Thursday, July 20, 2017

Neuschwanstein.....the Castle in the Rain! Our last day....June 9, 2016, Day 15!

Today is our last day of our trip, and we had big plans! We're heading out to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle! You know the one....when you think of castles and Germany, it's the one that pops right into your mind! This is the fairy tale castle. So much so that it's what inspired Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle!

We ate our breakfast and waited for our guide, Birgit, and began our drive along the Romantic Road.  


This is a region of Bavaria that is thought to be "quintessentially" German. The scenery, the little towns and castles seen along the way have given this area the term the "Romantic Road". For us, it was a bit of a rainy romantic road drive though! We didn't get a chance to see the Alps though all of the cloud cover, but Birgit kept us entertained with plenty of stories and highlights of our journey!

When we arrived at the base of the Castle, it was so cloudy you couldn't even see it! Birgit went to get our tickets and we waited in the area with some shops. 








I'm not really wearing a trash bag, it's a "rain poncho" to keep my camera dry! 





From that area you can either walk up the long road to the Castle, or you can take a horse drawn carriage ride up most of the way and then walk the rest. We opted for the carriage ride, especially because it was raining. 








The horses go about two thirds of the way up the side of the mountain. Then we walk the rest. Where they drop you off there are some little shops. So we got something to drink and took a few pictures.  The rain had slowed down a bit and from up higher you could see the castle a bit!


We walked along and made to the entrance. 


The story of King Ludwig II and his life as well as death is quite interesting, even mysterious! The castle never served any purpose as a defense "castle" it was actually a palace for King Ludwig II, however he only spent 11 nights there. It also has a medieval design, but inside it was built with the modern technologies of the time. Including flushing toilets and an air heating system for the entire castle!  

Of course, like so many of the places we visited, no photography was allowed inside...so you will have to visit to see what it looked like! :) But I do have some more pictures of the outside, and pictures looking outside. And Birgit was kind enough to let me borrow some of her pictures of the castle from a day when it wasn't raining since all of mine are covered in rain and clouds!











For some reason they did let us take pictures in the kitchen. It was quite modern and quite nice!




























The castle was never actually finished - if it would have been, this is what it would have looked like.



























We stopped for lunch on the way back down to the parking area. This restaurant is right on the walk back....






We decided to walk back, but there are plenty of horses available to take people back. On the way back it had pretty much stopped raining.











As we walked back down, we could see the castle where King Ludwig II grew up, Hohenschwangau Castle. 




As we got back to our original starting point, the clouds parted just enough for me to take just a bit of a picture of the castle myself. Not the best, but it's something!


After we left the castle, we drove to Oberammergau. This village is actually world famous for its wood carvings and the Passion Play which they perform every ten years! The next performance will be in 2020.


















And of course, we stopped for some ice cream!













Even with the rain, we enjoyed our day. This was our last day and on our way back, Birgit made some suggestions to us on how to spend the evening. That will be what's up next!

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