I’ve always wanted to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, ever since I was young and discovered it was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle! I’ve been to Germany twice before but never had the time to make it down that far south. Finally the time came. I was in Munich, it was winter, and just before Christmas – a perfect atmosphere for castle viewing!
We decided to join a group tour for our trip to Neuschwanstein, as getting there by public transport alone was a bit tricky – it involved multiple trains and buses and in the dead of winter this didn’t seem ideal!
Our tour began in the old-world town of Fussen, which lies in the foot hills of the Alps. The town was charming, with gorgeous snow-covered Bavarian houses (I’m sure Nubby Twiglet would love it!)
The lake at Fussen was beautiful… and freezing!
We then went to Hohenschwangau Castle, a magnificent neo-Gothic castle located in the village of Hohenschwangau.
After some lunch we commenced our climb to Neuschwanstein castle along a steep, slippery, snow covered path (make sure you wear a good pair of shoes/boots!). There are horse drawn carriage rides up the mountain if you so choose, but they looked overpriced and tacky.
We were all huffing and puffing and slipping around after a while, but the first sighting of Neuschwanstein castle in the distance spurred us on.
Finally we arrive at the entrance to Neuschwanstein!
Inside the grounds of the castle, it was eerily beautiful.
We were disappointed we couldn’t see the classic view of Neuschwanstein that you often see in the postcards… Rumour has it there was a secret way to get the best viewpoint of Neuschwanstein – so a naughty group of us decided to go trespassing. We climbed over 3 fences that said Danger Ahead! Um, for the record I don’t condone illegal fence climbing behaviour. If you fall off the edge don’t blame me!
The path wasn’t as straightforward as initially planned. I thought we were going to get lost and die until we finally got to this view of the lake and Hohenschwangau Castle. WORTH IT.
A close up of Hohenschwangau Castle from the mountain.
We walked a little further and then…. DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER! Yes! The view I was looking for.
Let’s have one more shot for good measure.
We posed briefly on the rickety bridge (I was clinging to the handrail) before I jumped off hastily. No 100m plunges to my death, thank you!
And then we had to somehow find our way down the mountain and find our tour group! Thankfully our beautiful surroundings kept us occupied as we skidded for 30 minutes down the mountain.
We made it down safe and sound, joined our tour group and made our way back to Munich. It was a long and tiring day (around 10 hours for the trip) but absolutely worth it. That’s another experience I can cross off my travel bucket list :)