Today we went to the magnificient Neuschwanstein Castle, which was a highlight of the trip. This is the classic fairy-tale castle that Walt Disney based the Disney castles off of, being inspired by it’s magical essence.
We arrived at the castle by bus, and waited by Swan Lake with outstanding views of the Alps until it was time to walk up for our tour. We made our way up the hill to the castle, which was about a 30 minute walk swarmed with tourists. We finally made it to the top and got to see the castle up close; unfortunately there was scaffolding on the front which made it hard to take pictures from the first viewpoint. The tours were all scheduled electronically by a very German system that wouldn’t activate your ticket to get in until a designated time. Once inside the castle, we were led by a very sassy tour guide through several of the grandiose rooms and hallways. Each room of the castle had some scene painted on the wall that looked like illustrations out of a fairy tale. The inside of the castle was cool, but I found it very underwhelming compared to the outside. This was probably because King Ludwig II actually died before the inside of the castle was completed. The best part about the tour of the castle was the king’s bedroom. His bed was enclosed by a wooden frame designed to look like a temple; this frame took 14 carpenters 4 and a half years to make.
Once outside of the castle, we rushed to Mary’s Bridge. Brad tried to race me to the top but didn’t stand a chance against 4 years of high school track. Mary’s Bridge definitely had the best view of Neuschwanstein. We didn’t have long on the bridge, so we quickly made our way back down the hill, and then had lunch in Fussen, which is a small old town a few kilometers away from Neuschwanstein. We had some free time to walk around Fussen, and I got gelato at two different places.
We also made a stop at Wieskirche, home of an ancient Baroque monastery. In the Baroque style of architecture, buildings have a very simple exterior, but an intricate interior. I actually took an architecture class my first semester at Pitt, so it was cool to actually know some of the terms. Apparently this church became a pilgrimage destination when someone noticed that something or other looked like the Virgin Mary. Anyways, we spent some time here and enjoyed the great outdoors, and then headed to the bus for the journey back to Augsburg.
In Augsburg, we had a late dinner on our own. Tomorrow is presentation day!