FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Bavaria bound

Posted in Germany, Munich by folkestonejack on June 1, 2015

At the age of eight or nine I went on a trip to Thorpe Park organised by my primary school. If that seems a little strange today, you need to know that Thorpe Park was originally conceived as an educational attraction rather than the thrill-seeker’s theme park of today. Instead of the rides that you would find now, the parkland was packed with recreated historic buildings (representing the ‘Invaders of England’) along with models of some of the world’s most astonishing buildings. The one that caught my eye most of all was Neuschwanstein Castle.

It has taken me a little while to get around to visiting the real thing, but this week I have finally made it to Bavaria armed with a plan to see all three of King Ludwig II’s incredible creations – Linderhof Palace, Herrenchiemsee Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle. In theory this should have been fairly simple to arrange but the threat of a long railway strike and the complications of a security lockdown for the G7 summit at Elmau have made me wonder whether the attempt was doomed before it began!

Thankfully, the industrial dispute was resolved a few days before we travelled out here and a bit of re-planning ensured that we would avoid the travel disruption and demonstrations associated with the G7 summit. Time to start exploring the wonders of Bavaria…

And what of the historic buildings of Thorpe Park? They were largely demolished in 1990, whilst the models survived until the early 2000s. Not much trace remains of the educational park that was unveiled to the public on 24th May 1979 and which so entranced me as a youngster in 1980-81.

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