used as inspiration for the castle in the Disney film! We took a bus up to where there was a bridge that had a REALLY amazing view of the castle!
^^^ yes that's my own picture!
Then we made the little walk from there to the castle. It was very different from what I was expecting on the inside.... Super over-the-top. Lugwig II was also a HUGE fan of Richard Wagner, an opera composer who wrote many operas dealing with Norse mythology. So there was a lot of murals, furniture, and rooms dedicated to his operas. There was even a room made to feel like you were in a grotto with rainbow lights and an artificial waterfall (remember- this was built after electricity was discovered) featured from one of the operas. I would have pictures but we weren't allowed to take any!
We walked back down to the bus rather than take the offered bus service down the mountain and once we got on Martin's bus we were on our way to Munich!!
Our hotel in Munich, called the Arthotel, was sooooo legit!! It was full of all these cool pieces of furniture like butt chairs amongst other things! On every door was a different artsy picture- like on McCall and mine was an Andy Warhol-esque picture of Marilyn Monroe!
^^^ Part of the lobby of the hotel
^^^ from online
There was also this yellow lab that chilled in the lobby and there were a bunch of construction workers working on the bar area in the day-time, which you would think would detract from the experience of the hotel, but actually made it that much cooler!
After getting settled in, we decided to get a group together to get dinner. Everyone thought pizza sounded good so I used my "foodie" sleuthing to find somewhere good and close to us for dinner. After about five minutes of deciding, I picked this place called Pizzeria Mimmo that was only about a 15 minute walk from the hotel.
It ended up being Sean, Hugh, Hannah, Stephie, Lacey, Madeline, McCall, Megan, maybe Susan, maybe Jess, maybe Kailey (?) and I- like I've said before it's been a while and I only remember some people and that it was a fairly big group. Hugh and I decided to each order a different kind of pizza and then go halfsies between us. Stephie didn't order any pizza (a common theme for the trip haha) and instead ordered a non-alcoholic beer that she shared with everyone because it was apparently disgusting! I didn't have any because... well everyone said it was nasty and I trusted their opinions! The food took a very long time to come out (makes sense when we had like 9-11 pizzas coming for our table), which we were all getting very antsy about because the hunger was REAL. When I get hungry, I get weird! Not a good thing. There was this window to the kitchen and we were about to draw straws to see who was going to go up to the window and see if they were making our pizzas when they finally came! It was worth the wait. The pizzas were SO good! I think part of the reason was that the owners of the restaurant were from Italy, so it was real pizza.
It was a really fun dinner because with the big group of us there was lots of jokes and noise! I even got to get to know Hannah much better because before this we were always with different groups. It was great to talk to her!
After we pooled all our money together to pay (we weren't going to force the staff to break it up all on different bills!), we walked back to the hotel and get ready for bed. We all agreed that Munich seemed way nice. All the cars are ridiculously nice (I think during the entire walk back we saw like 8 cars that didn't look brand new and weren't a good make). Our first impression of munich was a good one.