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Castles in Bavarian Paradise-Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau

Far Away Friday. #4 of 4, Romantic Road, Bavaria

I absolutely love this area of Germany. It is everything that the photos portray and much more. With a nearly indescribable setting, this entire area is drop dead gorgeous.  Driving through lush farmland with beautiful and historic buildings, and then into a clean lush valley with a view of the forests ,lakes and mountains as a backdrop.   There are two nature preserves in this area. Thank you Germany!  Although this is the most visited site in Germany, there are many outdoor activities for the nature enthusiast who prefers to be away from the masses.  I could see myself in this area for a lifetime.

The road in

The road in

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Neat and interesting architecture everywhere!

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My Wisconsin roots has prepared to me to appreciate beautiful barn buildings!

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And then there are these cuties. Oh, there is this moment that the castle comes into view and it took my breath away. Like a photo hoarder, I kept snapping because the sight was so cool. The romantic road is actually romantic!

This road is actually romantic!

This road is actually romantic!

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King Ludwig II  built Neuschwanstein Castle just a short distance from his childhood home, Hohenschwangau Castle.

Getting closer, one of the first things that I saw was this tidy small church in the meadows.

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Colomanskirche or St. Coloman’s Church, is dedicated to a 13th century Irish pilgrim who passed through on his way to The Holy Land. Accused of being a spy because of his “strange” appearance and unable to defend himself, he was tortured and executed in Vienna, Austria.

europe ven alp mun 094  He was made a Saint by the local people.  Many people park along this road and hike into town. Free parking!

The village of Hohenschwangau serves a the “base camp” for this area. There is a Visitor’s Center. The two castles are visible from the village.

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Hohenschwangau Castle (pictured above,) was the summer and hunting home for Prince, later to be King Maximillian II and his wife Marie of Prussia. Their sons Otto I and Ludwig II.

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There is lodging, restaurants, shopping.   It was very crowded.

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Views around the village

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I visited on a foggy-rainy day. I pride myself on dressing for the elements.  And yet, left my awesome rain gear and hiking boots at the hotel.  #impromptu hiking clothes, no problem.

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There are a few methods which get  visitors up the mountain to see Neuschwanstein;  by horse and carriage, or by bus. Both can get you to within  a 10 minute hike from the castle.And of course by foot or cowboy boots in my case,  The hike is 30-40 minutes up a steep road through the beautiful woods.

One of the first sights that I saw was Marienbrucke, which is a famous bridge built over the Pollat Gorge. I found it a bit harrowing.  I did try, but there was so many people on the bridge, that I could not walk very far onto the bridge without feeling freaked out.  The view from this bridge is magnificent.

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Just to give you some perspective.  Holy #@!

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Not for the faint of heart, but, dang these views!

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Fact: Walt Disney modeled his castle after this one. It truly is a storybook castle.

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Sights on the road up to the castle.

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I saw great views of the countryside from here.  It is free to get into the shop and lower courtyard but to get into the castle, there is a fee.

This is a story of tragedy. It is a long story and is available to you with a quick Google/Wiki click. Tragically, the castle was never completed. 15 rooms were finished before King Ludwig died under mysterious circumstances. It is hard to believe that this castle was built for the primary residence of just one person.

The hike down was probably my favorite and most memorable part of this day-megatrip, I was able to get a sense of the natural majesty of the land. The castle is well known but this hike down the gorge, not so much,I simply stumbled upon it. I saw very few people. If you are physically able,  I highly recommend this hike!

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I love these woods and waterfalls.

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One of my top ten scenic hikes of all time.

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Meg was here!

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Meg was here!

Meg was here!

It started to get a little steep. Nothing like walking on on a path in the area over jagged rock and water.  The path was affixed to the mountainside. I had to get a rock to hold to help stray my mind. I freaked out a little bit. I did see an old lady with heels on and a kid. Whatever.

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idk water thing

idk water thing

The views were completely worth it.

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This place rocked my world. I would absolutely LOVE to go back and spend more time exploring, hiking and biking. I give it an easy 5 MEGASTARS *****

MEGATIPS;

  1. See my instagram for more photos of this majestic place.
  2. To tour the castle, you need to buy tickets below the castle for a guided tour only. Tickets can be reserved on line 2 days prior. Want to save € ?  tickets for both castles can be purchased together.
  3. If you are not physically active, take the bus up. I feel sorry for those horses knees, but the carriage ride up looks pretty.
  4. No photos or filming inside. There are great photos on line.
  5. Fussen, a medieval town a few minutes away is a good place to find food.
  6. If you can hike in this area, DO IT.
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