Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Excursion to Neuschwanstein

Sorry for the lag in posts, people—it’s the holidays, it’s busy, blah blah, the usual excuses. These Europe posts should be wrapped up by the end of the year, and then it’s back to good old home cooking and baking. Today’s a double post day. I’m keeping this part separate because it involves no food at all!

After leaving Munich the next morning, we swung south into the Bavarian Alps to visit the famous fairytale castle of the mad King Ludwig: Neuschwanstein (pronounced “noish-vahn-stein”). This castle was Disney’s inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty. As we parked at the foot of the mountains, we spotted the towers rising out of the misty air above. For some strange reason, I was the only person who wanted to walk up the mountain instead of take a bus. I’m glad I did. It was a verrry steep hike, but it was well-paved, and I got to see lovely scenery—tall, skinny pencil-like trees, whispering foliage, and a few vertically babbling brooks.

Though the signs posted along the way timed the hike at about 50 minutes, I completed it in 25—go me! I met the rest of the group on Mary’s Bridge, next to and a little higher up than the castle, for the best view.

Um, there was a TON of scaffolding (kind of like there was at the Parthenon). But scaffolding aside, it was majestic!

We walked back down toward the castle, pausing again to take pictures of the gorgeous scenery. Down there’s where we parked, amid lakes, hills, and forests, with a horizon full of mountains behind us.

We then got to tour the castle, which was an absolute delight. I’ve never seen such an ornate-yet-whimsical place. This was no monochrome monolith—the inside was dazzlingly colorful, from the rainbow-tiled floors to the jewels embedded in the walls, furniture, and décor. The chandeliers were my favorite—they were spitting images of Burger King crowns! Sadly, photography was not allowed inside, so all I can give you is a shot of the drab-looking courtyard that doesn’t even hint at the bright, multicolored interior.

I highly recommend you do a Google image search for “Neuschwanstein” and check out some professional, scaffolding-free pictures, because the place is stunning.

On the way out of Germany and into Switzerland, we stopped in tiny Liechtenstein. Sadly, some members of the group blinked and missed it. Seriously, we were there for an hour, and we saw the whole thing.

Next up: Lucerne, Switzerland.

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  1. What a neat place. What a MASSIVE castle! I would like to see that. You have seen some amazing and fascinating things AND places.

  2. I've never seen such a close-up picture of an ACTUAL castle. What's the history of that particular castle?