Neuschwanstein Castle: One visit – Two different experiences

WE have been having a great time in Munich.  I will write my Munich post tomorrow (as we arrive in Stuttgart).  Today, we pulled an EIPIC day trip to Neuschwanstein castle.  Yes – Mad King Ludwig’s giant extravagant castle built in the 1800s.

First – pronunciation.  This was killing me   Noi (like noisy) schwann (like you’re a German person saying Swan) Stein.  Not that hard.. Once I figure that out, I didn’t feel like such a dunce.  When you go inside and see the Swans everywhere – it makes even more sense.

So, how did we get there.  There are may tours to the castle from Munich. WE just bought a Bayern Ticket From Deutsche Bahn-  5 riders * unlimited train and bus for the day – a steal at 28 euros.  We grabbed the train from the S-Bahn station 5 minutes form our house to the main station (that’s HauptBahnHof) and grabbed the regional train to Fussen.

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Now, they must be doing track work, because we all had to get off the train and hop on a bus for the last 30 minutes of the ride.  That was fine – the views were gorgeous by bus as well.

At the Fussen train station – you hop on the local bus marked “Castles”  Free with the Bayern card,  10 minutes later, we were at the base of the mountains.

Now – this post mentions 2 different experiences – what the heck am I talking about?  Last night – it snowed in Fussen.  As we approached, we could see snow on the roofs and fields.. probably good inch of wet snow.. more in other places.  Let’s call it 2 cm of snow.  By the time we got to Fussen (12:30) it was mostly melted, but a thick fog from the melting snow had enveloped the town.  there was still snow in the pine trees, and enough for one or 2 VERY wet snowballs.. That I may or may not have started with the kids.

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There’s a castle in these here mountains… somewhere.

We elected to take the horse carriage up the hill:

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When you get off the horse wagon – there is still another 10-15 minute walk.  We began to see hints of the castle:

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It might still just be a trick!  (Note the snow on the house below the castle)

The great thing about the weather is that while still crowded, we got our tickets that day at the ticket counter for the inside tour.  Of course – no photos inside – but really – this was an awesome tour. So sumptuous and elegant.. and plain over the top 🙂

As we peeked out the windows, we could see the fog was beginning to lift.. and that the trees are in full fall color, intermingled with snowy pines.

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This bridge (for photos) is closed, but man – what colors, and swirling fog!

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OK – I took these from the windows – after the tour ended. As we exited the castle, the fog was holding out just for dramatic effect.

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Here we are back at the bottom – watching the horses go home for the day.

We had grand plans to stop in Fussen for dinner. But I found free Wi-Fi, and discovered that if we stayed – the train connections became tenuous, and we wouldn’t get home until midnight.  Cheese and crackers on the bus it was!

Bus – train-train and a short walk back to our apartment for a cereal dinner – and then bed. A long 12 hour day! An unforgettable day for sure.

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