Monday (12/30) we left Austria and started the drive back to Frankfurt. We stopped at the famed Neuschwanstein Castle and couldn’t believe how many people there were… thousands! Luckily we didn’t have time to take a tour, because the line for tickets was at least a quarter mile. We were lucky just to find parking in one of the main lots. Then we hiked up the steep, winding path to the castle.
There were several locations to stop for photos as we hiked.
The main gate into the castle.
The inner courtyard.
The view of Hohenschwangau Castle and the valley from Neuschwanstein Castle.
After seeing as much as we could of the castle, DJ drove us the rest of the way to Frankfurt… at about 170km/hr (105mph) on the autobahn.
Sunday morning (12/29) we drove an hour to Innsbruck to attend church. We got lucky and an American sister missionary interpreted for us over headsets.
After church we did a little sightseeing. First stop was Old Town where we saw the Golden Roof and the Christkindle Markt on Herzog-Friedrich-Straße.
Standing along the Inn river near Old Town.
Raine in front of the Swarovski Crystal tree. When you stood under it, looking up, the crystals all sparkled in the sunlight.
The Golden Roof.
Grandpa, Raine, Grandma, and Carter
Spitalskirche (aka Hospital Church of the Holy Spirit) or as we called it… the pink church.
The inside of this church was incredibly ornate.
After leaving Old Town, we drove up to the Olympic park. When I went there, back in 1998, you could drive right up to the rings. Unfortunately, now you can’t get to the rings without paying a ridiculously huge fee to enter the park. So we just enjoyed the overlook and saw the rings from a distance.
The large Wilten cemetery is right there in the middle of the photo with the Wilten Abby behind it.
Thursday 12/26 we landed at the Frankfurt airport early in the morning. Grandma and Grandpa Anderson picked us up and we started driving to Landeck, Austria where we spent the first 4 days of our trip.
Entering the Austrian Alps.
The view from our apartment.
Friday and Saturday (12/27-28) we drove up to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski resort and skied until we were exhausted.
The road up to Ladis was narrow, steep, and snow-covered.
Carter’s snowboarding skills have come a long way, especially considering he has never had a lesson from anyone who has ever snowboarded, just Mom!
Carter bellying up to the bar with a Sprite.
Raine found out the hard way that the trail ratings in Europe are not quite the same as in the U.S. We ended up on a VERY steep run for a couple minutes and she somersaulted her way down part of it! There were some tears, and cursing of Mom, but eventually she made it down and we had a BEAUTIFUL view over the fresh powder.
Yummy goulash stew for lunch— well, for me anyway, I think Raine had a hamburger or something equally non-European.
Saturday afternoon, Grandpa Anderson borrowed my gear and skied a run with Carter before declaring that that one run was all his almost-70 year old legs could handle!
Here’s a short clip of Carter snowboarding at the end of the first day (he was very tired and the run was pretty icy), Raine skiing early the second day, and Grandpa skiing with Carter the end of the second day.
The day of Christmas Eve was a mad scramble to pack for our trip to Germany and wrap up everything we needed to before being away for 2 weeks. Once we had everything finished, we took a family Christmas photo and opened pajamas.
I told the kids that they could wake up as early as they wanted on Christmas morning since it would only help alleviate our jet-lag once we arrived in Europe. So at 3-something a.m. they broke through the barrier and we opened presents.
Around mid-day our Lyft driver took us to the airport. There weren’t any lines so we had plenty of time for Christmas dinner at Love Shack Burgers— one of the only restaurants that was open— before boarding our plane!