August 6, 2013

Neuschwanstein Castle

Day 2
We woke up early Saturday morning for our tour of this famous castle, but first we stopped at a woodcarving shop (very popular in Bavaria), and the Pilgrimage Church of Wies. There was a service in progress, so were were unable to take photos, but if you're interested, you should Google it. You won't regret it. While we were in Wieskirche (where the church is), we had a bite to eat. I chose a Bavarian doughnut, while Josh opted for the biggest pretzel on the planet!

We were finally on our way to Neuschwanstein. Our tour guide informed us that King Ludwig II was a recluse and that was one of the reasons he built this castle. He also loved fairy tails and wanted a castle that was reminiscent of medieval times.

Ludwig didn't have the funds for his dream castle, so he started borrowing money from other countries. The Bavarian government didn't appreciate this, so they had a panel of four psychologists announce that Ludwig was mentally ill and unfit for his duties as "king," (really he was just a puppet king, without much power) even though they never met with him in person. It was decided that the king needed to be taken into custody, he tried fleeing to Neuschwanstein but he was captured. The next day he asked one of the psychologists to go for a walk with him (perhaps to persuade him that he wasn't insane) and they never came back. The two men were found, in shallow waters. It was declared a suicide, but the autopsy discovered no water in his lungs. Oh and he was over six feet tall and an avid swimmer, making it really unlikely he would drown. The castle's  construction was halted due to his death and was never completed.

Now that the history lesson is complete, let's move on to the photos! I know in my last post I said I didn't want to burden you with tons of photos, but that was just for the drive, there was lots to see here! I hope you don't mind.

^There it is!^
 We opted for the transport that would take us half way up the mountain (the steepest part). Yep we're in the front seat without a carseat, we didn't have an option, we only went like 5mph. So much for Germans being super strict about carseat safety!
 Our hike up to the bridge.
 Beautiful. Can you believe someone lived there?! Craziness.
 I shouldn't have looked down, oh and the bridge moves. Yikes!
 A kind stranger helped capture this one!
 On the same bridge, looking in the opposite direction at the weekend castle! La-dee-da.
 What a great view!
 What an entrance!
 The inner courtyard
 I'm in one castle, looking at a different castle. Who doesn't love castle neighbors?!
 We weren't allowed to take photos of the inside of the castle. This was taken outside the front gate, after our tour.
 We decided to eat our lunch leaning up against this amazing structure. How many people can say they had a picnic at a castle?! Also, we changed a few diapers too, in case you were wondering.
Making our way back down the mountain.
 Someone was pretty sleepy...
Really, really sleepy.

Favorite things about our Neuschwanstein trip:
  • I wore blue and white by coincidence, not knowing those are the Bavarian flag colors, I really know how to embrace this culture!
  • Mountain views in every direction.
  • There are secret passage ways within the Neuschwanstein.
  • We're history geeks around here, so the story of King Ludwig II was really interesting.
  • The people were really friendly here.
  • Bavarian doughnuts are where it's at.
  • The grotto room within the castle.
  • Cole did really well, considering how hot it was, and how far past his nap time he was able to go without having a meltdown.

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