I love learning languages! Actually I like learning words in different languages, as grammar has a personal issue with me. 🙂
It all started in August 2013. There was a bank holiday in Slovakia (I used to live there back then). And that bank holiday was on a Friday. I told my boyfriend that it was a real sign sent by God to have a city break . 🙂
What to do? Where to go? As I am no daughter of Donald Trump, we realized that our destination must be more or less close and we should get there by train (as the flight tickets can get very expensive if not bought on time).
As a child, I used to be a big fan of Disney animations. While I was dreaming about Disney animations, the image of a fancy, out of this world castle appeared in front of me. And I said to myself “Yeah baby, it’s time to go to Munich!”.
In order to have more time to spend in Munch, we decided to leave on Thursday night, right after work. There was a night train coming from Budapest, stopping in Vienna and arriving at 7 am in Munich. It was perfect! The train would be empty (who would be so insane to go to Munich on a Thursday night?!?!?!), so lots of time for sleeping in the lovely train!
We decided to return form Munich in style, so for that one we booked tickets for a faster train.
But you know why plans were invented, right?
So God could make fun of them! 🙂
Of course, the night train to Munich was not empty and not lovely at all! Imagine a cold August night – like the ones which smell more like autumn than summer, in a cold grey and very strange train station in Vienna (and yes, for the ones who know, it’s Meidling train station I’m talking about). It’s 11 pm. The train should come soon. It’s 11:30 – the train should already have been here. So as you imagine, the train had a delay for about one hour and a half. Well, I said to myself…I still have 7 hours to sleep in the train. It’s not such a big deal.
The train arrived. Which looked eastern European. I said … cool, I’ll feel more like home, in Romania.
But… when I hopped in the train, it was no longer eastern Europe, but… India! It was so packed, we barely could find our seats in the compartment. We found them and as the other travelers who had the same plan in mind, we tried to sleep like canned sardines.
Finally, at 7 am we arrived at the main train station in Munich. The first encounter was with Rathausplatz. And I got scared a bit. It looked like after an invasion. Bottles, trash, a complete mess was surrounding the square. Was that really Germany? That was the day when I decided not to trust stereotypes.
We were hungry, so we stopped for a “light” breakfast by our friend, Ronald McDonald. After finishing our breakfast we got out of the famous fast food… and we were shocked! All the mess from Rathausplatz disappeared! It was like Harry Potter and his friends would have paid a visit and used a cleaning spell! 🙂
Munich is a lovely city which really has it all –it got the looks – beautiful architecture, the food – tasty sausages, pretzels and knows how to bring good mood – as they make lovely beer! I strongly recommend it for a city break! But that’s not why I went there. I went there because I wanted to visit a famous castle which was outside Munich.
In order to get to my lovely castle, we had to book a day trip by bus. So we went to a tourist point and we kindly asked:
“A trip to NeuSCHWEINstein castle, please”.
The tour operator was a very charismatic man in his 60s. I was very surprised when he started saying phrases in Romanian and telling us stories about cities which he visited in my homeland, and shame on me, I haven’t. He was kind, helpful and very friendly.
All this time, I was very enthusiastic to visit “NeuSCHWEINstein” castle. And I shared this information with anyone who was interested to listen: “Oh, I am so looking forward to visit that gorgeous castle, you know it for sure – Disney’s NewSCHWEINstein!”. I was pronouncing the name of the castle with confidence and believing that German language is not so hard to learn as some might say. If only I would have known…
All my enthusiasm disappeared once we got in the bus which took us to the beautiful castle. The travel guide started sharing info about our stops. It turned out to be one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. That was when I found out what the name of my beloved castle meant, and not only what it meant, but that I got it totally wrong. In a very embarrassing wrong way!
The correct name of the castle was NeuSCHWANstein not NewSCHWEINstein. If you still don’t find it embarrassing let me translate a bit. SCHWEIN means PIG and SCHWAN means SWAN. So all this time, instead of calling my fairy tale castle “New Swanstone Castle” I was calling it “ New PIGstone Castle”. Oh poor Ludwig II, if he would have known how hard learning German can be, he would definitely rename it.
Now please, take a look at the beauty below:
It does look like an elegant swan, right? Then how could I call it a pig????? 🙂 🙂 🙂
In that moment I decided it’s time to start learning German. Just to show this wonder of beauty how deeply sorry I am for calling it a “stonepig”…
Today it’s my first “official” German course ( I’ve learned on my own for some time). Fingers crossed! 🙂