Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Strangers in a strange land - II: The bus to Fussen

There are two castles that you cannot afford to miss if you happen to be in Bavaria. The Neuschwanstein (literally, the new rock of the swan) & Hohenschwangau (the lofty swan). So when Antara & I, having experienced these two castles & having managed to get drenched in the freezing rain, awaited the bus to Weiskirche at the foothills of the castles, it seemed to me that the very best of our day was already behind us. In many ways, that as not the case.

The bus ride to Wieskirche was rather event less except perhaps we were the only people on that bus who were going to weiskirche. So we got a little chatty with the driver only to find out how to get back to Fussen & the like. The sky was murky, & the church stood rather non-descriptively beneath it.

Those of you who have not seen the Weiskirche will draw little from my description, devoid as it will be of nuances of rococo. But what we saw was absolutely breath-taking & we lingered on for quite a while.

Waiting for the bus back, I had to quickly go relieve myself in the basement lavatory of the market outside the church. Upon arriving back on earth, I found that absolutes sheets of torrential rain were drenching everything around, & that my wife is nowhere to be seen. I decided to wait over a cigarette, & as I was puffing away, I managed to see the headlights of a bus flickering as if something incredibly urgent depended on it. Looking closer I saw my wife gesticulating wildly at me from inside the bus - she was holding it for me - so, grudgingly as always, I stubbed out the half-smoked stick & ran towards the bus.

It was being driven by the same person who had brought us to the wieskirche. I went up to him to pay. He asked if we had paid once to get to the foothills of the castles & another time to get to weiskirche. To this, I said yes. He then refused to accept a ticket payment from us arguing that our payments had already exceeded the amount for a day-ticket. I generaly do not argue against not having to pay up, but all this niceness around did something to me & I pressed him for a payment. He simply refused each time mustering whatever English lay at his disposal.

Antara & I sat back & started looking out at the resplendent rain-washed roads, & the castles in the distance.

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