Herrenchiemsee Palace, modeled after the Versailles Palace of King Louis XIV.
On Friday, June 15th, we drove from the Black Forest (SW Germany) to Chiemsee in Bavaria (SE Germany) . What should have been a 5 hour drive turned into 8 hours of one hazard after another. The day started with a road closure and ended with a road closure. In-between we had long delays because of road construction, missed turns, and clogged traffic due to an accident ahead of us. Through it all we learned a very important German word: "umleitung" which means "detour." Then on top of all of that, our GPS started malfunctioning and shut down intermittently. Our reason for being in such a rush to get to Chiemsee was so that we could visit the magnificent palace of King Ludwig II. He is famous for building three castles, Neuschwanstein (think Disneyland!), Linderhof, and Herrencheimsee, the one we came to see. Unfortunately, the last tour of the palace for the day happened about 20 minutes before we got there.
So, plan B went into effect. We hung around the next day just long enough to visit the palace before we headed out on our drive south into Italy. The palace was everything we expected--extremely opulent, very impressive architecture and design, and a HUGE waste of money! Why? It was all to indulge the ambitions of one man--King Ludwig. He had built two other palaces that amaze us still today and had about three more on the drawing board (they were never built). The irony of it all was that he only got to stay in this palace 10 days before his mysterious death at 41 years of age. Here's another irony: the people of his day complained because of the vast expenditures of money in building all these palaces, but the state has, since his day, made many millions of Euros off of us tourists. We'll write you later from Italy.