We’ve been ogling this castle for a looooong time. You know how I feel about castles to begin with, but this one was kind of special, and not just because it’s the template for the Disney castle. Imagine this place, with its majestic spires and pristine white bricks, keeping its vigil on the side of a snow-covered mountain, rising above a thin veil of mist. It’s the kind of thing fairytales are born of.
Even if you ignore the incredible imagery that the area has to offer, the history of Neuschwanstein is really interesting – a fairytale backstory in itself. The castle was commissioned by a mad king, who was so indebted to his people because of his obsession with building this castle, that he was taken into custody. While under arrest, he was mysteriously killed while strolling with his psychiatrist, and both bodies were found in a lake. To this day, nobody knows what happened or who killed them. Read more on Wiki.
Our journey started where the snow was already melting, but the countryside was still breathtaking. We took roads through mist so thick you could lose your right arm, transitioned into blinding sunlight on snow, back into mist, back into sunlight. It was like driving a TARDIS down the same street, but through different seasons.
The mustard castle, Hohenschwangau, is across from Neuschwanstein. We didn’t visit it this time, but maybe when we go back we’ll swing by there too.
Neuschwanstein is on a mountainside, as these things go. Because the road was frosted, the shuttle service didn’t run. So we had to march uphill for I-don’t-know-how-far. It’s not the highest or farthest we’ve had to climb for a castle – I think that honour goes to either Drachenburg or Eltz – but it was by far the coldest. Snow does that, I’m told.
Unfortunately for us, the exterior of the castle was being restored while we were there, so one side was hidden by scaffolding, as you can see in the photos. You’ll also notice how thick the snow was in the shadow areas, but where the sun reaches, it had melted. This is why I have so many photos of trees. For those of us unused to snow, this was freaking incredible. We’re such snow-geeks. 😛
We couldn’t take photos inside the castle, but the tour guide made up for that. After our experience at Eltz, we were a sceptical about having another guided tour experience, so it’s great that this time went better. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that Neuschwanstein didn’t tug at my heart like Drachenburg did. It’s majestic, make no mistake, but Drachenburg made a much bigger impact on me. Maybe the absence of the masses of tourists made the difference, I don’t know. I’ve also yet to find a place as lined with magic as Dover castle.
Still, this view was incredible. It’s a trip I’d recommend to anyone.
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Have a good one.