The fairy tale castle in the Alps
04/21/2014 45 °F
Wwwwwwwwwwwwwooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Neuschwinstein Castle. wwwowww
More pictures at the bottom
This is the infamous fairy tale Germanic castle, the baby of King Ludwig II, that inspired the Disney princess castle. It has been on my list, but wasn’t sure how easily / cheaply it could be done. The way it worked out, it was THE BEST value for the money that I’ve found yet. Nikki and Vinny who I met in Cologne, will be pissed, because they wanted to do this, but didn’t think they could do it with their budget. I haven’t yet figured out the economics of it, but getting out to the castle is a 2 hr train ride that costs 23 euros for a single person ticket, but then only 4 euros for each additonal ticket, up to 5. Knowing that, I posted a sign in the hostel trying to find travel companions for the trip out.
As luck would have it, this morning I sat down at breakfast to a full table and quickly met 3 Americans studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain who were planning to head out there after breakfast. I scrapped my plans a latched onto their group. By the time I met them in the lobby, we had also picked up a group of 4 Canadians heading out there as well. With this group, it only cost 8 euros to get out to the castle.
PRO TIP: If you go to Neusch, there is no need to pay the 12 euros for admission into the castle. This isn’t even me just being a cheap-skate vagabond, either. It is just honestly way better to spend the time walking the trails around the castle (did I mention this is up in the Alps?). You can even go into the courtyard and such without a ticket. The ticket gives you a 30 minute walk thru the castle, the inside of which isn’t nearly as cool as the outside. I had gotten this intel from a girl at the hostel who had gone, and the Canadians verified it with what they had heard.
The castle is built right on the edge of the Alps, so the surrounding landscapes are almost as (or in my opinion, even moreso) awe-inspiring as the castle. I’m not sure if I agree with Ludwig’s style, but I’m with him on the location! If you're coming and it's snot yet the summer - make sure to dress warm! I quickly found out that the Alps get a bit chillier than the surrounding lowlands. The tourist info lays out a number of well groomed trails a short ways into the mountains, to get different angles of the castle, and the best part was after the bridge, then exploring off the beaten trail to other existent, but far less traveled ones. You see what I did there?
View from the bridge
When we departed the trail we were 8, but when I took a few pictures from the best spots, we were down to 3. The rest slowly fell away… not falling off the mountain or anything, but they just couldn’t or wouldn’t make it up some of the steep parts of the trails. Ben, Jeremy, and I got some great pics from the final point we made it to.
The castle was great, but the day also gave me such zeal to make sure I spent a little more time up in the Alps hiking around. Jeremy was right with me, and was bummed he was leaving the next day, but you’ve got to work with the time you’ve got.
The day in Fussen (the town you train to to see Neuschwanstein) ended with a big pasta dinner and then beers for the train ride back. Most of us passed out for the first part after the hiking and big pasta dinner, until the train filled up near Munich. From there it was happy hour at the hostel bar and then to the famous Hofbrau Haus. I had been there with Nick 4 years ago, but that didn’t make it any less fun this time around. At the end of a long night, I parted ways with the other 7 and wished them luck in Prague, as I prepared for more good times in Munich and the Alps.