Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Trip out to Neuschwanstein Castle

Michele and I caught the train down to Neuschwanstein Castle in the Morning.  Michele figured out the timetable and where we had to change, but then we both had problem finding the platform.  We finally found it with only a few minutes to spare! 

The train ride was beautiful and took us through gorgeous countryside.  Germany is stunningly beautiful in spring – everything so lush and green and the houses are beautiful. I managed a few images through the window as we chugged down to the Castle...

From the train station, we caught the bus to the ticket house for the Castle.  I hadn't realised there were so many castles in the area, I could have visited more than one had we stayed there for longer. There was also a walled medieval village that I missed as well. I guess I will have to hopefully win lotto and go back and explore some more!  This was my first glimpse of the castle from where we booked the tickets. 

The weather was cold, wet and miserable. After our lovely warm day the day before, it was quite a surprise. The castle tour was an inside thing though so it didn't bother me too much. Because of Michele's sore knee, which was actually worse today (She should have stayed home to rest it), we decided to take the horse and cart ride up to the Castle.  I thought this was going to be super expensive, but surprisingly it was only three euros each way.  Not bad at all. I didn't complain either because I had woken up with a really sore throat and a temperature, and wasn't feeling that good either!

The road up to the castle was really pretty - lots of beech forest...

We were dropped off at the top of the hill, but still had a bit of a climb to the castle. Our tour wasn't until 2.30pm so we also had to wait.  In the cold!

So I found some shelter and took photos of the beautiful landscape and vistas surrounding the castle.

Entrance to the Castle...

And the courtyard. Even a Thai monk was amongst the visitors this day..

From the courtyard one could see the bridge in the distance. 

The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive King Ludwig II, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

The ruins above the family palace were known to the crown prince from his excursions. He first sketched one of them in his diary in 1859. When the young king came to power in 1864, the construction of a new palace in place of the two ruined castles became the first in his series of palace building projects. Ludwig called the new palace New Hohenschwangau Castle; only after his death was it renamed Neuschwanstein. 

Had it been completed, the palace would have had more than 200 interior rooms, including premises for guests and servants, as well as for service and logistics. Ultimately, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were finished. In its lower stories the Palace accommodates administrative and servants' rooms and the rooms of today's palace administration. The king's staterooms are situated in the upper stories: The anterior structure accommodates the lodgings in the third floor, above them the Hall of the Singers. The upper floors of the west-facing posterior structure are filled almost completely by the Throne Hall. The total floor space of all floors amounts to nearly 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft).

I'm glad I don't have to vacuum it!

The artworks in the castle were incredible, and we learnt about King Ludwig and his love of art – which was clearly represented inside the castle walls.  He died quite young under suspicious circumstances.

The largest room is the Hall of Singers - of which I did get a photo of below...

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The Palace Kitchen...

The kitchen was the last room we passed by, and after that we had to climb down about 5 flights of stairs, then go through a long tunnel that eventually brought us outside. Poor Michele's knee didn't do those flights of stairs well. But the tunnel made for some good photography...

Seeing this may be the only time I made it to this part of the world, I decided to leave Michele at a cafe and rest, while I hiked to the bridge for views of the castle and waterfall, as well as to the Hohenschwangau Village and Castle in the distance. The lakes you can see are the Schwansee and the Alpsee. 

A closer image of the Hohenschwangau Castle...

From the Bridge and waterfall, a really good view of the castle in all her beauty!

Even though it was foggy, rainy, cold and miserable, the scenery was gorgeous. I particularly like the following images that I took on the way back to meet Michele. The walk signage said it would take 20 minutes, but it was really steep so took this old gal a bit longer, besides I kept stopping to take photos.

Last image of the castle as I made my way back to Michele.

What a lovely day.

We got back to Ismaning about 8pm.

Michele's daughter and granddaughter had arrived, so we sat up and talked for a while before hitting the sack. I also picked Tim's brains on how to get to Dachau - my destination for the next day


Neuschwanstein Hohenschwangau said...

amazing blog
i was there too
is a wonderful royal village

adri jolly said...

What tour did you do and would you recommend it?

Neuschwanstein Hohenschwangau said...

the tours of the morning before 11h to avoid the crowds