Monday, February 28, 2005


Neuschwanstein, or as I knew it previously, King Ludwig's castle. The night before we were scheduled to leave our ski trip, my husband suggested a little detour on the way home. Let's go see Neuschwanstein!

So we left early on Saturday morning and headed to Neuschwanstein (on the border of Austria and Germany). On the way there we stopped in Innsbruck, a city I've been wanting to visit. As we drove into Innsbruck, the first thing you wee is the 1976 Olympic Ski Jump -- very impressive. We parked the car and walked though the old town... very charming and very quaint. We also visited the Swarovski crystal show room. The kids bought their teachers pencils with red and pink crystals at the top. We really liked Innsbruck, but would have enjoyed walking around more if it wasn't freezing out.

We got back in the car and drove to Neuschwanstein. It took a lot longer than we expected because it was a two lane road to get there and there were many cars on the road, probably leaving their ski resorts like we were. We finally arrived at 3pm and quickly bought the tickets to the castle. We took a horse drawn carriage to the castle. It's about a 20 minute walk up to the castle, but since it was freezing, we decided on the carriage.

The only way to see King Ludwig's Castle is by guided tour. That means that about 80 people are let in every 5 minutes to listen to an audio phone guide. There were probably 5 different languages on the phone. The guard unlocks a room, lets you enter, tells you to press play on your phone and then waits for all the phones to stop talking... then unlocks the next room and herds you in and you do the same thing. The tour was one of the worst I've ever been on. In one room you'll be told about the room and then you'll be told something like..."You'll be passing 5 rooms on the way to the dining room. In the third bedroom that you pass, look on the dresser under the left window for the ancient family vase made of rose marble." You can't even remember what you are supposed to look at because the herd is pushing you along so fast.

Having said that the tour isn't great, the inside of the castle is really a feast for the eyes. I don't know much about King Ludwig, but boy did he like ornate and colorful things. Most of the chandeliers look like big gold crowns with beautiful gems around the side. The walls were all brightly colored and he loved to have his artisans paint on fabric to mount on the walls.... to give a tapestry effect. It really was, as the guide says, a fairy tale castle. Well worth a visit. Too bad it's in the middle of nowhere.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
8:04 PM



We LOVED Innsbruck too and thought it was a cute little town. I wish we would have done Neuschwanstein as well---sounds awesome even if it was in BFE. I thought Austria was a fabulous country. Have you been to Salzburg? I ran through the hills singing The Hills are Alive while my hubby made fun of me the whole time. I felt just like Maria! Anyway, your traveling makes me ill (totally jealous). I am glad you all are having such a great time.

# posted by Anonymous : 1:02 AM  

WOW! I've always heard of Ludwig's Castle. Travel shows are sometimes the best "pre-tour" so when you do actually get to go to some place REALLY cool, you know what to look for.

Hope DH is better. I'm glad you don't have the plague anymore. I caught something like that back in October. It was one of those sicker than anything for 12-24 hrs then miraculous recovery.
Hear Hear to the Winter Holiday!

# posted by BohemianMama : 3:13 AM  

CMAC, Innsbruck is really wonderful, but it was still nearly 2 hours to King Ludwig's Castle... it wasn't that close. We visited Salzburg years ago, before kids, and thought it was a nice city. There are so many reminders around the city about the Sound of Music but we didn't take one of those tours.
BM, I love those travel shows. They really give you an idea of the places you'd like to go visit. Husband is marginally better today. He couldn't get an appointment this week, but the swelling has gone down a bit. Thank you for asking.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 10:06 AM  

We visited Neuschwanstein when I came to Europe with my high school choir. The castle is unbelievable, but the memory that sticks out in my mind is the long steep walk up the mountain - we didn't take carriages. I seem to remember someone having a heart attack on the way up!

# posted by ViVi : 10:24 AM  

It is so funny that you guys went to visit this castle, because I was just thinking of it this weekend. I have always wanted to visit Neuschwanstein. We were just in the Dordogne region of France and all of those castles and chateaus reminded me of Neuschwanstein.

# posted by Jason : 10:28 AM  

Although we've been to Germany several times, we were mostly in the Frankfurt region. We did make a trip to Salzburg once and actually went on the Sound of Music tour with my in-laws. Then we did the "Sing Along with the Sound of Music" in London. I'd love to see Neuschwanstein. My husband always points it out to the kids when we're watching "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

# posted by Oz : 10:48 AM  

Vivi, It is quite a steep walk up to the castle... especially if it's freezing out and there is snow and ice on the ground. The buses weren't even running the day we went.
Jason, You should try to get there. It's about an 8 hour drive from Paris and you could spend a night in the Black Forest!
OZ, Neuschwanstein is in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang??? I had no idea. I'll have to check this out.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 10:32 AM  

your google add isnt true you didnt mention what the castle was made of genius

# posted by Anonymous : 9:15 PM  

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