Amazing Architecture and a Lasting Memory (May 10)

The drive out to Neuschwanstein this morning was breathtakingly beautiful! We passed through a few small picturesque towns while the Alps loomed in the background. Standing tall and dark, the mountains’ peaks still were white with snow. We made it to the bottom of the mountain on which Neuschwanstein stands and started our long walk up. As someone who loves the outdoors and is always up for a challenge, I greatly enjoyed the hike and appreciated the cool breeze at our backs. It was a very wooded path but then all of the sudden, there stood the castle in all its glory! Made of white stone, the castle stands out marvelously against the forest green backdrop. We stopped to take quite a few pictures and spent some time on a bridge that overlooks the castle. I had worked up quite an appetite on our climb so before going in for our tour I had an awesome Bavarian style cheese pretzel with a hot dog inside – delicious!  

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Unlike many castles, Neuschwanstein was built much later, around the end of the 19th century by Ludwig II. Despite its immense structure, Neuschwanstein took only 5 years to build! The castle is equipped with running water from the mountainside and has plenty of windows to admire the beautiful view. I was impressed by the artwork throughout the castle and the amazing woodwork on the king’s bed canopy. This architecture and the intricate details throughout Neuschwanstein — and so many of the old European buildings — continues to amaze me! Because I want to long remember this day and this experience, I brought home a tiny replica of Neuschwanstein in the form of a cuckoo clock from the castle’s gift shop.

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Following a group luncheon in Fussen, where I enjoyed some sort of Bavarian meatloaf topped with a sunny side up egg, today’s theme of amazing architecture continued when we stopped at Wieskirche, a striking church built in the mid-eighteenth century. To me, Wieskirche was the most beautiful church we’ve visited thus far with its high ceilings, stunning paintings and amazing stonework. It’s almost unimaginable to think that people live in these picturesque towns and attend such beautiful churches every week! Coming from an area with mainly modern buildings makes me truly appreciate just how spectacular these historic buildings and the surrounding areas are! It was such a great day soaking up the sights. I can only hope that I will be fortunate enough to return to this gorgeous country one day. Until then, this day and these moments together as a group will live on as a lasting memory.

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