Since I am feeling a bit tired (and maybe lazy...hey I am on vacation it is allowed!!) I am just going to put all the pictures at the top and you can read about or day at the bottom.
Joe and Annalise treated us to a fantastic day today! We started the day with a little laundry, (I had washed a few pairs of our underwear in Italy, (Yay for my travel wash-in-the-sink kit...I knew it would come in handy!!) but we were running out of clean clothes!!) uploaded some pictures for y'all from our time in Venice, and then Joe & Annalise took us out for a fun afternoon! We stopped and reserved out train seats for our trip up to see Todd and then set out! It was like we were kids again visiting Grandma and Grandpa and they spoiled us rotten!
First the took us to two different alpine slides that are in their area. (It is like a bobsled, but without the snow because it isn't winter!) We had a blast! I felt like I was a big kid and wanted more!! (Which when we got back to the house this evening we jumped on the trampoline for awhile to finish off our "kid fun" day in style!)
After that we drove around the beautiful Bavarian countryside of Germany and Austria taking in the views of the Mountains, and villages, and farms. I loved all the cattle on a thousand hills we passed...and some horses and goats too!
We drove over to lake Chiemsee where Ludwig II built (or started building) a castle, that was called Herrenchiemsee, that was a replica of the Palce of Versailles. It is on an island in the lake so you have to take a ferry to get there. It was so much fun! (Yes, this is the same guy who built Neuschwanstein. He was extremely busy building and spending all his, and other peoples, money during his reign! He actually built three "fairytale castles" or at least started them, and a small mountain castle, that isn't really very CASTLE-like, and had plans for more, but died mysteriously and all work was stopped. The country was going broke so there is a lot of rumers that he might not have been an accident. They say he drowned, but no tests were ever done to prove the cause of death. Royal families are always surrounded by so much drama it seems. I guess today's movie stars take that place for us! You can read what wikipedia has to say about his lifetime here.) The castle was absolutely breathtaking! We couldn't take pictures inside...I was so disappointed...so I would say it is worth a trip to see. It really is beautiful. Well, that is the parts that were finished. Since was building three castles at once, only one of them, the smallest of the three, was actually completed! After spending time in Italy, I think I would say I actually prefer the looks of things here in Bavaria. It is so NATURALLY beautiful! (But I was cold all day! It isn't really that cold out, but I have gotten used to the nice warm weather we had in Italy!!)
After a beautiful drive home (a different route, still all the amazing mountains and landscape) everyone ate dinner and I cooked up some more noodles, carrots and zuchinni (and ate in the car) as we headed over to Klaus and Vera's house for a visit. (Klaus is Joe & Annalise's son.) We had a nice evening with them (they have four kids, 2 boys and 2 girls ages 6-16) and are now back home. (At Joe & Annalise's great house-which is also where Robert (another one of their son's) and his wife Heidi and their two girls live.)
I want to post some pictures from today, so I am off for now. (Oh, and Carrie, in answer to your question...While we were in Venice I didn't notice any issues with smells except one time..it smelled a bit fishy. Annalise said when she visited it was when it was hot and it was quite smelly. So, I guess you just have to be careful when you choose to go! For us I would say it isn't a place I would HAVE to go again, but I would recommend it to anyone, and wouldn't say no to going again...it is just that there are so many other places I want to see as well!!