Today may have been the most exciting for the entire so far due to the fact that visiting a castle was on the itinerary. An hour and a half bus ride took the group to the bottom the mountain, where we were already introduced to some amazing sights. Even before the bus arrived, one could appreciate the grand beauty of the alps in the distance. They continue to amaze every time I am lucky enough to witness them. You can even see the glorious Neuschwanstein in the distance. The name actually directly translates to new swan stone in German, which was an interesting fact I learned as Dr. Feick gave us a pre-tour lecture on the bus. We were also informed that the castle was only built in the 1800s whereas most German castles were made in the medieval era.
Another nice surprise was the fact that there is a lake with a trail right next to the town, at the base of the mountain. It was so peaceful and beautiful to see, especially with mountains hanging in the background like majestic giants. The reflection of clear blue water also adds quite a nice touch.
After hanging around the lake for around half an hour, we began to embark on our hike towards the castle. Many did not enjoy the long walk up the mountain, but we all knew the destination would be undoubtedly worth it. Being able to see a view of the surrounding landscape was also a nice bonus to accompany our trek. We all made it to an observation deck where even more beautiful pictures of the scenery could be taken. A nice group picture was taken and then we were off to the tour of the castle.
The castle was actually never finished with only nine rooms had been fully completed. This was because King Ludwig II died during its construction. Also, no one was allowed to take pictures inside of the castle, but there were many intricate and king-worthy painting and sculptures within the walls of Neuschwanstein. Some of the wooden sculptures in the King’s living quarters looked as though they took a decade to complete. It was truly exceptional to see the immense amount of work put into creatin such a grand home for a king. It is almost unbelievable the effort and time it must have taken to create Neuschwanstein. At the end of the tour, there was another balcony that had the best view we could get. It was truly breathtaking to say the least.
After we were done basking in the glory of Neuschwanstein, we descended back down the mountain to get back on the bus. The next ride was a mere five minutes as we made our way over to Fussen, a small town just next to the castle. As I have mentioned before, I am attempting to eat as many different famous German foods as possible. Today, I tried currywurst because I have heard a lot about it back in America, however it was slightly disappointing. It was very similar to a regular hot dog from back home, which is not what I was expecting at all. Maxi mentioned that the restaurant must just make a bad currywurst. We did end up getting gelato right after, which made up for lunch. Another trademark in Germany is an ice cream dish that looks like spaghetti. Spaghetti is one of my favorite all time foods and now it is up there for the ice cream dishes I have had as well. It was made up of a strawberry sauce and a cookies and cream type ice cream with whipped cream on the bottom.
After our stop in Fussen, we made our way to one last sight, the Weiskirche. I have already seen a few churches while I have been abroad, but this church had the best interior of any so far. There were bright murals with colors bursting from the walls, and art that you couldn’t help but stare at. Germany certainly has not disappointed with its architecture so far. As this is my first time in continental Europe, I have not seen such gorgeous structures that are so old. It is mind-blowing how these pieces of architecture could be made such a long time ago.
Today lived up to expectations will the level of beauty expected to be seen. It was wonderful being able to see such historical buildings that alike to nothing I have ever seen before in person. For any day to be the last of the scheduled visits, it could not have gotten better.