Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Bavaria

“To travel is to live.” Hans Christian Henderson – ‘The Fairy Tale of My life: An Autobiography

Neuschwanstein is a dreamlike castle perched on a rocky crag  with snowcapped mountains as a dramatic backdrop in Germany’s splendid Bavaria.  Built by King Ludwig II, its fairy tale appearance was the inspiration for the creation of  Disney’s first theme park.  Just a few kliks from the pretty town of Fussen, the castle can be spotted from the valley below, the villages surrounding are filled with eye-catching chalet type homes.  A walk along the river, the bucolic lanes and pathways through dale and forests with the air as fresh as a bouquet of lily of the valley is a soothing balm for the soul;  definitely an unforgettable visit to be cherished in memory.

(NOTE: To improve your viewing experience click on the photos below to enlarge – once for medium, twice to zoom in.)

Somehow the deluge did not take place and the threatening clouds merely provided more dramatic backdrop, as if any was really needed in this spectacular scenery.

You can choose to get to the top, the lazy way  (also be ready for ample horsey gases  coming your way) or choose to work off the previous evenings feast on grilled sausages, heaps of kraut and roast potatoes, washed down with delicious beer in Bavarian-style quantity, and that’s not for the faint of heart.

You can also hitch a ride on Daddy’s back!

A spectacular view of the panoramic scenery seen from within the castle.  Don’t let the guide catch you taking photos, especially of the interior and most certainly don’t use a flash – es ist verboten!

Kindly and dutiful son Ludwig did not neglect ‘Vader und Mutter‘ – zoom in and notice the orange hued ‘cottage’ mid-right frame.  He had it built so they could be near but not too, too close.

The magnificent theatre endowed with marvelous acoustics.  ‘Mad’ Ludwig took pleasure lavishly entertaining his guests with famed musicians, singers and dancers.  The expense to build this palatial home for one (he was reputedly shy and wanted to have a place to hide out on his own) was born by his own fortune and not as other egotistical royals do, on the back of his subjects.  The extravagant detail to finery and building on an incredibly difficult site was soon to bring him to the brink of financial ruin, thus he was called ‘mad’ by those who thought themselves more astute but bereft of  his luminous imagination.

Looking up …

or looking down, it’s beautiful in all details.

A few kilometres below, in a bucolic setting a splendid array of Bavarian chalet-type homes with meticulously cared for flowering gardens and local artisan artifacts on display.

More of the same, everywhere lovingly maintained homes and splendid backdrop scenery.  How can one live there and not feel blessed?

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Hiking in the Bavarian countryside with the castle looming in view from every angle is a pleasure to be cherished in memory.

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Local food features grilled sausages, pork ribs and chops, the inevitable sauerkraut and roast potatoes nicely eased down with really fine beer, as one would expect anywhere in Bavaria.   

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Would you believe this is a pharmacy? I was looking for toothpaste and walked by three times before realizing it.

Trying on a cool chapeau!  Didn’t have the nerve to buy it.  Now I regret it, well, perhaps on my next visit.

A shopkeeper takes it upon himself to do a bit of sprucing up on the pedestrian mall.  I’m sure I’ve never seen that kind of personal appreciation of one’s hometown anywhere in North America.  

My absolutely favorite Bavarian princess.

How do I know it’s a ‘she’? It’s obvious no male could ever be so darn cute, elegant, confident and ever so self-aware.  Am I not right?

Just waiting for the passer-by to drop in for a few moments of reflection.  This country church is sublime in its architecture and unmatched location.

If I look serene and happy, why not? It’s such a pleasure to drop in and light a votive candle (always looking for a bit of help in my travels) for the purpose as stated to help upkeep this splendid house of God.

A heartfelt comment – how wonderful to step into a house of worship (any denomination) and find the doors open to one and all.  In this country you’d be sure to find the door locked unless someone was there to monitor the visitors.  Furthermore no fear of graffiti or idiot ‘taggers’ doing harm to the pristine interior or even outside on the walls and fountain.  ‘Vielen dank‘ to my cultured Bavarian ‘Freunde’!

The water was clear, cool and sweet – perhaps even ‘blessed’ – at the very least I felt priviledged to have spent a wonderful few days exploring a unique  corner  of Eden on earth.


 

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5 responses to “Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Bavaria

  1. This country church is sublime in its architecture and unmatched location.Мне тоже нравятся замки, у меня есть сайт на эту тематику. Загляните, возможно там Вы найдёте, что-то новое и интересное для себя. Фото Видео Тур Замки Европы.

  2. I agree, in all my travels I’ve never encountered architecture and location so perfectly matched – God must be pleased with his ‘country home’.

  3. Indeed Germany is often naturally beautiful and so well preserved by an appreciative local population, and the historical sites are so well managed and maintained. I hope you let me know where I can read the account of your trip and see your photos. Incidentally, it is always gratifying to know someone enjoyed your writing efforts; it gives me the impetus to do more. Bonne chance!

  4. I’m so glad that I checked out your post-it brought back many wonderful memories of a unique school trip I went on while living in Germany many years ago. What a magical place, your pictures do it justice, thank you so much!

    • Interesting that you have a school trip memory about Neuschwanstein Castle as it reminds me of my own schoolboy days in France. I had a geography book that was mandatory for all grade school students. It was loaded with photographs of special places in Europe and also around the world; I believe my love for traveling to foreign lands harkens back to my spending hours contemplating these pictures and dreaming about some day seeing them with my own eyes. I’m pleased to say Mont Saint Michel, Pont du Gard, Pisa, Venice, the Colosseum in Rome, the Rhine River castles and of course the above mentioned have since been enjoyed in person. There was also a fascinating pic of the world’s biggest statue of the Buddha in Nara, Japan, and wouldn’t you know decades later there I was gazing upon a magnificent artistic and technical achievement by monks some 800 years earlier. I saw Mt. Fuji’s snowcap and even managed the Floating Garden close to Bangkok and then the glorious Taj Mahal. If I could find that book again I’d check it out to see what else I could see to reward the wide-eyed boy who was such a good geography student. Maybe in some flea market bookstall in France I could dig it out – wouldn’t that be something!

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