As I discussed last month about our trip to Germany. Both of my children did very well. The hardest part was the difference in the two. One is slow to wake up but once you get her going say after 10:30 AM or 12:00 PM she is a ready to go. She is also a selfie person, which you will see through out. The second is very much like me, you get up and get going first thing and keep going until it is time to rest. As you will note there are not a lot of pictures of him and Lauren had to work quite hard to get the ones we have. You might say she found any opportunity that she could.
Because we wanted to be at the airport in plenty of time we left Verona at 9:00 AM for a 3:35 PM flight. You should always check in a minimum of 2 hours prior to your international flight. Air Berlin requested 3 hours. Because we had so much time to spare the kids decided to watch a movie. Luke was thinking ahead in case he needed something to keep them busy. This is a great thing if you are traveling with children to take a few of their favorite movies, tv shows, etc. to help pass the time.
Air Berlin was very prompt on departing Chicago. Once we were in the air they passed out free earbuds to anyone that needed them to watch the movies. They served dinner (chicken or pasta including wine) and gave little bags to everyone (eye mask, socks, etc.). I have not seen anything like this in coach class for a long time. Everyone on the plane also had pillows and blankets. When we were getting closer to Berlin they served breakfast.
The whole journey on Air Berlin was as if it was from the past and the Berlin Airport continued the theme. To exit the plane you do not walk off as you are use to stateside. You go down the stair and board a bus which shuttles you to the terminal. Once you clear customs you walk outside to the next terminal for your inter country flight. Smoker's take note this is a great time to have a cigarette.
You then clear security and wait for your flight. The airport is small and it does take a bit to get through so if you have a tight connection I would head right over.
Once we arrived into Munich we validated our German rail passes and headed to the city.
The hotel that I choose was based on how close it was to the train systems. I was amazed that it was indeed 1 block from both train stations.
When you travel to a different time zone remember the easiest way to acclimate yourself to the new time zone is to stay awake until it is time to go to bed. The kids made it to 5:30 PM Munich time or 10:30 AM CT and they were out for the count.
Tuesday we headed for Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. This is a great area if you want to see two amazing castles without having to driving to both for they are on the same grounds. Here is were you have a few options.
1st you could take a bus tour from Munich to Hohenschwangau. The bus tour does not include the castle tickets.
2nd you could drive and spend the night in Hohenschwangau or Fussen
3rd you could take a day trip using the train & bus as we did. The train will take you direct to Fussen and from there you catch a bus to the castles.
If you are doing option 2 or 3 make sure that you allow yourself at least 4 hours in the castle area while they are open.
Because of the late start we opted for just 1 of the castles which was Neuschwanstein and had lunch in the village.
We left ourselves 1 hour and waited in line for the horse drawn carriage. At 45 minutes prior to our tour time we decided to head up the mountain on foot. We made it with 10 minutes to spare. Take for selfies and catch our breaths. I have to say that I have two very amazing children here! About 1/2 up the steep incline I wanted to send them ahead with their tickets so that they would not miss it. Both stayed with me and encourage me the whole way. Thank you Lauren and Luke.
The castle according to google to reach the top of the castle you go up 165 steps and then 180 down and was worth every one of those steps. We did take the carriage down to the bottom instead of hiking it.
Note: While traveling some restrooms are not free so make sure that you carry change .50 or 1 Euro's.
Lauren and Kim Medelberg's life in travel. We will talk about our trips, thoughts, and experiences in the travel world.