Today we made the treacherous journey to Neuschwanstein Castle.
Despite our hopes for good weather today, it was consistently rainy and somewhat cold. After our bus ride to Neuschwangau, we all stopped at two local cafés before making the trip to the top of the steep Alpine hill that Neuschwanstein is perched atop.
In all, it took us about 15-20 minutes to walk to the top of the mountain and reach the castle. While the walk might have been easier without any rain, the bad weather only made the trek harder and, before long, I could feel small puddles forming in my shoes. However, the view of the castle once we reached the top was well worth the hike.
After a quick break to take in the view, we took another 10-minute hike to a nearby bridge that offers amazing views of the castle. Unfortunately, due to the weather, it was far too foggy to see the castle. However, a nearby waterfall was still visible.
After waiting a while to gain entry into the castle, we took a short tour. King Ludwig II, who commissioned the castle, was mysteriously found dead in the lake nearby Neuschwanstein while it was still being built. Because of this, construction on the castle immediately halted after he died and never resumed, so many of the castle’s rooms are wholly unfinished. We visited a few of the finished rooms, however, such as a throne room, dining room, and the king’s private study. Something that shocked me was the size of the dining room; it was a very small square room where only one person could likely eat comfortably. The tour guide explained that this was because King Ludwig II was a single and very private man, so he wanted his dining room that would reflect this.
Once our tour concluded, we made a quick stop at a restaurant halfway up the hill where the castle is located, and then walked the rest of the way down the hill to our bus. We took a quick journey to visit the Pilgrimage Church in the town of Weis, where it is said that a statue of Jesus was seen weeping. It was beautiful inside, and it was interesting to see that an otherwise extremely small village had such a large cathedral within its bounds.
This trip has been an incredible experience, and I cannot believe that it’s almost over!
– Juliana Alvelo-Davies