A night in Schwangau

Only €6 for parking?! I was mightily impressed as I stood in front of a ticketing machine at a public car park of Hohenschwangau. My car was in there for nearly half-day! What a bargain. If this was in London, any local council would charge extortionate rates because the area was a tourist hotspot. The area I live charges £5.00 (€5.50) per hour for street parking. Do you see what I mean?

Mum heading for our car…

Her knees weren’t too badly affected by the strain of walking up & down the hills and negotiating the stairs and steps. Thank god.

After exiting the car park, we headed towards Schwangau which was a stone’s throw from Hohenschwangau, about five minutes by car.

The route was through open pastures and the area was very quiet and peaceful…

Our one night abode, Landgasthof Zur Post…

It was almost six o’clock and the hotel staffs seemed to be very occupied with their restaurant. One of the waitresses noticed us standing at a reception and reassured us that someone would be with us as soon as they were available. Then, another ten minutes of us hanging around, a bespectacled man appeared finally (finally!) from behind the door as she promised, and processed our check-in.

Our room on the second floor…

A view from our window…

We decided to have dinner at our hotel’s dining room. ‘Hallo!’ A large waitress in a traditional Bavarian dress ushered us to one of the tables along the wall and handed us the menu in English.

Beer! We missed you…

Mum really loved German beer. There was a problem though. Because there were many German beer brands listed in the menu, we didn’t know which one to choose!

‘Why not try our local beer in a small glass and see if you like it?’ The waitress suggested. Then, the beer turned out to be a delectable kind which made mum very very happy.

For dinner, we ordered roast pork with dumpling…

And salad nicoise…

Most of the diners seemed to be holiday makers. However, a group of men, sitting on the opposite side of the room, appeared to be local and were playing card while nursing glasses of beer. All of them looked like in their late sixties or early seventies and wore traditional Bavarian short trousers and embroidered braces. So those costumes were not just for Oktoberfest!

After dinner, we went for a little walk. The air was still and smelt of green pastures.

Mum with a Bavarian totem pole…

We crossed the road and sat on a bench in front of a tourist information office…

We admired a well-tended flower bed in front of the office. Mum used to plant the same flowers in large flower pots in front of my late dad’s atelier, I remembered.

A gentle evening breeze felt wonderful on our flushed cheeks. We exchanged a greeting with passers-by who were enjoying an evening saunter, ‘Abend!’

Schwangau was winding down…

Let’s get back and have some rest because tomorrow will be another action-packed day, mum. We stood up and returned to our room.

Around 11 o’clock that night, we looked up to the night sky from our balcony. The sky was filled with twinkling stars whose brilliance were unspoiled by light pollution. ‘Aren’t they gorgeous!’ We exclaimed in a hushed tone so we wouldn’t disturb our neighbours. There used to be the same night sky in our home town a long time ago. A canopy of the truly dark night sky and the glittering stars which inspired awe and wonder in me as a child. And the sensation of excitement still lived on in my heart.

‘We should check out the sky again in Garmisch-Partenkirchen!’ Oh, I can hardly wait to tell you what actually happened there. *sigh*…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura



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