Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle and Snow!

We woke this morning to much anticipated snow delicately covering the houses and hills of Hopferau and its Bavarian neighbours. Perfect, we thought, for our equally anticipated visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, once home of "the fairy-tale king", Ludwig II.

We set off just before 10am to the nearby town of Hohenschwangau. On the way, we stopped by at Hopfen am See to take in the lovely scenery of its partially frozen lake and pretty snow-capped buildings. Once at Neuschwanstein Castle's ticket office in Hohenschwangau, we then strolled leisurely one mile uphill with the hundreds of other tourists until we reached King Ludwig's masterpiece. The views were spectacular!

Shy Ludwig II built Neuschwanstein on the hill just opposite his childhood home. Construction commenced in 1868 and it was his monument to the culture of the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, Ludwig died in 1886 at the age of forty, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Neuschwanstein was never fully completed and he managed to live there for only a short time before his untimely death. However, inside, it is probably the most beautiful castle I have ever seen - and we have seen a LOT of castles! Neuschwanstein's beautiful paintings, wood panelling, brass chandeliers, silk embroidered drapes and fairytale views left me speechless.....who would have thought?!

View from our apartment, early morn

Snow in Hopferau!

Hopfen am See - surf lesson anyone?

Hopfen am See

Strolling up to Neuschwanstein Castle

Views on the way up to Neuschwanstein Castle

Magnificent Neuschwanstein

Looking back towards Schwangau

Tricia, Brett Snr, Brett, Sean and Eloise at Neuschwanstein Castle

Lake at the base of the castle, in Hohenschwangau

Ludwig II's childhood home in Hohenschwangau


A lasting impression of Neuschwanstein Castle
After our decent from the castle, the children threw some snowballs near the lake at the bottom of the hill, before we grabbed a tasty Bavarian bite and headed home. This morning's snow had already started to vanish, but we had captured a magical day on the mountain - thanks to one fairy-tale king.    Tricia

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