Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Guide to Neuschwanstein castle

 Yesterday was the day. Finally.
The day we visited Neuschwanstein castle and first of all let me say:
Oh my God, people. People everywhere!

It was something we expected because of the popularity of the place and due to the fact that we have been staying in Hohenschwangau for over a week by now, but it is something completely different once you are directly inside of this whole tourist-madness.

The castle itself is truly astonishing and it is a pity that Ludwig II. could finish only one third of it before his sudden death. The walls and ceilings are all elaborately painted and the furniture in his personal chambers is so detailed. Looking at all this and considering the fact that everything was still in it's original state was even more amazing. My mother found it unbelieveable that someone would build something that extravagant just for himself.
However as beautiful as it is, there were a lot lot things I noticed along the way which might be helpful for those of you who want to come and visit Neuschwanstein. So, here is my advice on visiting Neuschwanstein:

1. Being "too early" is impossible:
Something I would recommend everyone to do is to make a reservation for your tour. We arrived at the ticket center before 8 o'clock in the morning without a reservation and had to wait a bit longer than half an hour. Shortly after 8 o'clock place was already overflowing with people.
So, be extra early and make a reservation (you will stand in a special, shorter queue). If you arrive that early you will also be able to get a parking space which are very rare.
Some people park at the side of the road, but you might get a parking violation ticket for doing that. 
2. Do the extra-walking:
You will be given the possiblity to take a carriage-ride or the bus to get up to the castle, but honestly? I don't think it's worth it. You will most likely have to wait a long time, so in the end it might not be that much faster. Furthermore you will miss out on the beautiful nature.
3. On expectations:
While the castle is really gorgeous, I have to admit, that you are not given a lot of time to appreciate it. A new tour starts every 5 minutes which leads to the fact that you are being rushed from one room to the next. If you already know a lot about Ludwig and his castles, you should stay at the end of your group. Otherwise you will only see people and nothing of the rooms.
There is also the possibility that the next group already enters the room before you are done looking around. 

4. Keep up the fun:
I'm not gonna lie, visiting Neuschwanstein castle is stressful especially if you come from far away just to see it, but please, never forget that this is also supposed to be fun and with careful preparation you will be able to enjoy it. After visiting the castle you can sit down for a drink, maybe take a walk to the Alpsee and get some rest. Afterwards you can visit the castle of Hohenschwangau or the museum. Both of them are worth seeing, too and less overcrowded.

 If Ludwig II. knew what people made of his precious castle, I'm pretty damn sure he would either kill himself (again) or blow it up himself. He never wanted it to be a tourist attraction. It was supposed to be his personal refugee, but now things are different and I think we should appreciate Neuschwanstein castle not only as a masterpiece of architecture
or fairytale castle, but also as the dream of a man who never wanted to be in the spotlight the way he is today.

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