Neuschwanstein Castle

On June 19, 2010, we had a very early start.  We packed up our bags and checked out of the hotel.

We got the tram to Euro Youth Hostel.  We were going to take a tour to Neuschwanstein Castle with Mike’s Bike Tours.  We were going to bring our backpacks with us on the bus and after the tour we’d go to our hotel.

We boarded the bus along with a few people.  The bus picked up more people at Mike’s Bike Tours office.  Our group consisted of 43 people and 1 monkey.  We watched a video of our guide Brad.  He’s a magician.  We’d be meeting him later on.

We drove to Schwangau.  Brad hopped on the bus and talked to the group.

The group grabbed bikes for our bike tour.  Brad gave us disposable ponchos to wear since it was raining.  We biked to Swan Lake.

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It’s a beautiful lake.  Three guys decided to jump in the cold lake.  I can’t believe anybody would want to swim when it’s cold and rainy outside.

It started raining even harder.  Brad asked if we wanted to bike around the lake to get a good view of Nueschwanstein Castle and Swan Lake or bike back.  Most people wanted to ride around the lake.  Ivan and I just wanted to go back.  Lil Dave was lucky to be hidden in my jacket, so he didn’t mind either way.

We biked around the lake. The view would have been nice if it wasn’t raining.  Our group headed back.  I was towards the back of the group.  At the end, you have to go up a hill to get back.  I was struggling since I was so tired.  Ivan came back to help me.  He walked my bike back to the shed.

We went to the restaurant.  Ivan and I each had spaghetti with tomato sauce.  Lil Dave and spaghetti with tomato sauce and bananas.  The spaghetti was good, but I wish it was a bigger portion.  Ivan and I each had a nice apple strudel.

The group would have gone on the Alpine Slide, but it was closed due to the weather.

Brad Daynes, our guide, said he’d do a longer close-up magic show.  He did a few magic tricks during an hour show.  Everybody seemed amazed.  Brad is a great performer.  He has a nice smile.  Ivan knew how to do all the tricks Brad did.

We drove towards the Nueschwanstein Castle.  There were two options: either you could walk up with Brad on a 45 minute hike or take a bus most of the way there.  It was still raining, so we didn’t want to hike.  I don’t really like long hikes especially going uphill.  Plus, I don’t think it would be fun in the rain.  I felt weak most of the day.  I think it was lack of food.  I’m used to eating a lot more – plus we were biking and walking so much.

The bus took us to the path to the bridge.  The bridge didn’t seem safe.  It did have a beautiful view of the castle.

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It was foggy, so it made the castle look spooky.  I wish we had a sunny day with a clear shot of the castle.

We walked to the castle which took 15 minutes.  We waited for Brad to give us our tickets.  We got our tickets right before 4:25 pm.

We took the tour with a guide from the castle.  No outside guides can give a private tour in the castle.  Our guide was a young man with a strong accent.  It was hard to understand him since it was echo-y and because of his accent.  You’re not supposed to take pictures.  Ivan thinks it’s because they want you to buy their postcards.  Ivan took pictures without the flash anyway.  An arrogant American guy kept getting mad at Ivan for taking pictures.  He said Why don’t you just buy a postcard.  I overheard him telling his friend that the UV light would harm the paintings.  He told Ivan Mr. Special just keeps taking pictures.  He was just a guy who thinks he knows it all who wants to control everything.  What an idiot!

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It was beautiful inside.  Neuschwanstein Castle was built by Ludwig II.  We learned about his mysterious death.  The doctors wanted to declare him insane – so then they could take him away and he wouldn’t be King anymore.  He was found dead with his doctor in a pool of water that was only 8 inches deep.  Many think that he was shot from behind.

The tour was a bit rushed.  It makes sense since so many people come visit the castle. It just would have been nice to explore it longer.  It’s a wonderful castle.  Nueschwanstein Castle is what Walt Disney based the castle that’s used at as the logo in the films and the castle at Disneyland/Disney World.

We walked down the castle in 15 minutes.  We met Brad and the group.  Then, the group walked down to the bus.  We said goodbye to Brad.

We were really knackered and slept on the bus.  We arrived back in Munich at 7:30 pm.

We walked back to the new hotel.  We checked in to Hotel Eurostars Grand Central.  It’s a great hotel.  The spacious room is very cool and modern.

We were so tired and it was getting lake.  So, we decided to order room service. Ivan and I shared the grilled fowl breast and grilled hake.  The grilled fowl breast was delicious.  Lil Dave got a fried banana.  The room service prices are very reasonable.

We took the tram towards Hofbrauhaus.  The first floor was so crowded and it was really noisy.  Ivan asked if there was a second floor.  We went to the second floor and sat down.  It was a lot quieter there.  Lil Dave ordered a banana juice.  Ivan and I each had a glass of Riesling.  The Riesling was dry and wasn’t very sweet.  Two men started playing music, one with a guitar and the other with an accordion.  I thought we should try another white wine.  I saw that Frankischer Hauswei was sweet.  We ordered two of those wines.  It was a lot sweeter and tastier than the Riesling.

We went downstairs.  The band was playing music.  It was still crowded.  We found seats.  Ivan wanted a pretzel.  He walked around trying to find the lady who sells pretzels.  The pretzels are huge, but expensive at €3.50.

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We were enjoying the band, drinking our wine and eating our big pretzel.  Most of the people were drunk and pounding on the tables.

It was closing time at 11:30 pm.  I couldn’t believe that it closes so early on the weekend.  Ivan thought that if they closed a few hours later that the tourists would be really drunk and might create chaos.

We headed back to the hotel.

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