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  • Day49

    Schloss Neuschwanstein

    October 14, 2017 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    In keeping with movie themes, we visited Neuschwanstein Castle today, which is the castle that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew over. It is also the castle that Walt Disney reportedly based the Disneyland castle on. It is located in lower Bavaria close to the Austrian Alps, so only just over an hour drive from where are staying. I read that it is Germany's most visited attraction, and judging by the fact that we are entering low season and the place was positively crawling with people, I can well believe it. Craig wants one of those pen's recently placed on Facebook which has written on it "I hate f****n people". There really are some quite obnoxious people travelling out here.

    If we had lined up for tickets to do the 30 minute guided tour, the earliest we would have been able to do the tour was 3.00pm (and we were there at 10.15am) and tours were leaving every 5 minutes! So King Ludwig II might have been called Mad King Ludwig, but I suspect the tourism board is laughing all the way to the bank with this one.

    That said, it was rather a magical setting, and I suspect the external viewing of the castle was more of a spectacle than the inside, so we settled for that. This included a walk to a bridge over a gorge which looked back along the castle. Just nearby, and down the hill, was the castle where Ludwig lived as a child.

    We drove to another nearby village called Füssel which was crammed with typical Bavarian buildings, lots of cobbled pedestrian streets and with the river Lech running through it. Something we have noticed about all rivers in Germany and Austria - they are in a real hurry to go somewhere and could almost be described as swift water. They are also a lovely colour and crystal clear. There were also a larger number of people casually wearing traditional dress in the streets today – dirndls for the women and lederhosen and related paraphernalia for the men. When we were in Munich yesterday, we dropped into a very large retailer of traditional dress. Just the lederhosen shorts alone retailed for circa €200! A dirndl here was around €100 for a more basic version, but we were seeing them up to €600 in Austria for quite ornate versions.
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