Saturday 22 July 2017

Neuschwanstein Castle - A childhood dream

Ever since i was little i have dreamed about seeing this castle in real life. I loved making jigsaw puzzle when i was little and one of my favorites was the one with the huge pretty castle on it. I loved it because my mom loved it too and we always made it together between christmas and new years eve. I was much older when i started to actually research the castle and found out that it was actually not that far away, because it was only in Germany.
Me back in 2004
So when my mom said that this year we would finally see something else than Rüdesheim and my dad's family in France (not that there is anything wrong with that) AND see Neuschwanstein, i didn't believe it at all. But when we finally went to the southest of Germany i could be more excited!

I know it is a very popular place to visit but i didn't know it was THAT popular. When we arrived at the parking lot it was a whole lot bigger than we expected. There were tourists everywhere in big busses and people were running around in the middle of the streets trying to find there guides and everything was a bit chaotic. The place was filled with souvenir shops and small quick stop restaurants that served fries. It wasn't really what i expected. Our GPS also told us that we could drive all the way there, but forgot to tell us that there were only private roads up to the castle. So beware of that!
It's a long walk up but there are small busses that drives you from the parking lot and all the way up there for a few euros, which we did and walked down afterwards. It's also a possbility to take a horse-drawn carriage, but i took one look at the poor horses and instantly felt bad for them. The veins on their legs were popping! It looked so painful!! One of the horses also had to be replaced while we were there because it was so exhausted.  

I found this really great page that helped you to find the best photospots for the castle. The most popular photospot is Marienbrücke; A little wodden bridge in a cleft. And i just have to tell you... I'm not afraid of heights... but F*** that bridge! There were SO many people on it that you have to squeeze yourself our onto it and the bridge is made out of very thin wood panels that sinks 5cm when you step on the middle of it. I swear, it's only a matter of time before that thing falls down!!
Marienbrücke with all the crazy tourists
Even though it was kind of a dead trap.. It was really the most beautiful view i have seen. So i got my very famous photo of the Castle even though i feared for my life while doing it. It was really worth it all and i got to see my castle!
After taking pictures of it from afar we walked to the castle. Even though it looks like it's far away we were surprised to find it (almost) around the corner. My dad gave up just looking at the view and took the bus down from Marienbrücke again.

And here comes the most important tip! If you want to see the castle from the inside, book a ticket a few days before! Or else you have to wait hours! HERE is the page for booking.
News flash!! We didn't book a ticket. So when we got to the castle at 2pm we were wondering why people were laying around and sitting everywhere in the shadows and slept. So we went to the information and asked for tickets and they said the next guided tour available was at 5.30pm and we couldn't go in there unless you were with a guide. So all the people that slept outside were the people that was waiting to get a guided tour.
So we didn't see the castle from the inside but i did get some brochures with picutres and the history behind the decoration inside inspired be old Germanic and Nordic sagas.
My own picture from Marienbrücke
The walk down from the Castle to the parking lot was very wonderful though. I can only recommend taking the walk down through the forest. It's the road the horse carriages takes as well but it's really pretty. There is more than one place to buy ice cream on the way down, which we gladly took advantage off even though we could walk in the shadow all the way down. Did i mention that there was 32 degrees that day?

One last thing that I think is worth mention is that there is a "rumor" going around that Neuschwanstein is the Castle that inspired Disney's Cinderella Castle. Maybe not from the angle on the picture i took at the bridge, but here in the end i'll throw in a picture i found online and you can judge yourself. I love the theory but sadly we can't ask Mr. Disney about it.

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