ROMANTIC RHINE TRIP

April 30 May 1

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We shared a family suite with Bill and Jenny in the little village of Schwangau. This was our first experience sleeping under European duvets, and we had a hard time getting used to a shared bed where each person has his own loose blanket. Ours kept sliding off the bed during the night, but mostly we were so tired from our long flight that it did not matter much.  In the village we again enjoyed German food for our meals. At breakfast we learned that the Germans put a tiny, napkin-lined waste basket on the table for trash items like tea bag envelopes and empty tins of jelly or potted meat. After breakfast, we took the shuttle bus up the mountain to Neuschwanstein Castle. We had just enough time to view a bridge over a deep gorge and to admire the breathtaking view of Fussen from that site. Then we visited the castle in a tour that seemed timed down to the second with German efficiency. The castle included a throne room with an exquisite mosaic floor. After visiting the castle, we walked down the mountain through the forest and had an outdoor lunch. As we ate, a wedding party passed by in a horse-drawn carriage with the horses decked out in bells and the driver in traditional dress. After lunch, Bill drove us through Bavaria (millions of dandelions!) and the Alps into Switzerland.