Fairytales and Madmen
Trip Start May 01, 2010
33Trip End Jul 10, 2010
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Well another day in Germany and another day of rain it seems!
Today we were off to see the famous Neuschwanstein castle thanks to Dax, Holly, Brett and Sarah who had given us a tour as a wedding present. Just imagine a fairytale castle perched on a hill cut off by a deep gorge and surrounded by a forest of dark green alpine trees. That’s pretty much the Neuschwanstein castle.
We met our tour guide at the train station who was a young American girl (all our tour guides seem to be American) who had studied German history before coming to Germany. The castle is about two hours outside of Munich in the Bavarian countryside so we had to catch a few trains and buses to get there but it was worth it even just for the scenery on the way there
The rain had stopped by the time we got to the town of Hohenschwangau which lies below the castle but the alpine air was still quite cool. First the guide showed us the Hohenschwangau castle which was built by the Bavarian king Maximilian II and is where his children Ludwig II and Otto grew up.
Next we walked up the mountainside to a bridge over a deep gorge which overlooked the castle Neuschwanstein and gave us our first close up view. The castle was commissioned by the king of Bavaria Lugwig II (the kid who grew up in the other castle) in the late nineteenth century and was his idea of a fairytale castle. Instead of getting an architect to design it he got a famous set designer who had designed fairytale sets in theatres. Apparently Ludwig used to sit on the bridge at night and just stare at his castle for hours
King Ludwig II was a very interesting man and the guide told us the story of his life which was actually quite sad and he became known as ‘the lonely king’ before dying in mysterious circumstances after being declared insane. The castle was not completed before he died so only around 15 of the 200 rooms were completed and we were taken inside to see them. The inside was as amazing as the outside and again had a fairytale theme. One of the completed rooms was in fact a fake indoor cave with stalactites etc which was from one of Ludwig’s favourite fairytales. Strange guy that Ludwig...His bedroom was probably the most impressive room and was covered in wooden carvings and contained an amazing four poster bed covered in more carvings. The room took 14 wood carvers 2 years to finish so you can imagine the craftsmanship involved. I wish I could have taken some photos but they were not allowed so you will just have to go there yourself! Thanks so much again to Brett, Sarah, Dax and Holly for giving us the chance to see this amazing place.
We grabbed some lunch (wieners were pretty much the only option) from the local township before heading back to Munich on the train
Tomorrow we are off to Greece and we are both looking forward to some warm weather at last. From the looks of the weather in Australia at the moment you could all do with a bit of warm weather too.
Daniel + Ly