When we were planning my trip to Germany, Marion asked me where I’d like to go. To that question, I only had 1 answer: Neuschwanstein Castle.
It was decided long before I got there that Neuschwanstein Castle needed a whole weekend of its own, since it was a bit far from Regensburg. When we talked about that again, Marion asked if it would be okay if her parents came along for the weekend. I said yes, of course, I also wanted to meet her parents. So the plan was set, that we were gonna spare a weekend to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and spend a night in a village nearby since it was too far for a day trip, then go to Garmisch-Partenkirchen the next day.
On Saturday morning, her parents came to Marion’s apartment. I was a bit nervous to meet them, but they warmly hugged me and introduced themselves. We chatted a lot over the next couple of days, and by the end of the weekend, I was a bit teary when we had to say goodbye.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.
After getting acquainted, we drove to a little town called Füssen, where we were gonna spend the night. We spent the day walking around the town, and I still curse myself for not bringing my camera that day, as Füssen was so beautiful. It was exactly my kind of town. Small, quiet, and pretty. The high street was quite short, with independent little shops that sold pretty little things. The mountains stood in the background, making it all the more splendid.
In the evening, we had dinner in a lovely little restaurant, where I tried Spätzle and Radler upon Marion’s recommendations (it was so delicious that as I’m writing this, I think I’m drooling a bit). Marion and her parents didn’t let me pay for anything, so when we saw an ice cream shop on our walk back to the hotel, I had to beg to pay for ice creams (‘Please, let me pay for the ice creams. Please?’), and her father finally let me, but Marion said it was just because I said ‘please’ so sweetly. They assured me that it was their holiday, even though they actually just accompanied me.
The next day, after a delightful breakfast, we went to the castle. Now, here’s the thing about Neuschwanstein Castle. I spent my childhood watching Disney movies too many times, and albeit the helpless and weak portrayal of Disney princesses, and the too-good-to-be-true stories, the magic still got me enchanted and fascinated. Among the things that kept me watch Disney movies again and again, was the castles. Sounds shallow? Maybe. But the picture of the majestic castles had helped my imagination run wild and made my childhood worth remembering.
It is said that Walt Disney drew inspirations from Neuschwanstein Castle for his fairy tales. And so, visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein pushed its way up to the top of my bucket list.
Perched on a rugged hill, Neuschwanstein Castle was one of many construction projects of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the Fairy Tale King (you’ll see why!). The king seemed to be sparing no expense when building this castle, but in reality the cost of the construction doubled up and continued to cost him debts. His insistence and efforts to continue all of his projects, notwithstanding the unreasonable debts he put himself into, caused him to be proclaimed insane. When he was found dead mysteriously in Lake Starnberg, the construction was still ongoing. Some parts were simplified and finished later, but it remains as an incomplete construction.
The scenic walk to the castle was really pleasant, with the view of the hills, cliffs, and little villages down below took turn presenting themselves.
And when the castle loomed into view for the first time…
my heart leapt.
I think I spent more than 5 minutes at that spot to take hundreds of picture of that first sight of the castle. Eventually, we continued our walk and got there. We’d got our tickets, but as it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bavaria, we had to wait for an hour for our turn. We wisely used that time for exploring the surroundings and… take more pictures.
Finally it was our turn to get in. Marion and her parents had been there many times before, so her parents waited outside while she accompanied me for the tour.
Once inside, we were not allowed to take any picture, but trust me when I say it’s the most beautiful and majestic castle I’ve ever been to. It looked like the palaces you see on those princess movies. It was decorated with the most lavish ornaments, adorned with heavy drapes and crystal chandeliers. The grand architectures and extravagant interiors worked well together in creating a fantasy of a different world.
There was only one place in the palace where you could take your camera out, and that’s the balcony (one of many, I guess). From here, the view of the surroundings was incredibly stunning.
See that bridge? Later on, we would cross that to get another view of the palace.
After the tour, we walked to the viewing spot up on the cliff. We followed the path lined with trees, and when I looked back, the castle looked as dreamy as it could be.
A look in another direction gave us this view of Hohenschwangau Castle.
And finally, we crossed the bridge…
and walked up the cliff to see the castle from a distance.
What. A. View.
The castle alone was beyond amazing, but adding to the beauty of the castle was the surroundings. On our way back, we took another path less taken, and I relished the tranquility of the place.
The visit was wrapped with a quick tour of Hohenschwangau Castle, the childhood residence of Ludwig II. It was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. Compared to Neuschwanstein, this castle is tiny and humble, but still pretty nonetheless.
That afternoon was the time I lived my childhood fantasies for a few hours, and as we drove away from the castle, I couldn’t help feeling immensely grateful.
It was another dream come true.
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