Neuschwanstein Castle - Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
Trip End Jun 23, 2012

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our trip today is out to Neuschwanstein Castle in the southwestern Bavarian Alps.  We booked a tour through Mike’s Bike Tours. The tour is not by bike but includes a bike ride for those who want to participate-- we did not participate.  It was a two-hour bus ride that was very comfortable.   When we got to the town below Neuschwanstein most of the group left on the bike ride out to Swan Lake.  Robyn and I decided to take the gondola to the top of Tegelberg which overlooks Neuschwanstein.  There is a restaurant up there and the view of the surrounding area is spectacular.   It was awfully hot this day, so it got a little uncomfortable at times.  Since it was a warm and windy day,  all the para-sailers and para-gliders were out and the top of Tegelberg is where they launch.  It was stunning watching these people jump off the mountain and glide out over the valley. Most stayed up flying for hours because of the thermals coming off the mountain.  We watched and Robyn took multiple pictures and videos (which turned out fantastic on the new camera) some of which I have uploaded. We had so much fun watching this we almost didn’t want to head down to join the group for lunch. 


Eventually we headed down and joined our tour group for lunch and we both had ordered club sandwiches.  Now,  the German version of a club includes a fried egg on top and thank God I looked and got it off of Robyn’s before there was a serious gastric issue.  Anyway, the sandwiches sort of sucked but this was the first food we had that we ate on this trip that we did not enjoy.  After lunch we got a really cool slight of hand card trick from our tour guide Brad. He was very quick with his hands.  I sat to his side studying his hands and could not see the any of the switches.  Then it was off to the castle.


Time for some history.  Ludwig II became King of Bavaria at the age of 18 after his father Maximilian II had died suddenly.  Because of his sudden death Maximilian had not prepared Ludwig to be King, and Ludwig did not enjoy the politics associated with being King in Munich so he would spend as much time as possible at Hohenschwangau Castle 90 mile from Munich.  The ruins of an old castle Schwangau were bought by Maximilian in 1832 and rebuilt as Hohenschwangau, which sits between Alpsee Lake and Swan Lake.  Ludwig spent most of his childhood there so it was an area he loved.  Growing up he fell in love with music and operas of Richard Wagner and after he became King decided to build Neuschwanstein on Swan Rock overlooking Hohenschwangau.  Neuschwanstein was built in the style of medieval Bavarian castles with a fairy tale appearance.  The castle was dedicated to Wagner’s works with each room containing depictions of the stories of Wagner’s operas.  It was started in 1869 and the outside and 1/3 of the rooms were complete when Ludwig moved in 1886.  Six months later Ludwig was arrested at his castle by a commission from Munich after he received a doctor's order that he was insane.  Three days later he was found drowned is less than two feet of water at Starnberger Lake under mysterious circumstances; he was only 40 years old.  Bottom line is he apparently was going to replace his cabinet ministers and essentially they worked a coup.  Six weeks after Ludwig’s death the castle was opened for tourists.

There was an option with the tour group to hike 45 minutes up to the castle to see the waterfall below Mary's Bridge, or a bus could be taken to a spot that left a 15 minute walk up to the castle.  We chose the bus, as there was no way we were going to do the hike.  I could have,  but Robyn with her bad knee, bad ankle, and metal hip would not have lasted 5 minutes.  Plus, it was HOT. The 15 minute hike uphill was hard enough on her--even my knees were hurting.  We took pictures of the castle from Mary's bridge and then our tour guide pointed out a spot above the bridge that had an even better view. The actual tour was somewhat disappointing, only because they rush you through each room and not all the rooms were finished. It was also difficult to hear the tour guide.   We would have liked to linger in each room and admire the furnishings and architecture. 

Overall it was a fun day but very exhausting.  Tomorrow we fly to Paris.

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Debby on

Ok, I have to tell you my bathroom story fromt he first trip I made to Paris in 1994. We took a train to ouside of Paris to Chantilly (pronounced sean-te-yee) Anyway, we went on a Sunday and the entire town was closed excpept for the castle we visited and a bar. I didn't have to go at the castle, but when I found out there was an hour wait for the train going back to Paris I knew I couldn't wait, so we went to the bar. Turns out no ladies ever visit this bar and the bathroom didn't have a door, so I had to have someone hold up my coat so I could use the restroom, when I came out the whole bar says to me "Lady has to pee pee??" I was mortified!!

BTW, I'm not loud, I just need to be heard over the others and the quietest sibling is Paul!

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