Typically, once a tour Blue Lake will cover the costs of a day trip from one of the towns in which we are staying, and this year they were not. messing. around. A couple of hours bus ride from Augsburg is located the Neuschwanstein castle, planned retreat for Ludwig II, homage to composer Richard Wagner and eventual inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disney Land.
For a nice little overview on the history of this late 19th century castle:
The BEST thing about this little day trip was that, as luck would have it, my brother and sister-in-law were in the country for a friend’s wedding. Though Joanie was busy with bridesmaid duties, Matt was able to drive down from their town near Heidelberg to take the tour with me! As neither of us had ever been to the castle before it was a bit hard to decide where to meet up. “Ummmm… the front?” was about all I had to offer, but Matt was smart enough to look for where the buses parked and greeted me once I got off the bus. (With the permission of the director) I high tailed it out of there so I could get a little one on one time with Matt and we took the steep walk through the woods up to the castle, first stopping at one of the restaurants to grab a quick drink and small bite to eat.
Just down hill from the castle is an observation area, perfectly suited to taking in the Bavarian countryside.
Besides the countryside, it’s also a great place to get your first real good look of the castle; or, if you’re so inclined (we were), get a picture with the castle:
The tours are planned out in five minute increments and, with a group as large as the combined orchestra and choir, we naturally had to divide up into several different times. Matt’s ticketed time was about ten minutes after the last Blue Lake group, but he was able to join ours so we could do it together.
Unfortunately, pictures are strictly verboten inside the castle, so you’re missing out on the opulence that is the interior of Neuschwanstein. Ludwig II had quite affinity for Wagner and his music, and most of his rooms are elaborately themed with stories from Wagner’s operas. It’s always one of those tenuous lines to tread as a classical music lover: Wagner’s music is absolutely, undeniably glorious but, you know… Nazis. I’ve actually been working my way through Curb Your Enthusiasm for the first time these last couple of months and couldn’t help but think this scene when doing the tour.
(Slightly nsfw language)
Visitors were provided one more great view at the end of the tour, and luckily pictures could be taken from the balcony.
It’s all about location, location, location
A short walk away is the Marienbrücke, a bridge which affords an unbelievable view of the castle. I wasn’t exactly sure if I had enough time to make the trek and still catch the bus back, but Matt was able to go over and get the view for both of us!
A view of the bridge from the castle and vice versa
As far as castles go, Neuschwanstein is unarguably amongst the most beautiful in the world and I ‘m so glad that not only did I get to see it, but I got to share such a cool experience with Matt. That’s just how we roll these days.
Artist: Mel Books / Album: The Producers
Bonus! I also couldn’t help but visit a castle and think of the clip from Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill special:
As is typical for one of his routines, beware the salty language!