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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Germany - 5 May, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Römerkessel (Gasthof Römerkessel) N47º57.434' E010º51.767' 639 meters .
Füssen . . . .
Hohenschwangau . . . .
Schloss Neuschwanstein . . .  
Füssen . . . .
Finish Hopfen am See (Josef Guggemos Bauernhof) N47º36.544' E010º40.150' 780 meters 109 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

415 km

Total (other):

455 km


870 km


Weather: Overcast and cool, with occasional drizzle.  In the afternoon, rain and cold.



We start off the day with breakfast in the Gasthof, pack up our stuff and we are on our way by 9AM.  We drive for about one and a half hours through the Bavarian Alps to Füssen.  The weather is still not cooperating - with occasional rain.  Once we get to Füssen, we visit the tourist information center to try and decide what to do.  We are not sure if we want to go and visit our goal here - the Schloss Neuschwanstein - in this weather.  After some uncertainty, we decide to stay and visit the famous Schloss.  First, however, we decide to find a place to stay.  We figure that the best place to stay would be one of the nearby farms, or Bauernhof.  We take the short drive to the nearby town of Hopfen-am-See and check-in to the Josef Guggemos Bauernhof for the night.  After dropping off our stuff, we head back to Hohenschwangau.


We take the narrow winding road up to the hillside town of Hohenschwangau, taking in the sight of the castle named after the town as we approach from the valley.  We head straight to the ticket office where we buy our tickets for the Schloss Neuschwanstein.  The rain is now falling steadily and we go and find a parking place that is near the mini-bus stop.  We get organised and find our small umbrellas and walk the short way to the bus stop.  Due to the rain and cold wind, we have decided to take the bus most of the way up the hill, and to walk just the short distance to the castle.  Due to the weather, the queue for the bus is long and we have to stand out in the rain and what for a couple of rounds.  We are a little concerned as our tour time is at a fixed time, so we need to get up there in time.  But we are soon able to get on the crowded bus and drive up the steep, winding road to the stop near the castle.


From the bus stop we have a short walk down a very steep path, getting our first glimpse of the castle, and make our way to the entrance to the castle.  We are soon standing in the packed covered entrance way waiting for our tour to start.  Everyone is doing their best to stay out of the wind and biting wind.  After about 10 minutes wait, our number is called and we make our way into the castle proper.  We are part of an English tour, but the vast majority of our group is a Korean group that has a guide that translates everything our guide says.  Quite interesting.


A bit of a background on this famous castle built in the sky.  It was built in 1869-86 for the, according to some, mad Bavarian King Ludwig II according to a design by the theater designer Christian Jank.  And this castle is built to be a living fairy tale.  It is designed and decorated according to themes from German myths and legends.  There is even an imitation cave.  The castle interior is still incomplete in many parts - the King was removed from power on the grounds that he was mad and died shortly thereafter in mysterious circumstances.


We take the full tour through the castle, visiting all the completed rooms.  And it really does seem like out of a fairy tale.  It is a shame that we are not allowed to take photos as we wander from one room to another.  Each room seemed to surpass the next in terms of grandeur and creativity.  It was only when we completed the tour and walked down to the shops on the uncompleted floor that we were brought back to reality.  After a cup of hot Gluhwein, we make our way back into the cold and drizzle and walk back up the steep path to the bus stop.  But before we catch the bus, we first make the short detour to the bridge built over the nearby deep gorge where we get to enjoy an amazing view of the castle.


This bridge was built by Ludwig II at the same time as the castle was built, affording an excellent view down into the valley with the castle in the foreground.  A word of warning - if you have vertigo - do not go out onto this bridge with its wrought iron railings and cracked wooden plank walkway.  Once we have soaked in as much of the view as we can in the cold and drizzle, we wander back to the bus stop and catch the next bus down to the village.  We just hoped that the brakes on the bus are regularly serviced as we wound our way down the steep, winding road.


Once back down at the village we take some photos of the castle hanging in the sky in the swirling clouds and then hop back in our car, turn on the heated seats, and drive back to Füssen.  Once in Füssen, we wander around the narrow streets of the old city.  We find a cafe where we retire for a short while for a hot drink and pastry.  Back on the streets, we check out the various shops and old buildings.  After spending over an hour on the brisk streets, we decide that it is time for a drin k and dinner.  We retire to a Stüberl and order a beer (for Lars) and a hot Gluhwein (for Jacqui) and some food for each of us.


After dinner, it is time to head back to the car and make our way out of Füssen to Hopfen-am-See and our Baurnhof where we will be spending the night.  We spend the rest of the evening relaxing and working on our journals.


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