Fairytales and very real (gorgeous) castles
Munich Travel Blog› entry 58 of 98 › view all entries
No castle has ever impressed me the way the Neuschwanstein Castle did today. All set to meet up with the friends I had met the day before, I got to the tour meeting place just in time. They weren\'t there. Explanation? Too much beer the night before. It happens to the best of us so I shrugged it off and quickly found myself chatting with an American girl in the Air Force working in Germany for a month, and a nice Australian guy with a habit of talking your ear off. The tour guide was the boyfriend of our guide yesterday and we all quickly took a liking to him.
It was a two hour train ride to the castle and he was able to fill us all in on Ludwig II\'s life, which happens to be pretty interesting. As a young boy he was brought up like a Spartan, raised in harsher ways without the luxuries you would often attribute to a prince.
Growing up, he had been fascinated by fairytales, and especially by the works of Wagner, the famous composer. He absolutely adored his play about the Swan Prince, and dedicated much time in attempts to meet the man himself. It wasn\'t long before he was a close friend of Wagner, fully supporting everything he did. Any new piece was to be played for Ludwig in his private court. Soon however, the people of Bavaria did not like the amount of influence that Wagner was having on their king and got him kicked out of the country, which made Ludwig very sad.
This castle was only 1/3 of the way finished before Ludwig came to his mysterious death at the young age of 42, but was finally finished and is absolutely stunning. The architect wasn\'t actually an architect, but a set designer by profession, which I thought was pretty cool. Intricate wood carvings fill his room, some that took over four years to create, fairytale paintings cover the walls, swans play a large part in the motif, expecially in the appropriately named \'swan room,\' and the throne room has the most beautiful mosaic laid out on the floor, and that\'s only the beginning.
It\'s 9 Euro to get into the castle and have a tour, and while the tour is fairly short, it\'s worth every penny, especially when you understand the history of the place. The train ride home we went over the fall of \'Mad King Ludwig,\' was he crazy? Who knows...he seemed a little off his rocker to me, especially when he laid out a dinner for 40 people, invited no one, but talked to his \'guests\' who weren\'t actually there.
The rest of the night I spent hanging out with Adam, walking in circles around the city that\'s a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I headed back around 11 as he had to catch a night train, and randomly while I was sitting at my computer my friends from yesterday walked by the window, and of course I invited them in. They apologized profusely, with absolutely no need to of course, for having missed the castle tour. I told them I was just glad I could catch them to get their info to keep in touch! I\'m leaving for somehwere in Germany in the morning, not sure where yet, but it\'s time for bed...I definitely ended up liking Munich more than I thought I would :)