Bavaria is the most lusciously green place I have been to in my life. The whole drive from Munich, which was about 2hrs long, I stared out of the window taking in the incredibly beautiful scenery. The houses are as incredible as the landscape. I couldn't get over how pretty it was. My pictures don't even come close enough to doing it justice, so I won't post them.
Our first stop when we got there was for an early lunch. Joel was showing us around Neuschwanstein and we all followed him around the touristy area looking for somewhere to eat. He sensibly had soup, but the rest of us were taken in by the signs displaying that we could have a 'red deer goulash'. which was delicious, I've had venison here before, and I think it was different but I enjoyed this goulash which came with a pear in cranberry sauce and noodles. Mixed together the whole meal was delicious
unfortunately my camera skills aren't up to scratch to get a good picture, but you get the jist
Arriving by the castle is incredible. Against the mountain backdrop the castle looks tiny. It is the castle that inspired Walt Disney's castle, with all the turrets and the fabulous design. It was built by a crazy king who may, or may not have been insane, and who may or may not have been killed by his physician for spending too much money on building beautiful castle's. The Neuschwanstein castle was never fully finished so one side you can see only scaffolding on the outside.
you can just see the castle jutting out about half way up the mountain side
The walk up to the castle is a bit of a hike, though there is a bus that takes you up for 1,50€ if you're not quite feeling up to the task. I have to say it made me realise exactly how unfit I am (and how I really need to start running again) and when one of the girls asked if the bus did the same route, and the answered turned out to be no, I loudly announced how much that sucked, with a smile on my face, though!
The walk is so worth it, though! The scenery on the way up is beautiful, as is the castle. This is my first shot at the front of the castle, once we got to the top of the hill. And whilst you can get great shots of the castle on the way up, you also get to see the beautiful countryside around it.
That man wouldn't move, horrid man, but look at the beautiful view! The walk around the castle was hard and it was starting to rain, and I didn't have coat (sorry joel) after what happened to my lovely black jacket on the first day of Oktoberfest! But the colours really brought out the greens and the colours on the mountain side too. We'd actually passed the castle at this point and were heading to Marienbrucke, which is a bridge that you can get a great view to take photo's of the castle.
It is, without a doubt, the scariest place I've stood in my life. I am tiny and scared of heights and when I got there, I thought as long as I don't look down it will be fine. But then, there was a huge group on the bridge, and we had to push past them to get a decent shot of the bridge. And, have I mentioned how high that bridge is? The planks below my feet started wobbling and I couldn't cope and started to have a bit of a panic attack! Joel, the sweetie that he is, offered to take my camera and take some pictures of the castle for me, so the images below are his handy work- thanks again, Joel!
But then! The group that had been hogging the bridge moved off, and I noticed something cool on the bridge. there, like in paris, were love locks. And deep inside, like really deep inside, I am a bit of softy for things like that. More so, actually, when I'm with new people than when I'm at home. Anyway, I had to get on the bridge and look at the locks. I managed to get about a sixth of the way across, on the edge plank, the only one that didn't wobble. also, I realise how much of an idiot I looked walking up and down towards the bridge at least 4 times, but I managed it, eventually, on my own and even managed to snap this picture
And trust me, i am first to admit Joel's pictures are better and have less tree in that mine (on the left there) but I don't care because I took this one all on my own! Which earnt me a high five when Joel returned with the rest of the group. I also managed to encourage another lady that it wasn't so bad once you got on. Though, she had a fair idea I was lying because of the state of my legs when i got off the bridge- seriously, the bones disappeared I was walking like I was made of jelly.
From inside the castle, no pictures are to be taken of the decoration. After checking with our seriously creepy guide, he said we could take pictures back to the bridge out of the windows, which is exactly what we did when we saw Marienbrucke in the distance. If you click the above image it will come up slightly more clearly, you can see the bridge and the waterfall in the distance. and you can see how high that bridge was!
on the way back down the
the lake by the coach park in the pouring rain
I would definitely recommend visiting Neuschwanstein if you are in Bavaria, the castle's there are insanely beautiful and have generated much tourism. I don't think the 12€ fee to get in was a huge amount to pay to see the incredible decoration of the palace and you get to learn so much about the castle. I think it's a shame, though, that after all this time with all the money they must have generated that they can't finish the interior of this castle. That said, they are currently doing work on the turret's to preserve them as they are starting to fade.