Saturday, July 13, 2013

Neuschwanstein Castle

We left Munich early today on our way to Switzerland. We stopped at Neuschwanstein castle along the way. Another one of Ludwig II's dreams that was never completed.

The Disneyland castle is patterned after Neuschwanstein.

We arrived to very long lines for tickets. Tours begin every 5 minutes and no entrance is permitted outside of the tour. The good news is that makes it not crowded. The bad news is by the time we purchased our tickets at noon, the next available tour wasn't until 3:00.

Fortunately there was plenty to do while we waited. We had lunch at a nice sit down restaurant. Then we headed up the steep hill to hike to the castle. I claimed it was a 40 min hike but we were there in 20 min.

You can walk past the castle up a path to a suspension bridge. The bridge is crowded, but gives breathtaking views of the castle.

Back at the castle, we were able to sit in the shade on the grass while we waited for our tour time.

The castle has been preserved just as king Edward created it. However, only a portion was ever completed before he died. The interior was a tribute to his friend, composer, Richard Wagner, and was painted to depict scenes from several of Wagner's operas.

We had a long drive after leaving--through Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and into Switzerland. We passed numerous castles along the way. Everything was green and the towns ran right up the steep mountains and looked like the grass and meadows did too,

Lichtenstein was a blink.

In Switzerland we passed lake after lake. Huge lakes! And instead of traversing up the mountains, tunnels were carved through the mountains. So many tunnels -- most about 3 km long, some even longer.

We reached our little village of Grindelwald at 9:45 pm, grateful it was still light (barely) when we arrived.


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