Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
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12
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Trip End May 18, 2013


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The majestic castle of King Ludwig II – Neuschwanstein sits perched high on a mountain just outside the old world town of Fussen. Everyone that has grown up with Disney would recognise this white Castle as the one that appears at the start of most Disney pictures.

With grey skies and low cloud interfering with the view of the castle, you still cannot help but be overly impressed by its presence. It really does look like it is straight out of a movie set. The scenery is so spectacular in this part of Bavaria which is a two hour train ride from Munich. You tend to be looking in all directions but always coming back to the spectacular castle on the hill.

Taking one of our few guided tours, (with Radius Tours), our leader Ian gave everybody a great understanding of King Ludwig II and his reasons for building such a castle in the 1800's. Apparently he loved stories of knights and spent a lot of time retreating into a fantasy world as he aged. So what should one do but build castles to meet those needs? He also built another castle not far from Munich which is a copy of the French Castle in Versailles.

King Ludwig II seems to have been ahead of his time when it came to building. Unfortunately it sent him broke. Apparently, he was also gay which may have led to his imminent overthrow (which never eventuated as he was mysteriously shot and found floating in the lake - along with his physician - the day before he was to be declared insane.)

Once inside the castle there is only one word to describe it - AMAZING!  Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos inside. There are so many different rooms, some of them themed - like a cave room which is exactly as it sounds and a grand ballroom with a mural on the main wall which is the inspiration for the Disney movie Bambi. All of the rooms have magnificent fresco’s depicting various scenes of knights, dragon slayings and religious situations which cover the walls and the ceilings.

You move quickly through these rooms so you are constantly looking left, right and up and down just trying to take in as much as you can.

The tour is well run but time quickly gets away from you. Oh I almost forgot to mention that the walk to the castle is up a steep climb for approximately 1.6 Km. Of course Del and I took on this challenge and did it easily....not!  It got the heart racing but was worth it when you got there. We could have chickened out and got the horse and carriage up but hey, we’re still fit enough to take on a 3.2 km walk up and down the hill and then negotiate the 500 odd steps throughout the castle.

 If you are coming to Munich you must do this tour - it is well worth the money. (You can, of course do this side trip on your own without going on an organised tour, but we found the convenience of a guided tour to be beneficial. For one thing, our ticket entry time was organised for us, in advance, so, upon arrival, we were able to queue jump at the entrance.) A really great day out!
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