Lake Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany, and King Ludwig’s Herrenchiemsee Palace

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Stunning views of Chiemsee, freshwater lake in Germany near the Alps. On the Herreninsel island I visited Herrenchiemsee, "Mad" King Ludwig II's palace - and an exact scale replica of Versailles.

Bavaria’s Blutenburg Castle West of Munich, Germany

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Munich's Blutenburg Castle has a long, rich history, but today's iteration is definitely worth a visit. It houses the International Youth Museum, possesses a masterpiece of a gothic chapel, and is a wonderful place to catch some rays or grab a cake and coffee.

Linderhof Palace Tour

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I’m so excited that last month I was a “featured contributor” on the Demand Media Studios (DMS) blog! DMS is a site for which I write freelance articles. I’ve been providing work for them since 2009 and it’s great to be recognized.As you know, I’m very near finalizing my newest book. I hope to be announcing its publication within the next few weeks. I’ll definitely let you know. It will be called A Travel for Taste – Germany. It will contain Bavarian and Franconian travel and culture stories I’ve encountered plus more than 50 recipes, all locally collected from real home cooks in Germany and all converted to US measurements and ingredients. It will be available on and should make a great gift!Last weekend my husband and I made a bus trip to two of King Ludwig II’s palaces: Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. I’d visited Neuschwanstein eons ago but never had the chance to go inside, which is only accessible via guided tour. It was a bucket list item for me to finally see the inside of this beautiful place. Linderhof I’d never really heard of and I signed up because it was part of the Neuschwanstein deal. But, oh, was it grand!We left Munich by Grayline bus about 8:30 on a fantastically beautiful Sunday morning. Turns out it was one of the last beautiful, warm days before the cold and rain set in later this week (read, “today”). The palaces are normally within two hours by car from Munich, but this day it took a little longer due to a traffic jam on the Autobahn. Seems the railroad strike and the weather caused people to take to the roads via car for a perfect storm of traffic.It was not a real issue because the vistas were stunning. Here is the kind of view from the bus window (excuse the reflections): Almost reminded me of Tuscany… Just the other day I wondered aloud to my husband where they keep the cows in Bavaria. Most of the dairy products in the supermarket say “Bavarian” but I haven’t seen many cows around here or up in Bamberg where I lived before. I discovered where all the cows are on Sunday:

They graze the cows in the mountain meadows because the grass that grows there makes the milk sweet. If you look closely, you can see that the cows actually wear those big, clunky cowbells!

A little about “mad” King Ludwig II. He was the son of King Maximilian II of Bavaria. He was born in 1845 in Munich’s Nymphenburg palace where the royal family lived. He took the throne at the age of 18. I’ll spare you the complicated politics, but only two years later Bavaria became part of Prussia, and subsequently part of the German Empire. read more