Europe

Excursion to Neuschwanstein or the most famous castle in Germany

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The weather app had already predicted it and that day we woke up in Munich with a snowstorm and monumental cold. But before joining us at the station, as was Easter Sunday, Laurel and Jörg proposed us to enjoy the German custom of looking for Easter eggs, and it was that just the day before we had commented that we had never lived that tradition. It seemed strange to me to register a foreign house, even with the explicit consent of my hosts, so I asked for permission every time I had to open a closet or a drawer. Finally, and thanks to the typical “cold” and “hot” clues, we found our sweet loot: some chocolate eggs that had been bought the day before at a bakery in Bamberg Without us noticing.

The commuter train drove us away from Munich while there was only a white landscape through the window and the falling snowflakes without rest. We were going to Starnberg, well-known summer resort of the wealthiest Germans. Logically, the intention was not to spend the day in its fantastic lake, but to meet there with our friend Ben, who was going to be our host the next two days. The plan of the day was to visit the most famous castle in Germany and surely the whole world: Neuschwanstein Castle.

After an hour and a half by car we arrive until Füssen, a town where the castle stands, located a few kilometers from the Austrian border. We left the car in one of the paid parking lots and headed to the ticket office. Oddly enough, I really wanted to see Neuschwanstein Castle, but visiting it inside didn't excite me in the same way.

To visit the interior of the castle it is important to be well informed of the schedules. The visits are guided and mainly in English or German, but there are also some in Spanish. Tickets can be booked, but you still have to queue at the ticket office. However, booking is a good idea to not get there and discover that there are no more visits available.

We looked at the monitors that showed the visiting hours. The one that was done in Spanish was about to start and we didn't have time to arrive; the visit in English was like three hours later and the one that was going well by the hour was in German. Xavi and Ben dominate the language, but I don't (yet). So, the bad luck with the schedules, my little desire and the fact that Ben had already visited Neuschwanstein on eighteen occasions (he has gone so many times that he knows the guided tour by heart and once he was even offered work as a guide in Spanish ) made us end up dismissing the visit inside the castle.

Even so, we undertook the climb to enjoy the alpine landscape and see the magnificent building on the outside. And yes, you have to climb a long slope because the parking lot and the ticket office are a short walk from the castle. Actually, there are three options to climb the Neuschwanstein Castle: the most economical is walking, although the slope is somewhat long; the most comfortable is by bus, but that day did not work due to the snowfall; the most romantic is to climb in the great horse-drawn sleds that go the same way as the passers-by.

Climbing on foot was not very pleasant. It did not stop snowing and the visitors on foot and the horse sleds had to live in a path in which the dirty snow by the footsteps mixed with the animal droppings. Romanticism was more than below zero.

After more than half an hour of ascension, we finally reach the viewpoint that is almost at the foot of the castle. There we all fought for a space to be able to shoot a snapshot of Neuschwanstein, which stood before us imposing and impressive. However, there are better places to take pictures of the castle. Ben told us that the best place to enjoy the castle architecture was the Marien bridge. From a side of the castle there is a road that reaches the bridge, but that day the access was closed. We saw some oriental tourists who ignored the prohibition of passing and jumped the fence, but we decided to do the right thing and go find an alternative way downhill.

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