Wintry Neuschwanstein

Wintry Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein on a rather cold, recent February day…..

We made a day trip out of it, as anyone visiting must.  An overnighter would be even better, to enjoy the little village at the foot of the hill and simply soak in the view.

I, Annika, of the snowflake tattoo, marvel to be actually admitting that I am quite done with Winter.  Winter, I love you.  Snow, I do adore you. However,  I suppose moving to Bavaria and needing to drive to get from point a to point b has reformed my view of Winter a bit.

But back to the castle at hand…..

There are a few ways to get up the hill to Neuschwanstein.  Walking is an option that, I noticed, a lot of folks took.  Bus is another option, but they weren’t running on this particular day.  3rd option: Horse drawn carriages.

We took the 3rd, but walked on the return route.  Bless the horse’s hearts who trudge up and down all day long.  I know they are sturdy and strong and it’s their job and all, but I was thankful all the same.

A view of Hohenschwangau from where the carriages pick up folks.  While the cold was biting ( I was not fully prepared for the onslaught of snow), it did provide for a gorgeous winter landscape.  Epic and soft.  But cold.

Waiting for our tour of Neuschwanstein to begin.  After you hop off of the carriage at the top of the hill there is a little waiting area, where languages are mingled and people are taking copious photos of the spectacular view.

Neuschwanstein

The surrounding landscape as seen from the castle grounds.

Yikes.  My breath caught when I saw this bridge in the distance.

Pictures inside the castle are strictly prohibited and I (usually) respect rules like that.  It was kind of a relief too, to simply turn off the camera and as one of my fellow travellers put it, simply enjoy the whole “gestalt” of the place and experience.

Inside, the tour was not too long, not too short.  Just right.  Learned that King Ludwig II, the mind behind the place, was a devoted fan of Wagner, and had many of the rooms designed, each as a tribute to one of Wagner’s operas.  Obviously, the end result is something grandiose, indulgent and epic.

The end result of the King’s life is also peculiar – an unresolved mystery from not so long ago.

Descending the hill by foot, meeting horsedrawn carriages along the way……

Compelled by the smell and name of a tasty treat, Bavarian Snowballs, we stopped at the Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein on our way down the hill and ended up lunching at the place.

A view of Hohenschwangau through the trees on our descent.