The journey to see Ludwigâ€™s fantasy like castles is about 2 hours from Munich. Germany seems to enjoy rubbing your singlehood into your face because for E24, 1 person can make the voyage and for just E34, 5 people can. I tried to find people in the hostel that would join to split the cost, but to no avail. Alas, I headed out in the morning to catch the 8:52 train. The pass I got of course doesnâ€™t start until 9am, and the next train would be at 9:52. So I went and asked, surely this is ok to get on, and the ticket beeyotch said, â€œYou can but youâ€™ll have to pay for the 8 minutes of use before 9am.â€ HA. So I went ahead to the conductor, and shrugged my shoulders and in broken German asked if it was ok with the time. He laughed and said yah.
The train was a regional train, which was fitting since the terrain going away from Munich was very regional. Farm houses after farm houses we passed and then out of nowhere, a huge peak peeked over the hillside. It was snowcapped, rugged, and looked like a fake theatre backdrop. We continued chugging through the meadows of green green grass and after a while ended up at a town called Fussen. Itâ€™s funny, because when my brain hears a word, it seems like it goes through, is this English, next, logically is this German? If I donâ€™t know the German word, which is MANY, it then goes to Japanese for some reason. Actually I guess they both fight for 2nd place. Fussen when I hear it sounds like the word for balloon in Japanese.
It was surprisingly not crowded. At the station, there were 2 buses waiting for us to take us to the castle ticket area. The guy at the hostel said it wasnâ€™t worth the money to go inside, and I wrestled with what I should do. I opted to go into the Neuscwanstein one, but not the Hohenschwangau. I got my tickets after a short 5 minute wait in line (Note: Go here during spring! No lines!). I then made my way up to Hohenschwangau to see the amazing view of Neuschwanstein above. It really was a fantastic day, though the way the castle is facing, the sun seemed to always be in the way. Hopefully Iâ€™ve captured a fraction of what it felt to see it in real life.
I then made my hike up the hill to Neuschwanstein. Since I was a little ahead of schedule, I stopped and got a Bratwurst. Again, there was really no line, so as my time was called, I headed for the turnstyles and clinbed up the stairs. We climbed about 70 stairs to the main floor. Apparently, when Ludwig died, the castle hadnâ€™t been completed and only about 33% had been outfitted with his royal dÃ©cor, so in actuality, as grand as the castle is on the outside, thereâ€™s a lot left to be finished inside. Itâ€™s a shame because it would have been cool to see what other amazing rooms he would come up with.
The tour was ok, and Iâ€™m glad I did it just for the views out of the windows and knowing that I was inside this remarkable feat of architecture. It was a quick 35 minute tour and then we headed out. I started up the hike again to Marianâ€™s Bridge to get a great view of the castle, but as seemingly everything in Munich is closed for renovation, so was the bridge! I was so disappointed because I really wanted a stellar photo of this marvel, but itâ€™s etched in my mind.
I then headed back down after trying to see if there were any other hikes that may give me a nice view, but nothing looked very promising and I didnâ€™t want to trespass and something happen.
I then did the hike back down to where the bus let me off, and headed to Fussen. Here I did a walking tour from my guidebook which was actually quite good. It took me through some cemeteries of this quaint town. I was starting to get hungry and wanted something other than a bratwurst or schnitzel, so I went to an Italian place. However, on my way to the Italian place, I passed a place that was called Snowballs. Inside they had traditional soft-ball sized desserts with a coating of various flavors and items. Honestly, it looked like a softball dipped in chocolate covered with nuts. I felt like a squirrel in the middle of the road, not sure which way to go. I did however opt for an actual meal, and think about the snowball afterwards, but unfortunately, I was too full and didnâ€™t want to have it melt by me holding it on the way home.
After my afternoon in Fussen I headed back to the train for the 2 hour journey home. Once I got back from the trip, I got my tickets for my trip to Zurich. The computer touch screens are really good to get you where you want and let you search and reserve seats. I like the system, and was pleased to see it was just E49.
When I got back to the hostel, I went out again for some dinner and had a great caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and ham. It then was getting late so I walked around a little and came home to crash.