Another Lander ticket, this time to Prien am Chiemsee to visit King Ludwig’s HerrenChiemsee. Prien am Chiemsee is a pretty little Bavarian town on the shores of .. you guessed it Chiemsee (a lake) … the harbour at Stock is about 1.5k walk and then you get a ferry (ours was called Bertha) over to Herreninsel. You then have to walk about 20min through a forest to reach the palace.
First thing you see are the gardens but at this time of the year the huge fountains are inside their winter canvas covers to protect them from the extreme weather.
The Herrenchiemsee Palace was Ludwig’s homage to Louis 14th (the Sun King) .. modelled on Versailles it has parks & gardens (also modelled on Versailles) but was actually never finished because he ran out of cash. Those rooms that were finished (and through which the guided tour goes) are nothing short of astounding. Gold, gold, more gold, and still more gold, painted ceilings (copied from.. you guessed it) embroidered velvet drapes, and the world’s largest Meissen porcelain dinner service. Only a dozen or so rooms are complete and the tour only goes for half an hour … and was pretty poor in terms of commentary. You are not allowed to take photos (they want you to buy the expensive post cards etc) and you really don’t get enough time in each room to really look at everything but it is still mind-boggling in its opulence. Like about half the rest of the people in our tour group, I snuck a couple of photos when the photo witch was not looking! They do not do the place justice!
We got out after the tour and Tony noticed it had started to snow. We counted 44 flakes before it turned back into rain. We sat on the palace steps and ate our baguettes … looking like a trio of derros.. hat down almost to our eyes and scarves up past our chins because the rain & wind had dropped the temp to ..f...ing cold!
Our entry ticket also got us into the Ludwig Museum where we could have a look at more stuff about him .. his engagement to Sophie, his love of the composer Wagner, coronation robes and his death mask, made the day he was mysteriously found floating face down in the lake at the ripe old age of 41, just three days after being declared insane.
On the way back to the ferry wharf we had a quick look in the old Monastery on the island. We walked back to the station and only had to wait a couple of minutes for our train back to Munich .. really pleased to be out of the cold.
We’re heading to Nuremburg tomorrow and Lauren is going straight through to Berlin (assuming she can organise transport .. has an email sent to a car pool girl – walk up train tix are outrageously expensive).