Bavarian Castles & Fairytale Forests

Today, I’m going to finish up my travel log of Germany with the castles of Hohenschwangau and the ultra-famous Neuschwanstein, which boasts inspiring Walt Disney to come up with the idea for Cinderella’s Castle.

Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein are almost right next to each other in the same town. However, Neuschwanstein is disproportionately more famous than its yellow ancestor and most people actually skip seeing Hohenschwangau all together. We met a bartender in Munich who went on and on about how making the day trip to Neuschwanstein (2 hours or more by train/bus from Munich) was not worth the time and effort to see just a few interior rooms. And, I have to say, that’s true. If we had made the journey all the way to the Alps just for Neuschwanstein, we would have been sorely disappointed. Because the castle was never finished, the 30-minute tour only goes through a few chambers and gives a little history about the castle’s builder, “Mad” King Ludwig. The history is definitely interesting (Ludwig had weird obsessions with Grimm fairytales and Richard Wagner, went bankrupt from trying to build Neuschwanstein, was declared mentally insane at the request of his family and confined to their residence in Munich, then drowned with his phychiatrist under mysterious circumstances in one of the lakes on the palace grounds), but the tour is short and a little underwhelming. Yes, the castle is magnificent, but our trip was made worthwhile because we decided to see both castles.

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