mardi, février 27, 2007

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau (and Pig's Blood Soup with Egg Noodles)


We checked out of the AlpenHotel at 11am on Sunday and decided to visit the region before we return to Stuttgart. The Hotel receptionist recommended Mad King Ludwig II's Schloss Neuschwanstein (New Swan Stone Castle) at Hohenschwangau in Bavaria and we decided to follow her recommendation as we remember seeing a model of the castle at Legoland.

On the way there, we realised that we had already passed through the region last Summer on our way to Tuscany via Austria. And as we approached the castle, I began to suspect that I had already been there, probably 14 years ago on my 1st trip to Europe. As it was a mad tour of 9 countries in 36 days then, at the end of it I could no longer tell one castle from another.

Though I remembered the horse cart ride up the winding slope to reach the castle and the fact that the horses stank and spent half the journey shitting. So we decided to take the shuttle bus instead.

The whole area is beautiful, you are just surrounded by mountains and fields and so much nature. But from the time you buy your ticket (free for under 18 and 9 Euros for adults) and make your way up there, nearly an hour would have gone by.

Once up there, we went to look at the castle (Sleeping Beauty's Castle was a Copy Cat inspiration) from the Marienbrücke. I was a little stressed out as we were quite numerous to stand on the bridge and I was wondering if it was solid enough to withstand our collective weight. The fall down would have been quite a long one.

Baby Boy of course refused to walk and had to be carried ALL the time. But Hubby and I took turns to do it as the kids didn't ask to visit the castle (like they never asked to be born) and since we insisted, we should take full responsibility for it.

We were mightily impressed once again by German efficiency and organisation. Our tickets bore a Tour Number and a Visit Time and when we entered the castle grounds, we saw 3 lines dedicated each to one Tour Number and at exactly the time stated on the ticket (e.g. 13h45), the tour number (e.g. 457) would be announced on the screen. No hassle, no waiting, no stepping on toes and wow so smooth.

Only 14 rooms in the castle were completely decorated (Ludwig II died mysteriously before the works could be completed), but they were really beautiful rooms. Wood, marble, tapestries, mozaics...The castle on the whole didn't look like it was constructed more than 100 years ago, it is in such a marvelous state - kudos to the Germans for such excellent preservation. No photos allowed though inside - the German Government has the copyright to them.

Once back in Stuttgart, Hubby cooked us dinner (Bavette à l'échalotte) while I unpacked and then we all went to bed early as the kids and I were all still quite sick (longlasting cold with all of the works).

On Monday, he flew off to Italy and I took the opportunity to make myself Pig's Blood Soup with Fresh Egg Noodles, something that would have freaked him out if he were around. Both the blood and the noodles were imported from Paris (found them accidentally in a Vietnamese-run Asienladen here) and I just made a soup with Star Anis, Onions, Cinnamon, Cloves, Beef Stock, Garlic, Ginger, Dark Soy Sauce, lime juice, coriander leaves and fresh red chilli padi. Made 3 meals out of them, really satisfying.

As for the kids, I made them a Roast Chicken Rendang Curry with rice. And I cooked it the night before so that I would be able to remove the fat from the curry the next day. I have put on 2 kgs in Oberjoch (on top of the 10 that I've still to lose) and this is just so depressing.

5 commentaires:

Dutchess a dit…

All I can say is: YOU LUCKY THING!!! Pig's blood! I think if I asked for it here they'd think I want to perform some voodoo ritual or the like. I would like some with pig liver, tofu and kiam chye now. sigh....

Haha... you write a lovely piece about such a charming castle and all I can think of is pig's blood. *piak piak*

Magdeline & Juergen a dit…

Yes, the Schloss Neuschwanstein is very impressive and beautiful. I was there with my brother and husband in 2002.

As for the pig blood thing....sorry to say that it's not in my culinary dictionary (I don't eat that)...no hard feelings :-)

Beau Lotus a dit…

Ah Mag, you don't know wht you're missing :-). It would go even more beautifully with a few slices of pig's liver and intestines...(ha ha)

Magdeline & Juergen a dit…

Hahahaha....Serene....you can have all the liver, intestines and blood things to yourself.....none for me, thanks :-)

Precious Moments a dit…

pig blood!!! my friend and I were just talking about this over the weekend. It is no longer available in Singapore!!!!! how i missed it.