When I was in my early 20s & backpacking around Europe, I had visions of what dreamy landscapes & majestic castles I would see. While Italy and Greece were at the top of my list for countries to explore, one image stood out in my mind as the best of Europe; it was Neuschwanstein Castle. I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful. Pictures didn’t seem real. I needed to see it for myself. I never made it to Germany on that trip so Neuschwanstein remained on my bucket list for more than a decade… until yesterday! I finally made it to my fantastical castle & it was everything I imaged.
Sitting high above the village of Hohenschwangua near Fussen, Germany is Neuschwanstein Castle. This 1800s Romanesque revival was once the home of introverted King Ludwig II of Bavaria, but after his death it was opened for public tours. More than 60 million people have visited the castle and I’ve always wanted to be one of them. Yesterday my bucket list dream became a reality.
We took the bus to the foot of the castle and witnessed its grandeur from Queen Mary’s Bridge. It’s that vantage point that has produced the most famous photos of the castle. I stood in shock. It was massive and much more impressive than any picture could produce. Seven stories of sheer brilliance stood before me.
I wanted to get closer.
During our tour inside, we saw the ornately decorated Singers’ Hall, the largest room in the palace, and the unusual grotto room, set in an artificial cave. (Sorry, no photos were allowed inside and for once I respected the policy.)
With flat lands on the north side of the castle and the Alps in the south, the vistas that surround the castle are equally as impressive as the castle itself. This is what dreams, and Disney movies, are made of.
To complete the fantasy, we rode a horse drawn carriage down the mountain to our vehicle. I figured it was fitting in the magical surroundings, and to say Athena was excited about it would be a gross understatement.
I now see Neuschwanstein Castle with new eyes – my own. Dream about the most amazing and unbelievable things in life because that’s what becomes your reality.
****Our trip to Germany is sponsored by the German National Tourist Board but all thoughts, ideas, and options are my own.***