If the Romantic Road wasn't scenic enough for us, on Sunday, we took an incredibly scenic route to Ettal. We had plans to see Schloss Linderhof and Ettal Abbey. So we set off. And our GPS asked us if we wanted to avoid a road that was closed. And we said yes. She apparently didn't care.
We ended up driving along this incredibly picturesque road, winding around in a valley along side a gorgeous lake with mountains looming up all around us. We stopped so often for photos, we probably could have walked faster. But it was gorgeous and we didn't really have to be anywhere by any time so we kept stopping. Then, when we were about 3km away from Schloss Linderhof, there was a road block. The road was closed. So we reprogrammed the GPS and got sent on an 86km route for something that was literally minutes away. ARGH! It ended up taking us nearly two and a half hours to make what should have been a 45 minute drive but the mountain/lakeside road was probably worth it.
Eventually, we made it to Linderhof. It's the only palace that Ludwig II had built that was finished in his lifetime. And it was a palace for one. No guest rooms, only one chair at the dining room table. He was very shy, becoming more so as he got older, to the point that he didn't know want servants around so his table was built on a platform that could be lowered into the kitchen, loaded up and sent back up to Ludwig without him having to see anyone. His fireplaces weren't proper fireplaces. They were actually vents for hot air to be pushed up to him from below - no servants needed to tend to the fires that way. Ludwig also had a secret grotto built where he could go and chill out, listening to opera music and having servants row him around his artificial lake in a sea shell boat. Seriously. It was heated and had a waterfall and had coloured lights. It was something else.
From there, we headed back into Ettal, where Schloss Linderhof is closest to and after lunch, we wandered around the abbey where the big claim to fame is the liquor that the monks make. They make several kinds and I believe the monk we spoke with told us the recipe they use dates back to the 12th century. The basilica was also a sight to see, there were even trees growing under the dome. But really, the liquor is the big draw.