Once Upon a Time…

Many years ago, a young girl sat in her lonely room starring in amazement at the glossy pages of an image that seemed to beckon, “come to me”. The image she starred at in awe and wonder was of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Nothing more could deter her from her desire to one day look upon it with her own eyes…she was transfixed and obsessed. In the fall of 2007, on a gorgeous October day, her dream came true.Schwangu 067 copy

 A day trip from Munich, you can hop a train which can take you 45 minutes to a Bavarian fairytale. The view from the train was beyond any thing I have ever seen before. Rolling green hills with little homes scattered here & there. Once we arrived at the station in Füssen, we stepped off the train to our next way of transport, a bus that takes you from the station in Füssen to the town of Schwangau. At the small station, we stood staring up at its wonder; there sitting high like a delicate swan nestled among the trees was King Ludwig’s creation.

There are about three ways to get to the elevated castle. One way is you could walk the road up up up, which is about a 45 minute walk. You can take another bus and walk a little ways after it drops you off, it will not drop you off at the front door. Last but not least, the most romantic and priciest way, a horse & carriage ride or in the snow, a sleigh ride.

You also have the option of  the Father/ Son castle package which includs both castles tours for only 17 Euros a person, transportation not included. That was the choice we made and first embarked on the King Ludwig’s fathers, Maximilian the 2nd’s castle, Hohenschwangau Castle. Take the opportunity to roam the grounds before the tour starts,  I recommend it. The tour was extensive and well expressed. Our guide not only gave the history of every part of the castle but the country & its people, the family and the future king and his fairytale dream castle.

After the tour, the bus was our best option, dropping us where it could no longer go, a fork in the road. The path to the right took you to the Marienbrücke (Marie’s Bridge, named after Ludwig 2nd’s Mother) just off the west side of the swan castle. It sat equal to the castle and a long way down to Pöllat Gorge. Standing proud and center of Marie’s Bridge was the bridge keeper. He was inviting & friendly and was always willing to take your picture or answer a bit of questions…definitely make sure you tip. After the journey to Marie’s bridge, we turned back and embarked down the left side of the fork in the road, right to the castle. The path was breathtaking with forest lining the road and falling of the leaves, you were sure to get lost in its magic. My thoughts would drift on to think of how it may have been in the most glorious time of its existence. A young King Ludwig, like The Great Gatsby of his time, with his large parties, in his magnificent castle.  Then…there slowly around the bend,  she stood and there I had to shake my head and pinch myself.

The tour only covered a few details and a few rooms because the castle is only 1/3 completed. No photos were aloud to be taken inside the castle. It was serious business due to copyright privileges of a book for sale in the castle, about the castle. If you were caught, you would be kicked out of the castle. but not to fear, no beheadings would take place.

After our tour, we roamed the grounds by making our way down a path along side of the castle that lead you right to Pöllat Gorge. The path still went on down the gorge alongside a brook and took you into a bit of wild then set you straight on what looked like a little quite  community. The Castle from that view was set high in the distance, so the path takes you quit a ways away from it. The dusk was hot on our trail so we made for the bus station to make our train and say goodbye till next time.

The area offers so much more then a tour of the majestic castles and roaming hills. You can bike, paraglide or drive the romantic road that takes you through the most breathtaking spots of the area . You can enjoy a little shopping or sit quietly enjoying a delicious pastry at a curbside café in Füssen with the swan castle as your background. No matter what your pleasure is, take time to treat yourself like royalty because this is truly one place where your in a fairytale.

XO from Schwangau, Germany

    pirate-super sml


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