The journey to see Ludwig’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 doesn’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, “You can but you’ll have to pay for the 8 minutes of use before 9am.” 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. It’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 don’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 wasn’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 I’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 hadn’t been completed and only about 33% had been outfitted with his royal décor, so in actuality, as grand as the castle is on the outside, there’s a lot left to be finished inside. It’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 I’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 Marian’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 it’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 didn’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 didn’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.