I’ve found myself with (a lot of) extra free time lately, and while some days I don’t leave my room, other days I go on extensive (to me) bike rides around Bavaria. The weather lately has been exceptional, dare I say hot even, making the choice to get outside that much easier.
I’ve ridden my bike many places around where I live, but now I’m starting to go further.
I decided last week to ride my bike to Linderhof Palace, the lesser known stepsister to the popular Neuschwanstein Castle. King Ludwig II of Bavaria never finished building Neuschwanstein before he mysteriously died, however Linderhof was completed, and it was in this palace where he actually lived.
Ludwig was an extreme introvert, to the point of having his meals delivered using a pulley system from floors below just so he didn’t have to see anyone. I think he would have thrived during this time of social isolation, however at the time his escape from reality lifestyle cost him his sanity, and ultimately his life.
Despite his unique progression (or lack there of) into power, his fantasy world brought to life these two amazing palaces which were said to be funded by the tax paying community. I can understand the disdain towards him from the town folks, but today hundreds of thousands of visitors come to admire these architectural masterpieces.
Due to the current lockdown in Bavaria (and in many places all over the world), Linderhof is not open to the public. However, Bavaria (and Germany as a whole) has contained the Corona virus appropriately enough to allow those of us who live here the freedom to go outdoors for sports activities.
So long as we’re alone, or with those we live with. For me bike rides are almost always solo activities.
I am finding that my love of outdoor sports is fluid. It changes as I change, and that’s ok. I once loved running outdoors, which then changed to a love for hiking, and has changed once again to a love for biking. This doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy the aforementioned activities (although running and I really struggle to get along these days), but I much prefer biking. Especially when it’s warm outside.
Fortunately for me, King Ludwig II loved the mountains, and loved to be tucked into his own pocket of the alps. Linderhof is surrounded by amazing views, and I can see why he chose this location to isolate himself. With the current isolation going on, I’d choose a place like this to spend my time too.
Linderhof is not in prime shape during the winter months, and although it was technically spring when I stopped by, it was still looking pretty rough. The outside of the actual palace is gorgeous, and I can only imagine what the inside looks like, but the outer grounds (known for the flowers and the garden) was less than stellar.
Renovations are being done to the grounds, which are larger than I expected them to be. The palace itself is apart of a park area with walking paths, tree canopies, and fountains to unwind next to. I’ve been told middle to late spring is the best time to visit because the gardens are in full bloom, but photos of the palace in the fall intrigue me more.
The above photos are what Linderhof looks like in her prime, alas when I visited it was a complete 180. I didn’t go expecting to see elaborate landscapes though, I went to see the palace itself, and to enjoy a long beautiful bike ride. I rode 34 miles this day, and it was a wonderful adventure through parts of Bavaria I hadn’t been.
I have said it once, and I will say it again – the freedom that a bicycle provides is unlike anything else. Sure, driving is great, but there is a kind of exhilaration that accompanies being on two wheels in a new to me location, with the wind in my hair. My travels have all been well worth the money, but this bike was the best investment I made last year. Second to my IRA of course. 😉
Q: What does social isolation look like where you live? Are you able to go outside in nature?