Tag Archives: Bavaria

Glimpses of Munich #2: Blood Castle

Blutenburg, directly translated to blood castle, sounds like an awesome name for a medieval castle, doesn’t it? (unfortunately it is now called Schloss Blutenburg, so its name is now “palace blood castle,” which isn’t quite as fun)

This medieval castle was built between 1438 and 1501 for Duke Albrecht III and his son Duke Sigismund. As with most castles in the area, it was neglected at some point, in this case during the 30 years war, and later restored.  Restoration took place in the late 17th century and unfortunately they did not bother to restore its full defenses and therefore some of its castle character.  Still, it retains the castle structure and definitely looks beautiful in its little park.  I would go so far as to say it is the only “real” castle left in the city limits of Munich.  (both the Alter Hof and the Residenz at one point were castles, but they’ve been modified so many times that you can’t see it any longer)

What I love about this castle is its appearance and its slightly hidden location.  Most tourists will never see it, which makes it a little more fun for those that do.

Getting there as a tourist is a BIT more difficult than pretty much anything in your guide books, but these days you just download your MVV app and away you go…

Map

Unfortunately for places like this I don’t have great pictures that I’ve taken myself.  Below is an open source picture, but you can find many more on google.

Winter is here…ish.

It has already snowed this year, so I declare it winter.  By that I mean that I’ll be quite miserable until May…ish.

As I’ve said many times before, Munich doesn’t REALLY get winter.  However, it does get miserable…and that’s bad enough for me.  What I mean by miserable is that for the next several months highs will be in the 30’s or 40’s and lows will be in the 20’s or 30’s.  Lots of rain with the occasional snow…and very rarely a hint of sun.  This is not the sunny but freezing cold winter of Minnesota…this is worse.

Now on to happier things:  Munich’s Christmas market is coming soon.  The reason I say this is that the Christmas tree in front of the New Town Hall is already up!  In the states this would be blasphemous before Thanksgiving…but since there is no thanksgiving here, Christmas is thrust upon them even earlier than back home!

The Christmas markets are quite lovely to take a stroll through and they also mean one of my favorite German beverages are available everywhere:  Glühwein.  (mulled wine)  So we can happily get drunk on the streets and pretend that it’s sunny!

It also brings some of my favorite tourists, truth be told, in the type that remind me of my parents.  Backpackers are not my thing…

Anyways, I’ll be (once again) trying to update my blog more often…and who knows, maybe I’ll keep it up for quite some time now that Nileguide isn’t going any more.

More hot adult beverages for everyone, enjoy 🙂

 

Private Tours

I’ve been doing a lot of private tours lately and I really need to change the text of my private tour section here.  Basically what I need to change is to scare away the crazy people.

1.  I can’t drive you around Bavaria as I don’t have a commercial driving license (and YES, that is required).  Some guides will do this, but it is breaking the law and really not worth it if they get caught.  I live in Germany, a very rule-abiding society…and that’s just how I roll.  I do have a German driver’s license, but that is irrelevant.

2. I don’t own a helicopter or a jet, it’s impossible to do all of that in one day.  What’s that?  Google says you can?  Okay, try it yourself and tell me how that went.  I once had a crazy tour leader from Stanford University who would not listen to reason…in the end they rented like 16 BMW’s to drive to Neuschwanstein because they said it’d be faster.  In the end it was a very tight schedule with a lot of illegal driving…they barely made their tour time inside the palace and they missed their dinner reservations in Munich.  All because they believed google over their local guide who has done it hundreds of times (literally).

3.  Mainly for private tours I do Munich city tours, by foot, which can be tailored to whatever length you want or day trips by public transportation.  If not on foot, public transportation REALLY is the way to go.

I dunno…I just ran out of steam, noticed the time, and I gotta go to work.  I’m heading down to Neuschwanstein again today.  should be a high of 66 with a 30% chance of rain…HMMM…

Current price for walking tours of the city: €120 for a standard 3-hour tour.  Free if you are a member of a band I love.  (good luck with that one)

Augsburg Tours

Well, the first Augsburg tour went on April 5th.  My first Augsburg customer being from Estonia.  She had a wonderful day (or so she claimed) and it was a beautiful day as well.  Augsburg is refreshing after many years in Munich.  The main thing that I find different is just the general attitude of the people.  Augsburg isn’t so saturated with tour companies even though it has a more substantial history than Munich…but what really sticks in my mind from the Tuesday’s tour is the smell of the city.  Downtown Munich or Berlin or Vienna is mostly shops, churches, palaces, but not food.  Augsburg’s downtown area has food around every corner…and very international options as well…literally everywhere, it’s quite amazing what that does to my stomach after half a tour!  For food alone…this tour is great.

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Augsburg Tours!

As of April 1st, I’ll be doing Augsburg tours every Tuesday and Friday.

Why Augsburg?  Well, it’s the most historically significant place within a few hours of Munich, in fact it’s well over a thousand years older than Munich with the sights to prove it!

Founded in 15BC by the order of Augustus Caesar, Augsburg really hit its peak during the 1500’s when it was a free imperial city at the center of the largest trading organization on earth.  The Fugger family was, without question, the wealthiest family in the world and they along with their rivals the Welser family, pretty much ran the city of Augsburg.  At that time of course Augsburg was the big city and Munich was the small unimportant town.  Even Vienna’s importance paled in comparison.  The great thing is Augsburg never had a collapse so that even today you can see how amazing Augsburg was because everything is still there and looking great.

More info will be posted soon along with a website dedicated to the tour itself!