Castles, legendary buildings that exist in movies, cartoons, and people’s dreams. But unlike unicorns which are nowhere to be found, castles are destinations for many tourists nowadays in Europe. Today, we had a chance to visit Neuschwanstein, a castle located in Schwangau and about two hours away from Augsburg.
Ludwig II of Bavaria, he was stepped onto the throne at a relatively young age and had no interest in being the king. Instead, he spent an enormous amount of money that ended up draining his family fortune and started building castles. Neuschwanstein is one of the castles he built. The castle was meant for the home for the king until he died in 1886. Then it was opened to the public, and since then more than 61 million people have visited the castle. Like a picture from fairy tale, the castle itself is beautiful and stands right below the Alps. Today was a little cloudy but we still saw snow towards the peak of Alps. There was a lot of walking and climbing, but where these steps took us was totally worth it. An open space right next to the castle, the view of the clear blue lake, and a bridge that lies between two small mountain creeks and gives a great view of the castle standing on its own (see the pictures!). Inside the castle was even better. Architectures and sculptures, you can never believe it is made by bare human hands. The paintings on the wall, the furniture, the size and details of the pillars. I and my friend Bob walked in the back of the pack most of the times and all we did was pointing at things saying “that’s so cool. This is amazing! It’s awesome”.
After the castle tour, we drove an hour to a town called Füssen to have lunch at a restaurant called Chapeau. I got sausage covered with tomatoes and curry sauce. It was a kind of German sausage big enough to fill up your stomach. Delicious! Then we had a 20-minute free time to walk around the town. Me and my colleague Steve decided to get Sundae. We were flipping through the menu looking at pictures, they all looked so good even though the menu is in German and we couldn’t understand a thing.
The next stop was Wies Church located in Steingaden. On the bus ride there almost everyone passed out because of the long walk we had earlier and food coma. However, visiting the church woke us up. Just like any other church and cathedral we have visited, although Wies stands in the middle of nowhere, it is just as beautiful, or even better, than the ones we have visited. Beautiful side alters with a beautifully “painted” ceiling showing Jesus coming down from heaven. This is a very well protected and beautifully constructed architecture.
Check out the picture that I had a donut in my hand with Steve in the background (the guy with glasses). According to Dr. Feick, this donut shop is a must-stop destination for Plus3 every year and the “special donut” there is fantastic. Was it? Oh, yea. Especially the middle, it was crispy made out of some type of mix of sugar and milk, with the outer circular freshly made bread covered in a glaze of sugar.
That wraps up the Thursday of our first week here. Every day so far has been filled with activities. Although they were tiring, at the same time worthwhile and fulfilling.