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Published: June 23rd 2017
Today we’ve been to Germany 3 times and Austria 3 times too. Poor Kisbee was quite confused as we kept popping over country borders and being given new instructions about speed limits !
We were heading for Schloss Neuschwanstein at Schwangau which is Germany. We set off from the campsite quite early as we had prebooked our visit and if you’re late you miss it.
The drive down from the campsite to the first time we crossed the German border was pure magic. Wild flower filled meadows down to the road from the mountains on either side and there were cows. Lots of them. Roaming freely on the grass but more often on the roadside or in the middle of it.
Most entertaining. I greeted a few with a “Grosse Gott” but they ignored my pleasantry and only moved when they felt like it.
At the bottom of the first stretch we crossed into Germany and drove along a wonderful green valley road. The grass was so neat it looked to have been trimmed with a lawn mower, the trees were like models as were the buildings. A magical drive.
A bit surprised to find ourselves
back in Austria for another few miles and through the town of Vils and then back to German where we had sight of a magnificent castle across the river at Fussen. And so to Schwangau along with a goodly part of the population for our visit to the King’s Castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein.
The castle visit was incredibly well organised. There are 4 carparks – and we had to pay €2 to park Kisbee in one of them. Then we walked up the hill to the ticket office and straight to the front of the ‘reservation’ queue while long queues formed for the non-reserved. Then to the bus a bit further up the hill. It runs every 20 minutes and our bus was packed. It takes 87 passengers or should I say sardines. I was lucky. I got a seat. Bob didn’t and looked much thinner when he got off.
The bus takes you up above the castle and there is a walk to a bridge across a ravine for some lovely views before walking down the path to the castle. Visit times are clearly labelled and you go through the ticketed barriers, rather like at a
tube station, at your allocated tour time.
We had a little while to wait as everything had gone so smoothly and we were early so had a walk about. The main entrance is under wraps and scaffolding for renovation so didn’t get the full pretty view of the building from the front but even with that it is quite magical and is renowned as a fairy tale castle.
The castle was built in the mid 1800s by Bavarian King, Ludwig ll. He had an obsession with Wagner and fairy tales and lived here alone (well apart from a host of servants of course). He became more and more deranged and was mysteriously drowned in the lake at the age of 40.
We had audio guides for our tour round some fantastically decorated rooms. No photos allowed but the decoration is incredible, rich, ornate, fantastical, incredible and very much is keeping with Ludwig’s growing obsessions. He may at the end have been rather nutty but the castle he had built is exceptional.
After the tour we walked down the hill and stopped at the schloss restaurant for lunch. I had Bavarian pancakes with plum sauce as I
wanted to try them. Bob had Bavarian sausage probably a healthier option.
Then down to the next level of the hill where we caught the carriage service to the bottom of the hill, pulled by two rather lovely horses.
Back to Kisbee where we had to cover the seat with a towel as it was too hot to sit on.
We drove through Fussen and stopped for a look round. The visit was not very long though the town was delightful and there was lots to see. It was far, far too hot at this point for town sightseeing so I bought yet another bottle of cold water to cool us down and we returned to the campsite. Stopped to photograph the cows who continued to entertain / impede the progress of the passing motorists.
We retired to the campsite pool for a cooling swim. Stayed in the water until we were wrinkly (well more than we are normally !).
After dinner we had the most delightful walk from the bottom of the campsite along a well laid path which headed across the fields with magnificent views of the mountains and
oh so pretty wild flowers lining the path.
Now cooled down nicely. This weather is perfect. Hot during the day, a nice little mountain breeze at night.
This really is a wonderful place to spend a few days.
Bob has excelled himself with his planning this trip and amazingly, after more than 2 weeks, we are still firmly sticking to Plan A. A first.
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