One of the new to me experiences we did on our trip was take a tour. I know, so shocking. But seriously I’m the type of traveler who plans ahead of time what I want to do and just figures it out. iPads and Lonely Planet e-books help tremendously with that brand of travel. Zach really wanted to see castles and figuring out how to get to Neuschwanstein on our own seemed a bit tricky so we booked a tour at the tourist information office in old town Munich. So easy.
We woke up quite early one morning to make it to the bus and were some of the youngest people on the bus. The 4 British women who sat behind us were a hoot. I think they were in their 70’s and they gabbed and laughed the entire 10.5 hours of the tour. Best quote at the end of the day from one of these ladies: “My legs don’t want to be mine anymore. I haven’t been all that nice to them today”.
The tour took us to King Ludwig’s 2 castles in the area, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is likely the most famous of the two and was the inspiration for the castle at Disney World. Linderhof was Ludwig’s “practice castle” and an homage to Versailles albeit on a significantly smaller scale. Photos were not allowed inside either castle but I can attest to a certain familiarity to Versailles, Linderhof is its “Mini Me”.
After we toured Linderhof the bus dropped us off at a quaint but total tourist trap of a town on the way to Neuschwanstein. The Bavarian architecture is what I think of when I think of “Germany”. Adorably beautiful homes in a gorgeous countryside the majority of which had solar panels. Seriously the smallest little barns had solar panels, which can be further explained here. If you know me personally you may know that I cannot stop talking about Tiny Houses and Passive Houses. It is my dream to one day have a Passive House or at the bare minimum a highly green energy efficient home. I was enthralled by all the solar panels we saw. Bavaria alone has more solar panels than all of the USA. Sob.
Neuschwanstein is spectacular in its size and location. Sitting at the top of a steep hill overlooking the valley with the German Alps in the background it is truly remarkable. The castle was never finished in Ludwig’s lifetime. Ludwig was eccentric at best, preferring solitude and living nocturnal hours. Our tour guide heavily suggested the government today knows how Ludwig came to meet his early demise. Conspiracy theories!
Knowing it was going to be such a long day we packed snacks of quest bars and some crisps. As previously mentioned Bavarian cuisine is heavily bread centric. I was concerned I wouldn’t find much or anything to eat but planning ahead paid off. Yelp to the rescue! I was curious to try Bavarian cuisine and found this incredible restaurant in Munich: Gasthof Obermaier was excellent. Not only did they have a gluten free menu they also had one in English. I told you German is my weakest language! I didn’t take any pictures within the restaurant, no one else was and I didn’t want to be rude. Though I have regrets, this restaurant was fantastic, the waitresses wore dirndl dresses and the entire place felt like stepping back in time. One could easily pretend it was not the 21st century based on the cozy atmosphere and decor. I would totally return here if given the opportunity.
I got Grilled Pork Medallions with chanterelles in an herbs cream sauce with GLUTEN FREE Spaetzle. I was thrilled to try spaetzle and this dish blew me away I almost licked the plate. Classy. When we arrived back home I knew I had to recreate this dish. I wasn’t sure what the herb cream sauce was but I did my best to recreate it. This dish could easily become a regular around here. I served it with Nicole Hunn’s Gluten Free Spaetzle, totally delicious. I don’t have a spaetzle tool so I used my box grater which had mixed results but still tasted great.
- 2 tsp Coconut Oil
- ½ lb pork loin
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup porcini mushrooms
- 3 tsp fresh parsley
- 1 recipe gluten free spaetzle
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the coconut oil.
- Salt and pepper the pork on each side. Brown each side.
- Add 1 cup of water to the skillet, cover and cook until pork is 145F. This will depend on how thick your pork is.
- Remove pork from skillet.
- Add the white wine, chicken stock, and heavy cream. simmer until it thickens a bit.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
- Sprinkle with parsley.
- Slice the pork into medallions and serve with the mushroom cream sauce and spaetzle.
Have you been to Bavaria? Seen any castles?