Friday, April 28, 2017

Where am I?

Sometimes the universe just pushes you in a certain way. Little signs that you can not and should not ignore.

Last Christmas I gave ‘him who should be ignored’  a picture of the Neuschwannstein Castle in Germany – you know the one. It was built by one of the more mad King Ludwigs. It’s the one that Walt Disney took a liking to and used it as a blue print for the Disney castle.

When I say a HWSBI a ‘photo’, I mean I cut a picture out a magazine, not a  limited edition print or anything that had actually cost me money. His present was a trip to the castle, once EasyJet  had commenced the Glasgow/Munich  flight  route  - scheduled to start at some point  in 2017.  HWSBI has always had  thing about that castle, along with Jaffa cakes and you tube clips of ring tailed lemurs cuddling kangaroos. The castle has always been on his bucket list.  He wanted to go there, visit it, then  climb the next mountain to get ‘that’ view.

And that was  where the situation was left as we ate our Christmas dinner and tried to keep the cat from swinging on the Christmas tree.

 When we were kids, my dad always took us to the camping and caravanning show at the Glasgow exhibition centre. I can still recall the scent of the fake grass, the smell of waxed canvas.  I think he was really an extreme camper. All my childhood holidays were spent suffering from hypothermia in a tent perched on the top of a  cliff somewhere, the tent pitched at an angle so we rolled away from the cliff if we turned over in our sleep. I remember one time, during a horrific storm, the two tents around us blew away but our tent – put up by my Dad with that sense of Clydebuilt engineering - stood firm and various wet and traumatised children were thrown into our sleeping compartment in various stages of distress and undress. It  stayed that way until the next morning when the farmer got his tractor out to locate and retrieve aforesaid tents. In my memory, these children were Icelandic. It turns out they were from Newcastle but I didn’t find that out till 30 years later but to my young ears the accent sounded the same.
My summer holidays are summed up by frostbite, wellies and midges but Dad  always took us to the Caravanning and Camping Show where camping was a sunny experience of picnics and laughter. My sister and I would run in and out of the tents, my Dad would study the engineering of trailer tents while poo pooing the ridiculousness of spending a summer holiday in a tin box. He didn’t see that the tin box might be preferable to a waterproof blanket slumped round a pole.

So, HWSBI and I took my mum to the motorhome show this year, probably 25 years since we’ve last been. Instead of 90% tents and 10% caravans, there was one tent, a handful of caravans and more motorhomes than there are stars in the galaxy. I might have mentioned before the bath in the 120,000 pound motorhome. (The one I didn’t like the colour of).
So that was all good. We wandered hither and thither around the exhibition centre, making comments like ‘imagine trying to park that’ and ‘those carpets would be a bugger to keep clean’.

Then we walked round the corner and there was a poster of…. The  Neunschwanstein Castle -  a castle so marvellous it changes its spelling everytime - and that view. HWSBI immediately started to lick the poster and I enquired from the young man what the £500 price tag  below the castle actually referred to.
‘ If I give you £500, do you give me a brand new Campervan to drive to Germany and take a photography of the Neunschwanstein Castle.’

‘No,’ he said ‘but well pronounced! What are you doing on the  19th of April.’
 And so began a story. One hiccup was trying to find someone willing to take Evil Cat (nice dog and nice cat almost have a waiting list of people wanting to look after them) but nobody wants to invite the Evil One, the feline of Darkness,  into their home. That plus the slight issue of viral pneumonia that kept me off my blog last week, but the day before we were due to fly on the big adventure the doctor passed me fit to travel although I  was to stay  at sea level and not get too cold. The walk  up to the  castle might be a bit  of strain….

So I am writing this blog in a sleeping bag known as a sarcophagus. I have been caught in the snow today. I am lying  in the roof section of a camper van parked high on  an alp, on front of a lake. If the handbrake isn’t on tight enough,  we could be in trouble… or in deep water I suppose.
There’s no internet. There’ s no nothing. There’s certainly no pictures on this blog but you can catch them later.

Caro Ramsay Up an alp in Barvaria  21 04 2017

And that was last week's blog that I couldn't post no matter how had we tried. I think our vote on Brexit has meant Brits can no longer tether an internet signal through a mobile phone.

So here I am late but better late than never.

Caro Ramsay  ( no longer up an alp! But still not enough signal to download a pic)


  1. I can't wait for those pictures! (But obviously have to.) Glad you're back and alive to tell the tale.

  2. Caro, if you have to go through this sort of thing, you are very lucky to be doing it with him, and he is super lucky to be doing it with you. Please may we have pictures soon.

  3. I must commend you, Caro, that story is a far more convincing excuse for not posting than "the dog ate my homework," --or in your case, the evil cat.

    But I believe you, for I know that only you and Alan could put together such an exciting itinerary to a castle that inspired The Mouse to create its house.

    Friends took us there three years ago--on a world-wind, one-day tour of what they considered the main castles in Bavaria, plus the Eagles Nest in Austria, and even though Neuschwazenwhatever's towers were shrouded in scaffolding at the time, it was an awe-inspiring sight.

    I just wish we'd been there when Snow White was at home.

  4. A post, however delayed, is always welcome from She Who Will Jump In Any Body of Water, Sick or Not.

  5. This is impressive to me who merely climbed mountains in Maine over a few summers in beautiful summer weather, armed with fresh apple pie and reading material.

    Hope you are healthier and await the photos.