Neuschwanstein Travel Blog› entry 19 of 23 › view all entries
Today we went to see Neuschwanstein, the fairy tale castle in the fairy tale Alps built by the fairy tale king. We didn't go inside because people have said that it was a disappointment because it was never fully finished, therefore we admired its beauty from the outside and took photos from afar, and close up as well (we took a lovely horse-drawn carriage ride to the top). Sadly, Marie's bridge wasn't open because of all the snow, so we couldn't take photos of the huge waterfall. We also saw the castle Hohenschwangau right across the way, which was Ludwig II's (the fairy tale king…aka 'Mad' Ludwig)childhood home. We went inside and saw the neat queen's apartments and king's apartments, though, as it usually does when you tour a castle, it seems smaller than it looks like on the outside. We also drove along the road, and into Austria for a long while inside the Alps in order to arrive at Ludwig's only finished castle, Linderhof, which was modeled as a mini-Versailles. Sadly, as it's winter (and we were a bit late) we didn't get to see the grotto or the kiosk, and the gardens were all sad and covered. However, we did get to go inside (all on our own, in our very own English tour!). This place is where Ludwig lived, all alone…and with his servants. It took 9 years to build, and he lived there for the last 8 years of his life. Everything in it was French or modeled after France…and there was a LOT of Lapis Lazuli…the most expensive, and my favorite, stone. His favorite room was the hall of mirrors, and his dining room had a table that lowered into the kitchen with a crank and raised up again with food so he didn't have to see anyone. He was a loner…all alone all the time. But he was eccentric and obsessed with the middle ages, and Richard Wagner and his operas. The reason they call him 'Mad Ludwig' is because in building Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (which we didn't see) he went incredibly in debt and the country would either have to put him on trial, or declare him insane…they chose the latter in order to avoid a public trial. His debts fell to his family (which took 40 years to pay off) and Ludwig died a few years after being deposed in a mysterious death in the lake Starnberger outside Munich with his doctor. It was all very cool and everyone should go and see it. It was BEAUTIFUL…and the Alps are beautiful…I wish I was more of a skiier, but I am into hiking and would LOVE to come and hike/climb these mountains again someday. It's gorgeous. Tomorrow we head to Bodensee and perhaps a stop in Switzerland as we head north to our stay in a lovely castle in the Black Forest. Only a few more days left in Germany before it's time to head back to the UK.