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Maurice Greer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 08 Sep 2009

Location: Bad Aibling, Germany

MapToday we drove east to Chiemsee, a large lake about half way between Munich and Salzburg. We parked at the town of Prien-Stock and took a ferry to the island of Herreninsel (Men’s Island), the larger of two islands in the lake. There is a monastery here that was built in the 17th century but the Herreninsel Palace, built by (mad) King Ludwig II, is what most people come to see. The construction started in 1878 and it is modelled on the centre section of Versailles Palace, as he was a fervent admirer of France’s Louis XIV. It was incomplete when King Ludwig died in 1886 and remains unfinished yet; apparently King Ludwig only spent 10 nights here. After lunch we took the guided tour of the Palace (unfortunately no photos allowed) and saw the grand marble staircase, beautiful wood inlay floors and furniture, rooms with gold leaf decoration, amazing glass and ceramic chandeliers and the “great hall of mirrors”. King Ludwig copied Versailles right down to the decorations and paintings, including those of Louis XIV (which were copied by local artists). Later we walked around the gardens and the many fountains and statues in and around them. We returned to the ferry pier and caught another ferry to the smaller Fraueninsel (Lady’s Island), a popular spot for artists. It has a small village with a church and large convent. We walked around the island and enjoyed the views across to the mountains as well as the gardens and private piers that the locals use as patios. We took another ferry back to Prien-Stock and drove back to Bad Aibling for dinner at our hotel.