Fairy tale come true: a visit to Germany’s castles

castle neuwachstein

Day three of our big European trip was our adventure out to Germany’s castles in southern Bavaria, Schloss Neuschwanstein. I’d done a lot of planning for this part of the trip since it would be a two-hour train ride from Munich, our base. There were a lot of options for guided tours but we wanted to have our own schedule so we did it on our own.*

I bought our train tickets online before we left. I wanted the lower rate for the Bayern ticket, which meant we had to take a certain time train to make our castle reservations. Boy was that a bad idea. We arrived before the train left, maybe 10 minutes early. It was packed. There was no sitting room. And the aisles were crowded. (so warning if the website warns that it will be crowded, it will!)

I almost gave up right there. We sat in the middle of the car on the floor for about 45 minutes until a few people got off on another exit.

The crowds only got worse from there. Once the train pulled in at the Fussen station, people mad dashed for the buses. We weren’t sure if we needed to buy another ticket but we found a sign that said our Bayern ticket would work for the bus. We boarded quickly and luckily got a seat. Finally! But the buses crammed people on board. I’ve never seen that many people save the first Obama inauguration.

We had time since I’d pre-booked our castle tickets for 2 p.m. We had to pick the tickets up by 1:30 so we just decided to get it over with. Let me say, if you plan to visit the castles booking your tickets online is a MUST. The line was so long. We just walked right up to the pre-paid line and waited maybe 10 minutes to check out.

That gave us a little breathing time so we grabbed some currywurst (NOM!) and a couple of beers.

currywurst in germany

Then we decided to be lazy and splurge the one euro for the bus ride. I thought we were just being lazy but on the way back down that mountain I was so glad I didn’t walk up that thing. The bus was the same deal as before, a giant line of people and crammed, crowded buses. We were lucky to get to be the first on a new bus (better than the last on a full bus). It was only a 10 minute ride up to the gorge.

bavaria gorge

Again, I thought we’d have enough time for a leisurely walk to see the gorge on the overlook bridge. Nope. That bridge was full to the brim of people snapping pictures. You couldn’t even walk on to it. It was nothing but insanity. See.

crowds at hohenschwangau

OK, so that’s that. It was crazy. There were so many people and that really sped up our day. We should have had plenty of time but instead we were battling with crowds the whole time.

It was still worth it. I mean … THIS.

2014-08-25 15.02.35-1

We only did the one castle to save on money but after I was glad we weren’t trying to squeeze in two.We had just enough time for a little leisure. And some snowballs.

2014-08-25 15.18.30

It was funny to see King Ludwig’s 19th century castles compared to the real Medieval castle in Salzburg. They couldn’t have been more different.


I’d hoped we would have time to walk around Fussen before catching the train back to Munich, but we were so exhausted from the walking (LOTS of walking, even with the bus ride) and all the crowds. So we calmly waited for the train and then ran to a seat as fast as we could.

We stumbled back to Munich and grabbed some strudel and kuchen and then a few slices of pizza at the storefront by our hotel. We’d been eyeing the pies all weekend so we took a few pieces back to the room to crash. I will never regret that decision. It was such an insane day. That quiet time was amazing.

2014-08-25 21.19.43-2

Plus we had a flight early to Amsterdam.

* In retrospect, I think this may have been a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, overall it was fine, but the day was so crowded, it would have been nice to be a little separated from this. We saw a lot of these guided tour groups in front of the castle and I think that may have been a better experience.

One Response to “Fairy tale come true: a visit to Germany’s castles”
  1. Sharon says:

    Width I had some of that cherry cake

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Calendar

    November 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep   Dec »
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,278 other followers

  • Archives

%d bloggers like this: