My previous post about our long weekend away ended with Jan and I driving along the Romatic Road on our way to Schloss Neuschwanstein…
Castle Neuschwanstein is actually located in the village of Hohenschwangau, or rather above it… but if I’d put that in my title nobody would have known what I was talking about! We arrived at the carpark for the castles (there are actually two at the site) in the rain… but that hadn’t put the tourists off! When we tried to buy tickets for the castle, we discovered that the next possibly entry would be in two hours time… all the tours before that were already fully booked. Not wanting to hang around for two hours, we decided to just have a walk around instead. There were signs pointing to a lake, so that’s where we headed. To get there, we passed the second castle at the sight – which was actually there first! Schloss Hohenschwangau was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
Neuschwanstein Castle itself was Ludwig’s baby… he paid for it using his own money (rather than funds from the state of Bavaria) and it was built in the architectural style known as castle romanticism (Burgenromantik in German). The foundation stone for the castle was laid in September 1869 and by the end of 1882, it was completed and furnished to the extent that the king was able to move in and observe the remaining construction. The palace was dedicated to the work and life of composer Richard Wagner, but he died in 1883 without ever having set foot in the place. In the end, King Ludwig hiself only spent a total of 172 days in the castle. These days, Neuschwanstein is famous as being the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, among others, and millions of tourists flock to see it every year… even on cold, rainy days in November! I took a lot of photos of the castle, working on the principle that at least one of them would have to turn out reasonable! Here are a few… I like to think the clouds make for a mysterious look, rather than just a dull, grey one 😉
When we left Schwangau, it was still quite early so instead of driving straight home we took a slight detour via Augsburg. As we drove, the rain got less and less and by the time we arrived in Augsburg it was quite sunny. It was even warm, as long as you stayed within the shelter of the buildings… on the open squares, the wind was blowing something fierce! We walked around Augsburg for maybe an hour and a half before grabbing a coffee and Lebkuchen (the first one of the year!) at a cafe called Dichtl. Here are some of the photos I took walking around Augsburg. Note the blue skies… the first we had seen since leaving Austria!
And that was the end of our trip. Once we left Augsburg, we drove straight back to Karlsruhe (where we found our landlady trying to contact the boiler company because we had neither heating nor hot water… but that’s not a story for this post!).
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with photos in this post. I tried to achieve a happy medium between not showing enough and cramming the post full!
That’s two trips down on #Take12Trips… I wonder where the other ten will take me?