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Castles in Germany

Castles & Palaces in Germany - California Globetrotter (2)

Germany certainly has no shortage of castles perched upon hills overlooking many scenic rivers and valleys.Castle spotting is definitely a favorite past time while driving through the country on a road trip. Some castles are as romantic as any homeless romantic could possibly imagine and even inspired Walt Disney, some are unique and no less impressive while others lie in ruins but still hold a special charm.

Some are called a ‘Burg’ and others are called a ‘Schloss’. So, what’s the difference, you might ask?

A Burg:

is usually a fortress that was built for protection during the Middle Ages by the nobility. During this time, things were unsteady and turbulent, so the nobility needed protection from unwanted visitors. In the beginning, these Burgen (plural) started out as just a watch tower where people took refuge and gradually, over time expanded the towers into a strong, steady and fortified “castle” accommodating those seeking shelter within.

A Schloss:

is much more elegant and romantic than a Burg as these were generally built after the Middle Ages and usually were built as a residence for the nobility. They were not constructed to be a fortress for protection against outsiders. This was because the turbulent times from the Middle Ages had relaxed a bit and the nobility no longer felt the need for massive fortresses for protection. Instead, the nobility built these palaces for to impress, as is seen immediately upon entering the Grand Hall of many palaces. Continue reading


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200th Post: A Celebration of CG’s Posts

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While recently reading a favorite blogger of mine, Travelsewhere, it dawned on me, I was just a few posts away from writing my 200th post on California Globetrotter!!

I definitely can’t believe I’ve written so many posts and shared so much of my life with strangers who have become loyal readers and cyber-friends! What started out as a simple journal on Facebook (I know, who does that anymore!?) turned into an unhealthy obsession.

So I’d like to take the time to say thank you to my readers, my family and friends (Hi Mom! Stephanie? Pam? Cheri? Are you out there?) who keep me motivated to share our travels, tips and secrets to some of the best places in Europe which I’d like to share my FAVORITES with you again in celebration! Continue reading

2016: A Year in Review - California Globetrotter


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2016: A Year in Review

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2016 has been another wonderful year, unfortunately it flew by so fast I actually felt like I didn’t have time to take it all in, soak up every moment and enjoy every minute. I certainly tried as best as I could to enjoy every single day and to slow down the time, but that is something completely out of my hands.

This year was a big year for us that had PLENTY of happy, joyous moments, many new adventures and lots of opportunities for which we are incredibly lucky to have had. So I want to take the time to show my gratitude to this beautiful life we live that has given us the chance to travel Europe. And I especially want to show my gratitude to my new husband who has been the most wonderful travel partner I could have ever asked for!

With each passing year, I feel that our lives continuously improve and grow and while there is so much more to be done, I know that for now, we should only focus on the here and now, but I can’t help but feel excitement for 2017 that will be filled with many new adventures, laughter, happiness and growth.

While I shouldn’t look to far into the future, I don’t want to look to far back into the past either. There were plenty of ups and downs throughout the year, on and off the camera, but that is no reason to dwell in the past either.

But a recap of our amazing year certainly doesn’t hurt that left us with long lasting impressions that turned us into story tellers and left pieces of our hearts everywhere we went. Continue reading

The Splendor of the Munich Residenz & Why You Should Visit It - California Globetrotter


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The Splendor of the Munich Residenz and Why You Should Visit It

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Of all the times I had ever been to Munich, I had never much been interested in visiting the Munich Residenz. From the outside, it looked like a boring, plain building in the city center, no different from the other buildings. And then I was on Pinterest one day, you could call me a Pinaholic and I stumbled upon a picture that was so beautiful of the a room inside the Residenz. I pinned it for later and it soon got buried in my list of things to see and do in Germany.

Until one rainy day.

We had planned to go down to Munich for the day, but as the weather would have it, it was a day with torrential rain and a bit cold for a late Spring day (yes, this post is a bit late in coming). Well, I grew up traveling and never letting rain stop me from seeing what I want to see….Ok, maybe a little bit. It wasn’t the kind of day you wanted to do any sightseeing in Munich or sitting out at a biergarten.

So, we headed in doors for the day. To the Munich Residenz. And booooy, was I WRONG! Continue reading

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Schangau, Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Schloss Hohenschwangau

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When you think of romantic castles, fairy tale love stories and majestic scenery in Germany, your first thought is instinctively the Neuschwanstein Castle. Walt Disney immortalized this dreamy castle in all opening scenes of his movies and can be found at every single Disney amusement park.

Today, tourists flock to visit this magical castle, perched on a rocky cliff in the Alpine mountains which overlooks the small village of Schwangau. Upon arrival, many are amazed to find that just across the village is another castle. Schloss Hohenschwangau is easily over shadowed by the glory of Schloss Neuschwanstein and few make the time to visit both castles.

So why should you bother visiting this castle which hardly rivals the castle that fairy tales are made of?

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Cochem & the Reichsburg Castle, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Cochem & the Reichsburg Castle

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When you think of Germany, you undoubtedly imagine castles like Schloss Neuschwanstein or half-timbered towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. But what if I were to tell you, that there is more to Germany beyond the most touristy places of other romantic castles and historic towns offering a glimpse into the past? Would you believe me?

I hope so, because I’m about to introduce to you the small historic town of Cochem, located in Rhineland-Palantine, not far from Koblenz which sits along the left bank of the Mosel river.

Quite off the beaten track in Germany, but not completely unknown to tourists, this picturesque town with his cobbled-stoned allies and half-timbered houses is packed with quaint cafes and restaurants, surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards topped with the an Imperial Castle.

Have I wet your taste buds yet? Continue reading

Schloss Lichtenstein - California Globetrotter


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Schloss Lichtenstein

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Chances are, unless you live in Germany or are addicted to Pinterest, you have probably never heard of Schloss Lichtenstein. Located in the Schwäbish Alb (the Swabian Jura mountains) not far from Ulm or Tübingen, making it a great day trip from either town.

Known informally as “The Little Brother” to Schloss Neuschwanstein, it can be easily overlooked, but it has just as many charms and romance as any other castle, just without the hordes of tourists!

Compared to many other castles in Germany, this castle is a relatively young castle. Technically, there has been a castle here since around 1200, however it was destroyed twice – once in 1311 and again in 1377. A new castle was built about 500m away but soon fell into disuse and ruins. It wasn’t until 1840 when the castle would be redesigned, renovated and built up further by Duke Wilhelm of Urach who was inspired by the novel Lichtenstein written by Wilhelm Hauff.

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Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria! - California Globetrotter


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Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria

IMG_4804Want to visit the beautiful Bavarian countryside, filled with fairy tale palaces and romantic roads dotted with idyllic towns? Start your trip with a day in Munich learning about WWII history before driving the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Würzburg before heading towards the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace. Then take a drive along the Bavarian Alps and visiting Germany’s highest peak – Zugspitze. Then head towards Berchtesgaden before crossing the border into Austria for a side trip to Salzburg. Before heading back to Munich, stop an enjoy one of many lakes, preferably Chiemsee.

If you LOVE fairy tale castles, medieval towns, beautiful scenery, WWII history or doing some outdoor activities either as a solo traveler, a couple or a family, then this is the perfect itinerary for your first visit to Bavaria!

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The Romantic Castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria - California Globetrotter


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The Romantic Castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria

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Visiting Germany is more than just drinking beer and eating schnitzel. Every year, Germany attracts thousands of visitors, 407.26 million to be exact, making it the seventh most visited country in the world!

Many tourists flock to some of the typical tourist hot spots, such as Heidelberg, Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Berlin and Munich. While these are certainly great places to visit and highly recommended, there are some more romantic places, thanks to Bavaria’s crazy King Ludwig II.

At 18 years old, Ludwig ascended the Bavarian throne in 1864. For twenty-two years, he would reign over one of the most prestigious and envied state in what would later become a part of Germany. During these twenty-two years, he would produce some of the most romantic fairy-tale castles in Bavaria using his own money…while simultaneously breaking the bank and borrowing heavily from the Bavarian government. Eventually, his extravagant spending would be turned against him as his ministers would try to declare him insane.

He was a highly secluded person who constantly day dreamed about turning his beloved composer, Richard Wagner’s stories into real life fairy-tale palaces. Continue reading

Top Places to Visit in Germany! - California Globetrotter


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Top Places to Visit in Germany!

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If you’re considering traveling to Europe, you should definitely add Germany to your Bucket List! Germany certainly has plenty of castles, fairy-tale villages and places of wonder that really need to be seen, drooled over & shared!

I receive a lot of people who always ask for some great suggestions of places to visit in Germany. So now, I share with you my favorite destinations in Germany, and even a few I hope to make it to!

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