Castle Neuschwanstein in Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau Travel Blog› entry 22 of 28 › view all entries
August 7th, 2009 – by: missandrea81
We took the A 8 and then the A 7 toward Fuessen. The drive was easy. Not much traffic, so I had to constantly remind myself not to drive like a complete maniac with my mum next to me. Regardless, we made it to Hohenschwangau in less then 2 hours.
I didn't bother finding the closest parking lot to the castle once I got into town. It seems the whole town is parking lots, hotels and restaurants. Oh no! A typical tourist trap! haha Well, it's true, but I had kind of expected it to be like this. After all this is THE site of THE castle used by no other than Walt Disney himself for copying. You'll notice that it looks familiar, especially if you've ever been to Magic Kingdom. Yup, Cinderella's castle. The idea for it borrowed from THIS very Bavarian castle, Castle Neuschwanstein.
Mum and I now parked, switched into more proper footwear. We wanted to hike up and safe a few bucks. You can however take the horse carriage or the bus to the top and then enjoy a tour of the castle.
Mum and I discussed it, but decided on not taking the tour either. It was 2 pm when we arrived, the next tour of Neuschwanstein would have been at 5:10pm. This was a weekday and still, very busy. Wow.
We started hiking up the Neuschwansteinstrasse, the same way the horse carriages take. That's when my mum, due to a condition, had some troubles breathing. The hike wasn't hard but almost too steap for her. She was a great sport though and kept going. We rested - a lot - and still made it up to the castle in 45 minutes. One with better training and in good shape could probably make it in 30.
Here we took in the view and enjoyed the breeze. There were so many people waiting on their tour to begin that I was glad that we had decided against it. My mum still visibly exhausted found a quiet spot to sit down and catch her breath while I explored as far as I was able to, not being a paying visitor. I snapped a few pictures inside the castle walls. I spotted a bridge spanning across the valley from one rock to another and decided to hike to it and snap some more pictures of the castle. It's almost impossible to get the whole castle in a picture unless you're in a darn helicopter or Superman or something. lol
My mum still dizzy and short of breath didn't mind waiting for me. She knew I wanted to satisfy my snap happiness and sent me on my way.
Signs to the "Marienbruecke", the bridge I had spotted, said it was a 15 minute hike, so I got going.
I was almost instantly rewarded when I reached a clearing along the path. The view was amazing! Due to the clear weather I was able to see large part of the surrounding alps, the Hohenschwangau castle and the Alpsee, a large lake in the back drop. Just beautiful. *Click, click, click*
...and on I went. The trail made another turn and I couldn't help noticing the old ladies hiking up toward the bus stop and thought that they must have lungs of steel. Wow!
I left the bus stop area behind me and followed the now smaller trail toward the bridge.
I spotted a clearing on the bridge and walked cautiously to it. I took in the view of the castle Neuschwanstein on the one side and a large waterfall that was dashing down the rocks on the other side, only much further down than the castle.
I rushed down the mountain the same way I came to meet back up with my mum. She had used her time to find me some magnets. God bless her. :) She bought me two. One of Neuschwanstein and one of Hohenschwangau. I filled her in on the trail I had spoted and, oh joy, we had been standing right by the beginning of it during our conversation about the prices at tourist traps.
This didn't bother my mum one bit. She took sure steps and got some color in her face. Not from exhaustion this time.
We reached the spot that I had seen from the top, right where the waterfall came crashing down. Another hiker took a horrible picture of mum and I all red faced, which will never be posted here. lol A few more stairs down the valley there was a large clearing where the river slowed a little and people were enjoying the chilly water and the few sun rays that came down from above.
The rest of the hike through the valley was a bit adventures. The trail had to be continued on metal walkways, that were fastened to the side of a huge bolder. Now so deep in the valley that there was no other way. At the end of the trail once we got back onto the real trail was a large warning sign. Proceed at your own risk! Woo hoo! That would have been good to know ahead of time.
We got back into the little town right out of one of the many parking lots. I swore myself to remember to take this trail again. The one with the horse carriages, smells and is way too busy. So unless that's your thing, take the Poellatschluchtweg which starts somewhere behind parking lot 3!! :)
Mum and I stopped at a restaurant with a nice view of Neuschwanstein and filled our empty stomachs with some real Bavarian food. I had Leberkaese and Kartoffelsalat (Liverloaf and potato salad) and mum had the Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Sauerkraut (Pork roast with dumpling and Sauerkraut). So delicious!
On our way back to home town we decided not to go back on the highways.
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