Thursday, March 21, 2013

Neuschwanstein Castle

January 2, 2013
The next day, we got up early to take a train to Fuessen, a small but quaint town along the "Romantic Road." Fuessen is the local of Neuschwanstien Castle, our intended destination. Unfortunately, by the time we got on the train every seat was already taken, so we had to stand for the hour and halfish train ride to Fuessen. On the way, I played a bit with a Russian baby (Russian's were everywhere. New Years is their biggest holiday, so maybe that's why?) by showing him my new stuffed rabbit Renata (whom you may have noticed in some of my other photos).
Finally we arrived, and though it wasn't snowing, there was snow on the ground. You have to take a bus from the city of Fuessen to the area where the castle is, and the way they have it set up is that the buses leave the train station a few minutes after the train arrives. There was pretty much a mad dash for the buses and we didn't want to be caught up in that and also we were hungry. So we popped into an "Asian" food restaurant where we got delicious chicken stir fry.
Then we went back to wait for the bus, where we got a quite nice seat. When we arrived, we decided that rather than taking hike up the front path (or taking a carriage, because that was an option), that we would go around to the lift which would take us to a neighboring mountain. We weren't sure if it was running, and if it was, how much it would be, but we saw this as a kind of compromise because Tristan had really wanted to go to Zugspitze which is the tallest mountain in Europe, and you can take a watchamecallit to the top. This way we would get to see the alps from up high and get to see the castle: a win-win. (And neither of us care about the inside of castles because furniture is boring.)

So we took the forested path, following the signs toward the lift. 

This was a sort of abandoned logyard.

Along the river, padding through the snow, we listened to "Concerning Hobbits"  (if you'd like to listen: click here) because that just seemed appropriate somehow.
When we reached the lift we found that they were charging something like 17 euro per person to go up (keep in mind, we only paid 25 euro for us both to get to Fuessen in the first place, this was way too much for us). The views from the bottom were stunning anyway. 

At this point, we decided to keep heading the direction (rather than retracing our path) we were going in order to find some way up to Neuschwanstein (see map below for clarification).

I don't know what you are talking about. I am an excellent Paint artist. 
As we walked back towards the castle, we took lots of pictures...

Unfortunately, the position of sun made it rather difficult to capture the castle well.

Finally we began to climb up: 

 Eventually, it became clear that we would have to turn around (which would have been a long long walk) or we would have to cross the river (okay, it was more of a creek or stream).  It wasn't too wide, but we didn't want to get our feet wet, so the plan  was to cross by scurrying over the rocks. This turned out to be a lot easier said then done. We spent a considerable amount of time picking out the best path. across. Then, Tristan went first. Once he got about half way across, he hit a bit of a dead end, and decided that the best plan would be to leap. Yeah, not such a great plan. He slipped on the slippery wet rock and fell into the water twisting his ankle in the process. Otherwise unharmed though wet, he climbed out of the river. Then it was my turn to cross. When the going got tough, I decided I'd rather have wet feet then fall in the water, so I opted to just step in the water to get across. The water was cold, but less so than you would expect from water on snowy mountain.

The creek, before Tristan fell in. 
Upon crossing we found ourselves are a path that was supposed to lead up the mountain. Even though Tristan had an injured ankle and we were both somewhat wet, we decided to keep going. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), we soon reached a gate that was only in German but that Tristan said something along the lines of "if you take this route during the winter you will die." So after imagining what harm could befall us if we tried to climb around the gate, we decided to give it up. 

By the way, there is another castle in Fuessen
Once we were back to the bus stop, we had to get in line to wait for the next bus and there was a lot of attempted cutting and generally douchey competitive behaviors by certain parties (possibly because of the seating situation on the train on the way. But once the train came, it turned out their were plenty of seats. 
All in all, it was a beautiful enjoyable day and I was glad to go in the winter when the mountains were so pretty and the area was generally less tourist logged. 

I leave you with a picture of me wearing a giant pretzel on my head later that evening at Hofbrauhaus. You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. woow Neuschwanstein Castle is the most beautiful castle in the world
    Fantastic !!!