Edit Blog Post
Published: June 18th 2011
Having a Saturday off in Munich during a business trip I took a 4 country in 1 day road trip Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
The castle in the south of Germany was the inspiration of the “sleeping Beauty” castle at Disneyland. I found that they are similar not only in appearance. In more than one regard, the real castle is as fake at its copy in Anaheim. King Leopold, who designed the German version at the end of the 19th century, had the same soft spot for fantasies (and Richard Wagner) as Mr Disney so both places showcase make believe rooms - like a fake cave, and a fake swan lake in the original “real” castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle is the most visited site in Germany. With that distinction come the long lines for tickets and tours so familiar from Walt’s make-believe land. In both places tourist are shuffled in buses and tours that allow you to see only part of the grounds. In both places the tourists stop at pre-marked location to take the same “picture-perfect” photo already taken thousands of times that day.
On the other hand if one does not take Neuschwanstein Castle seriously then it
is just as fun and fantastic as the Magical Kingdom. I had a lovely walk in the forest listening to many birds chirping (which seemed real, unlike the sound recordings at an amusement park). I took the tour across the elegant rooms and took the nice photos everyone took, and generally enjoyed being a tourist in a controlled and enjoyable way. When I sent Hagit an SMS photo of the castle the response from Liya was that I should take her to “Cinderella’s” castle next time take a business trip.
The main advantage of Disneyland’s version of the castle is probably the weather. South California and Orlando are much warmer and sunnier then South Bavaria – even in summer. Switzerland
Continuing south I passed a 16km tunnel and the Rhine River quickly crossing north-west Austria, arriving at Switzerland late noon. I entered a COOP and bought a local lunch to-go – some traditional spicy and stinky Swiss cheese and Austrian Red-Bull for the road. Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a country so small that if you blink on the highway you might not notice you passed it. But visiting Liechtenstein was
Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein
overlooking the capital, is still home to the Prince of Liechtenstein
the main purpose of my road trip so I kept alert and got off in the right place.
On my office-wall I hang flag patches for each country I visit. To “earn” the flag I must not only have been in the country but I must also do some “tourism”. So a drive by was not enough I have to actually be a sightseer. That was not an easy prospect at 4pm on a Saturday when the whole county seemed to be closed and sleeping. Walking the main street of Vaduz all the museums were closed. All the shops were closed. So a settled for buying a souvenir at the only tourist shop I could find open and then taking a walk around of the castle overlooking ALL
Having seen ALL the country with my eyes was enough to earn my flag-rights but too prove I had enough “tourism” under my belt I considered eating at a McDonalds. That would have been final proof of my wandering status, because only tourists have an excuse in eating there. Alas, I took a wrong turn at a roundabout and found myself out a of the country!
Hohenschwangau Castle Innsbruck, Austria
seen from Neuschwanstein Castle
Hoping to see the white and green of the Alps this time of year I took the long way back via Austria. The rain let me down so I settled for a “traditional” pasta dinner in Innsbruck. Munich, Germany
After 650 km and 13.5hr on the road I returned to Munich in time for some beer with a couple of colleagues at the hotel before going tired and satisfied to sleep. One week later
The Swiss cheese is still stinking my fridge at home….
Tot: 0.151s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0162s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb