23.05.19 - Another peaceful sleep, though it took me a while not think about the poor deer...
Sunshine! Tintin drove for about 30 minutes. Today was the day we finally saw both the famous castles, and visited Schloss Neuschwanstein. We were parked up by 09.45 - and it didn’t seem too busy. €9.50 to park Dave for up to 6 hours.
Schloss Neuschwanstein was the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. Construction started 5 September 1869 and was completed in 1886. The castle was intended as a home for the king, but he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer. Mystery surrounds his death in the lake - was it suicide, or murder? At the time the only way to get rid of a king was to declare him insane, which is what happened.
We went and queued for a short while to get our tickets - €26 for both of us - entry at 11.40. The leaflet advises allowing 40 minutes to walk up the 1 mile steep hill. We were there in 20 minutes - and way too early for our tour. The Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge) has a wonderful view of the castle, and was about a 15 minute walk away. Decided we had enough time to go there and back before the tour. Was worth it!
Tours start every 5 minutes, in different languages. All very automated, when your allotted time comes, you put your ticket in a machine, and get herded in ready for the tour. The tour lasts about 35 minutes - if you miss your slot - tickets are non-refundable!
As seems to be the case in Germany - everything is verboten! - no videos, photos, food etc allowed. Only one third of the castle was ever finished, and we only saw the servants quarters, his throne hall, bedroom, study room, drawing room, singers’ hall and reconstructed grotto and kitchens on the way out.
His throne hall didn’t even have a throne! and the walls glorify canonized kings and their deeds. The chandelier which looks like a Byzantine crown holds 96 candles, and was lowered down by winch. The floor was mosaic made up of 2,000,000 pieces.
The bedroom adjacent to the dining room and the subsequent house chapel are the only rooms of the palace that remain in neo-Gothic style. The king's bedroom is dominated by a huge bed adorned with carvings. Fourteen carvers worked more than four years on the bed canopy with its numerous pinnacles and on the oaken panelings. It was in this room that Ludwig was arrested in the night from 11 to 12 June 1886.
Even then, they had running warm water, and he had a secret door leading to his fully functioning flushing toilet! King Ludwig II only lived in the castle for a total of 172 days!
The Singers’ hall had renovation work going on. All the rooms we saw were very dark, and we’ve never seen so many murals adorning every surface. All in all, seemed a depressing sort of place! However, glad we visited so that we can have our own opinions!
Our tour guide was a very unassuming, young little man. However, at one point he said that he could call security to get people removed if they weren’t interested in listening - as other people were. We all had listening devices, and I guess he either heard someone being rude, or too loud. He certainly made everyone listen thereafter!
We actually bought a poster of the castle in snow, will have it framed when we’re home. Of our 15,000 steps today, can we ‘bank’ some of them for the wet days when we don’t manage many?!
Following are some of the views from the castle.
We walked back to Dave (we’d forgotten about the gas in our hurry and excitement to get going) and had a quick avocado salad for lunch - then walked back to look at the Schloss Hohenschwangau. This was where Ludwig II grew up.
As ever, if you’re interested - Google has all the info!
After departing, Tintin then stopped off to fill up with LPG, then visited another garage with cheaper fuel to top up - then drove another 30 minutes to a free Park4night space in Oy-Mittelburg. We have now finished the Romantic Road, and will follow the Alpine road for about half the distance.
We were happily relaxing, sorting out where to go tomorrow, writing blog etc, when a young mother with children in her VW multivan reversed into us! She spoke some English, but we had to use Google translate for clarity.
Well, that’s a whole load of hassle! Our front bumper is quite damaged (her van is fine). We needed her name, number, insurance and driving license details - and Tintin is currently filling in a statement of fact form. At the end of the day, we know it’s so much hassle for us - and we’ll probably end up paying an excess, and possibly our next premium will go up - through no fault of our own. Definitely put a dampener on a good day.
Some more pictures from today