Today was the day I was most looking forward to since we got our syllabus: visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.
The castle is located near the Alps, and it was built in the mid 1800s by an arguably insane Bavarian King. Up to no argument is how unbelievably beautiful the castle is, nestled between mountains and above a flowing spring. One can’t help but feel a little like a princess.
But before we could go inside, we had to get there. Starting from ground level, we had to hike uphill for nearly 20 minutes – in what was the warmest weather we’ve yet to have. At one point, I was distracted by a dog and walked straight into a pole. Good times.
Once we finally reached the top, I couldn’t help but feel… disappointed. The castle’s famous red gate was under construction, and you couldn’t even see the red brick under all the tarps and ladders. It was difficult to get a good photograph.
But the climb was definitely worth it once we got inside. The castle is the definition of extravagant, with literally every wall decorated with floor-to-ceiling paintings. The throne room is decked out like a Byzantine Church, and the King’s bed features the most complicated woodwork I’ve ever seen. Claims of King Ludwig II’s insanity started to make more sense once I saw the literal cave he had attached to his dressing room, complete with glowing lights and an indoor waterfall. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures, so you’ll just have to trust me on how ludicrous it was.
The tour was relatively short, given that only 30% of the castle’s interior is finished. Afterwards, we went to a nearby town for lunch and dessert (far too much dessert, probably), and then bused over to another town for donuts. Unfortunately, the famous doughnut shop was closed, but the even more famous church was not.
Dr. Feick told us that many years ago, the town’s statue of Christ was observed to be crying. Ever since, the town became a pilgrimage site, and a beautifully ornate church was erected to house it. Every time we go to a new church here, I feel like there couldn’t be a more beautiful church in the world. And then we go to another church.
All in all, it was an absolutely beautiful day. And it made for some seriously beautiful pictures: