Overslept. On the agenda today was Fussen, home of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle – built for Ludwig II, but better known as ‘that castle that inspired Disney’s Sleeping beauty castle’.
We practically went straight from hotel to Munich central station to get aboard the train to Fussen, the ride would take 2 hours and send us far southwest of Munich, down towards the border near where Germany meets Austria. We also met a rather confused american on the train by name of Jared, who had evidently done minimal research on how to get to the castle, seemed a nice guy though.
Eventually we reached Fussen, and kind of guessed our way towards the castle, basically jumping on the first bus we saw that had castle in the description, it paid off though, and we were whisked 10 minutes through the town and dropped outside the tourist information center near the ticket office for the castles.
There are normally 3 options for getting to the castle, a 25-40 minute uphill mile trek, horse carriage, or a bus – however due to ice, we were basically left with only one option – the long walk up.
The walk was worth it however, we got to see Hohenschwangau Castle as well from afar, high upon a different hill, and then towards the end of the long trek, we got up and close to the main event for the day.
Neuschwanstein castle was as gigantic as it was picturesque, and was practically an exaggeration of what one would deem a fairytale style castle. After taking pictures of the outside of the castle, we headed inside for our guided tour, the tour itself was fairly quick and in a large tour group, but still impressive as we walked our way through the castles excessively glamorous interiors. No photography allowed unfortunately, but I can say that everything inside was just… excessive – intricately carved statues coming off everything, from support beams to bed poles, all walls painted with impressive murals, there was a hall which was (back in it’s time) lit by approximately 600 candles.
After our short tour, we headed back down to the town to catch the long train back, the plan being to head back to munich for some final christmas market shopping and a nice meal at a traditional style restaurant we had found the day before. There were trains going back to Munich at around 4:06, 4:20, 4:34 and 6:05…. we of course arrived at the station at 4:45…
So it was back to the town for a little walk around before the train came, the main shopping road was very festively decorated, with big tree and some form of castle as a backdrop to the already nicely lit street. Didn’t think i’d be able to last until Munich without eating, so I ended up having a kebab while waiting, the place affectionately describing themselves as the best kebab in Fussen when in reality the town was so damn small they were probably the only fast food in Fussen.
Train eventually came and we rode back to civilization, in time to catch the end of the christmas market (they close at around 8:45), bought some stollen for the family back home and window shopped a bit before deciding to head to the restaurant, I was pretty okay with just eating more street food for dinner, but being our last night out we thought we should have a nice sit-down meal to finish the holiday.
The restaurant was full. Oh. We rushed back to the christmas market to go for plan B – some sausages from the multitude of stalls that were selling them, however in the 5 minutes we were in the alley looking at the menu and being rejected from the restaurant apparently every single christmas market stall had decided to close up. Slightly upset, we kind of just wandered around the backstreets trying to find somewhere else we could maybe eat, when eventually by luck we found a place called ‘Ratskeller’, which offered a selection of sausages, along with blackforest cake, both of which I was pretty okay with eating.
The restaurant itself was underground, yet had a hearty and homely vibe, we gorged ourselves on their variety plate of sausages, which included nuremberg bratwurst, Munich wollwurst (skinless veal sausage), beef smoked beer knackbratwurst and schnapps bratwurst, and came on a bed of mash and sauerkraut (not keen on the sauerkraut) before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our departure on the next day (added some pictures taken on the flight back, because I could)
My first trip to Germany has been a memorable one, I’ll be back again sometime, if only for the sausage.