Day 5: Neuschwanstein (“New Swan Rock”)

Today we took the bus to Neuschwanstein Castle, created by King Ludwig.  The bus ride provided amazing views of the Alps and the farm land between the mountains.  The bus parked at the bottom of the hill and we first saw King Ludwig’s father’s castle, which was much lower on the mountain than Neuschwanstein and was colored light orange.  We hiked up the road toward the castle, passing several horse-drawn carriages carrying visitors to the top.  After about 30 minutes, we reached the bridge that overlooks Neuschwanstein Castle.  From the bridge, we had a beautiful view of the castle, with mountains in the background, and water falls underneath us.  This was the perfect location for our group to take a photo-op before our tour inside.  We hiked back down to the castle and began our guided tour of Neuschwanstein.  Inside, we had access to the finished rooms of the castle that included the King’s quarters and the Theater.  The rooms were extremely extravagant and filled with fancy and expensive furniture and artwork.  My favorite room that we visited was the Throne Room.  The room’s walls were painted with depictions of the King killing various monsters and being compared to a god.  The tour felt relatively short compared to the castle’s size because approximately only one third of the castle was actually completed during the king’s reign.  As we were leaving the castle, we went through the gift shop where I bought my mom a small crystal swan. Overall, I was amazed leaving the castle.  As I walked back down the mountain, I was left thinking how difficult it must have been to build a castle of that size, as high up in the mountains as it was, with the technology of the time.

We then took a short bus ride to Füssen, a small town close to the Austrian border, where we ate lunch and had some free time.  I had a pesto pasta for lunch that was really good, however I was still hungry once I finished.  We left after lunch and our bus briefly stopped at Wieskirche where we viewed a scenic old church.  The inside was filled with detailed paintings and artwork.  On our way back to the bus we stopped at a donut shop that had warm donuts that tasted amazing after a long day.  We returned to Augsburg after a bus ride that I was told was over an hour, but I slept the entire way so I can’t be certain.

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