Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today was the day I'd been waiting for, Schloss Neuschwanstein! This castle is what Walt Disney used as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. There was another fantastic thing about today, I no longer had to sleep in the hot sweaty bed of Munich. Shockingly I didn't get so hot last night that I was awake for hours, but auf wiedersehen horrible bed.

After breakfast, Frühstück, we set the Sat Nav for Schwangau. I knew visiting Neuschwanstein would be a feat due to the number of thousands people and the hundreds of tour busses that visit each day. Hey, we're on vacation so we were ready for anything coming our way.

Matt had a blast driving fast the approximate 90 minutes through the German countryside. The highlight of the morning was when the Alps came into view. I can't tell you how many photos I took of the Alps! Ranging from really far away to really, really close. I've seen the Rocky Mountains before, but this is just amazing. In addition to that the number of idyllic villages set at the bottom of the mountains; each one had their own church surrounded by little houses and shops. The coolest feeling of the day is when we rounded a bend on the coutry road and Neuschwanstein came into view. Thankfully Matt wasn't on the AutoBahn at that time or we might have flew off the road.

Neuschwanstein from the road

Ain't she pretty?
The next interesting job of the day was to get tickets for the castle tour. Let the queing begin! Of course there is a line spilling out of the que. We could have pre-purchased our tickets, but with the travel involved from Munich I was not confident that we'd be there by a certain time. I've read that these tours are quite stringent about being there on time for your tour. If you are late, you've got to buy another ticket. Our choice of the day was to see both Neuschwanstein & Hoenschwangau or just Neuschwanstein. Knowing all the walking we'd done the days before ad that we'd have to hike a mountain to hike up to the castle, we opted just to tour Neuschwanstein. As of when we bought our ticket at noon, the next available English speaking tour was at 5:30. Yikes! Thankfully we are in a vacation, no worries, kind of mood.

We explored the area between the two castles down to Lake Alpsee (I'm guessing the name means see the Alps?) where we saw a beautiful reflection of the mountains in the water. We found a Beer Garden to have lunch and people watch for a while then started our trek up the really big wanna be mountain to Neuschwanstein. We still had a bit of time to wait, but there were some interesting things to see up at the top. The first was a back view of the castle via a short cliff overhang. I'm sure Matt's dad would be thrilled to go on this :) Next was another view of the castle via Mary's Bridge. I've seen friends' pictures of their visit to Mary's Bridge and it looks like a quiet spot to view the castle. They must have been there on the right days because our visit should have had its own que. Truth be told, I was a little nervous on the bridge for the number of people on it. Of course, that didn't stop me from going on it. I needed to add to my already amassed group of Neuschwanstein photos.
The time had finally come for our tour (yay!). This castle is one of King Ludwig II's projects.  Much of the castle is unfinished as he died during construction, and no further work has been done.  Our tour was short, but I loved it anyway.  Below is a contraband photo from the tour as no photos are allowed in the castle. 

The throne room - pretty, eh?
We had one last trek down the hilly mountain to our car.  We once again set the Sat Nav for our next destination - Innsbruck, Austria!  The two-hour drive through the Alps was a lot of fun.  Again, Matt enjoyed the high or lack of speed limit.  At times I became quite nervous as we rounded corners at the same time as semi-trucks going the opposite direction.  Thankfully we arrived safely.  We grabbed a bite to eat and headed off to bed!

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