The Johns Family are off on holiday to Central and Eastern Europe. We caught a cheap flight from Seattle, USA and rented a car in Zurich, Switzerland to take us on a loop through Europe. The best thing about the car is we could get outside the cities and explore areas that are not as accessible. We arrived in Zurich at 6:30am so had a bonus day to visit some unplanned stops including the city of Bern that overlooks the Aare River and the walled medieval town of Murten. We found our hotel in Interlaken and stayed on the highest floor with a view out over the mountains. We went for a hike to the Unspunnen Castle ruins and found a nice tail back along the ridge. The next day we drove into the Lauterbrunnen valley, took the Grutschalp cable car up the side of the mountain and hiked to Murren. Riley complained for the first 10 minutes but then hiked for 3 hours while looking at plants, animals and waterfalls along the way. We had lunch in Murren at the only restaurant open in the off season – a Chinese restaurant. We took a cable car to Grimmelwald where Riley
played in the playground then another cable car back to the valley floor. We walked alongside the river all the way back to the town of Lauterbrunnen. In the evening, we had dinner in Interlaken and found another playground for Riley.
The next morning we headed to Liechtenstein by way of a couple stopovers. Our first stop was the Reichenbachfall where the final battle between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty occurred. We drove to the top of the waterfall and found a trail down. There was also amazing views from this high up the mountain. We stopped at the Aareschlucht Hängebrücke (Aare Gorge) where a stream of silt laden water turns the river a luminescent colour and a trail hugs the canyon as far as the eye can reach. When we arrived in Lucerne, we walked on the covered bridges into the old town cobbled streets and had lunch. Next we drove to St. Gallen to see the 8th
century monastery and wander the cobbled pedestrian area. Finally we arrived in Vaduz, Liechtenstein just as the sun was setting. We stayed at a nice hostel which had a playground. We got up early to see the sun rise in
the valley and visit Vaduz Castle where the Prince of Liechtenstein still lives.
We were heading to Fussen, Germany today. Riley slept in the car on the way there and woke up for lunch. We ate in the main square and I had a look around the Gothic castle. We arrived at the tourist complex that is Neuschwanstein Castle after lunch. We took a horse drawn carriage up to the castle. We just viewed the outside as Riley does not do well on organised tours. I hiked up to the bridge to get a bird’s eye view of the castle. A couple asked me to take their photo and I learned they had just got engaged. So I took a dozen photos for them and congratulated them on their fairy take engagement location. We also walked to neighbouring Hohenschwangau Castle before heading out. We stopped in Oberammergau famous for their murals and at Linderhof Palace that was mostly under renovation. We didn’t arrive in Munich until late. We walked to the main square, Marienplatz, and had a snack dinner before bed.
We had something special planned for the next day. We drove 2 hours from Munich to Legoland
in Gunzburg. When anyone asks Riley his favourite day on the trip, his response will be Legoland. It is like a smaller Disneyland with rides, shows, events, restaurants and stores. They had models of many European cities and a special section of Star Wars models from all 9 movies. Riley particularly liked the Ninjago (ninja lego) section. We went on a dragon roller coaster at the Knight’s castle and got lost in a police maze in the City section. Riley liked the Egyptian playground and the Ninjago 4D show. Riley skipped his nap and didn’t sleep until the car ride back. That evening I had a couple hours to explore Munich and visited the famous Hofbräuhaus that I had drank at almost 18 years prior. For the next leg of our trip (and blog), we head to Salzburg Austria.
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