Neuschwanstein was picture perfect…on the outside.
This morning we travelled to a German village to eat a traditional Bavarian breakfast of Weißwurst and Bavarian pretzels. Weißvurst’s are white sausage and are boiled in a big pot in one big link. To eat them, you need to cut them apart and then cut off the outer shell. The Weißvurst were very good, and I ate 3 and a half of them.
The breakfast place was in a big barn with a bunch of picnic tables. When our group walked in, all the Germans were confused and we got some long stares, but I was not worried at all! I enjoyed being there with our group and being part of a true German experience. We were the only non-Germans in the entire place! After we left the breakfast, we travelled a little longer and stopped at an old, but beautiful church called Weiskirche. The church stood with only a couple of other buildings, and the surrounding area was farmland. We had some fun talking a walk around the cow pastures and admiring the beautiful greenery.
The church was only a short rest stop for our trip to Neuschwanstein Castle in the southern region of Bavaria. After a long drive, we finally made it to the castle, and it was pretty touristy. Tourist buses lined the streets, and tourist shops were littered throughout the main center of town. There was a beautiful lake close by, so a couple of students and I took a walk around the lake in our spare time before the castle tour.
To get up to the castle, we had to walk up a gigantic hill. There are horse carriages that take people up and down the hill, but our group walked it. Obviously, we were the tough ones at Neuschwanstein.
The tour was not as good as I expected it to be. The castle was built by King Ludwig II in 1871, but he only lived in the castle for 172 days. He never saw the finished project. During the tour, we only got to see a couple of rooms in the castle. The singing hall, the most luxurious room in the castle, was under construction, so we only saw construction scaffolding. It was disappointing.
During the tour inside the castle, I noticed how much the place has been modified for tourism. It truly just feels like a museum and not a tour of the actual castle. There are even two gift shops that are built inside the castle.
While the tour was not as good as I expected, I really enjoyed the views from outside the castle. When we finally got to the top of the hill, the views were beautiful; I could see miles of farmland and grass land as well as a couple small German towns. There was an overlook bridge we hiked to which was over top of an amazing waterfall.
After taking lots of pictures, we walked by down the hill and headed to the small town of Füsson for a small walk. There were some very luxurious shops considering how small the town was. It was a very brief stop, so we did not get to see much of the town. We headed home from there.
On the bus ride home, I really thought how much I have been able to accomplish here in Germany, but also how quickly it all went by. I have been talking about this trip for months with my family and friends, and with a blink of the eye, it is over. I learned every day, and I really made the most out of every single day. I stayed positive through the small logistical problems here and there, because when can I truly say that I will be back in Augsburg?
Tomorrow, I am heading to Munich again for my free day to explore the city for a little more, and to relax with some friends before the program ends.