One of the wonderful things about living in Europe is how close towns, regions and countries are to each other. And the German rail system, despite its imperfections, is still a terrific way to get around with ease. Over the 4th of July weekend, we went to the southern Bavarian town of Prien on the shores of Chiemsee.
View from our guest house along the lake
This area is about 40 minutes from Salzburg and near other famous tourist attractions like Berchtesgaden. But Prien doesn’t get a lot of attention in the guidebooks, which is a shame, or not. There are two main islands in the lake, both of which are accessed by ferry from Prien, Herreninsel and Fraueninsel. Herreninsel is the home of the last of three fantastic palaces built by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the others being Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. Schloss Herrenchiemsee was never completed because the king was running out of money and died under mysterious circumstances. Ludwig was obsessed with the French “Sun King” Louis XIV and wanted to replicate the palace at Versailles, including the incredible hall of mirrors. You can see how much money he spent on this place even though he never actually lived here, having visited only once for 10 days. Amazing.
Just as the Schloss at Herrinsinsel is over the top, the nearby island of Fraueninsel is just the opposite. There are no roads on Fraueninsel and one gets the impression that suits the residents just fine, thank you.
While we were walking around, Tanya bought a “trinket” from a young man celebrating his last day of bachelorhood before getting married the next day. She told him, “you won’t be needing this any more”.And, of course, no summer day in Bavaria would be complete without a refreshing adult beverage.