Tag Zehn – Schloss Neuschwanstein and Wieskirche


Tag! Today is my tenth day of the Plus3 program, and it is one of my anticipated ones, as today we’re visiting Neuschwanstein, one of, if not, Germany’s most iconic castles. While I had visited Neuschwanstein before, I was excited to revisit the castle, as parts of it are always under renovation, making each tour slightly different.

Like Gestern, we had an early start, as the castle is about an hour away from Augsburg. Unfortunately, the second we arrived; it began to downpour. Like Walhalla, the castle is on top of a mountain, so we had to hike up the mountain the rain. We couldn’t take the horse carriages either, since not only are they expensive, but they don’t even take you the entire way up, which defeats the purpose. Before our ascent, we were given time to explore the base of the mountain which contained many tourist shops and cafes. The area, much like the castle above it, is gorgeous, offering a beautiful view of the lake. I, and a couple of other girls, decided to stop and sit in a cafe, where I got a hot chocolate to warm up. Shortly after, we began walking up in the rain.

Unfortunately, at this point, I was beginning to feel under the weather. I had woken up feeling off but was hoping I could pull through. I had done the walk before, and it wasn’t too bad. However, I had done the walk in better weather, and the rain made it worse. A combination of bad weather, a brutal walk, and already not feeling well, I was ready to take a break the second I could at one of the stops. I did not go to the Marienbrücke, a bridge that offers a unique view of the castle. Once again, not only had I been to the bridge before, but I knew the heavy rain and fog would obscure the otherwise amazing view. Furthermore, the walk to bridge is another hike in of itself, and I was not feeling up to it. I waited with Claire, one of the group’s two amazing advisors (Hi Claire!) at the gate of the castle for the rest of the group. I was feeling a bit better at this point and was ready to go on the tour.

Once inside the castle, we were not allowed to take any photos, but it was gorgeous. Many of the rooms that we visited were the same, although we went into fewer rooms than from my last visit. Still, each of the rooms astounded me with the ornateness. The man behind the castle was King Ludwig II, also known as the Swan King (which the castle is designed after!). The castle served as his living quarters for his tenure, before he died in suspicious circumstances in the lake at the castle’s base. After his death, the castle’s construction ceased, leaving only a third of it to be completed. Today, the uncompleted areas are used as offices and storage space for tour services.

On our way back down the mountain, we stopped for a snack and then lunch, in that order. There was a stand with treats called Quarkbällchen, which are basically fried donuts. I’ve never had them before in Germany, only buying frozen ones from Lidl (which are still good), so I was eager to have some fresh ones. They were sehr lecker! We had lunch shortly after, were I ordered a basic Wurst, as not to upset my stomach too much. At this point I was feeling considerably better. However, the rain never let up, in fact, it only got worse. Our way down consisted of awkward speeding walking to get out of the rain as soon as possible.

On the bus, the weather let up a bit, allowing us to visit a nearby Baroque church, Wieskirche. The village of Wies would be a standard German village without the gorgeous church, which serves as an attraction. In fact, no matter the size of the village, town, or city, many old churches are ornately decorated, the funding for which came from wealthy philanthropists. I found Wieskirche to be one of the more unique churches that I saw, as this church was decorated in white and other brighter colors and lacked the intricate stained glass, which was common in all of the other churches that I had visited thus far. Overall, it was my favorite church that I visited the entire trip. I wish that I was feeling better so that I could better appreciate it. That’s for my next trip to Germany then.

By the time we returned to Augsburg, my energy had crashed again, so I called it an early night. I knew I would need it, as tomorrow will be what this entire program has been leading up to: the final company presentations, which I wanted to feel better for. Tschau!

German Words Used:

Tag = Hey (in this context)

Neuschwanstein = New swan rock

Gestern – Yesterday

Marienbrücke = Mary’s Bridge

sehr lecker = very tasty

Wurst = sausage

Tschau = Bye

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