Although it has been a while since I last updated on my year abroad, I thought you would like to hear about one of the best experiences I have had so far! If you haven’t already guessed by the title of this post, I went with 8 friends to Schwangau to see the two famous and beautiful castles that were located there. The first was Neuschwanstein and the second was Hohenschwangau. The experience was absolutely amazing and we managed to see so much while there too.
The early start
So to begin this adventure we had to travel 4 and a half hours from Regensburg all the way to Neuschwanstein by train. One of my friends Charlotte coordinated the trip with the times and told us that in order to make a day of it we had to be at the station by 6am. In other words get to the train station by the crack of dawn and sleep on the train. The journey had 3 changes in total hence the long time to arrive there and the morning was bitter and cold due to the abundance of snow we had had the night before.
After we arrived at the location we queued for a good 30 minutes in order to get tickets to go and see the inside of the castles. However we only managed to get to see one interior (supposedly the better one) but were still able to go up and see both the castles from the outside. After securing these tickets we then went for lunch as we were all starving (no one had time for breakfast) before setting out the rest of the day.
Hohenschwangau Castle – The castle with the pretty interior
The first castle as the lower of the two and offered some of the best pictures we had taken that day. The climb up to it was very gradual and offered some of the most amazing views I had ever seen. Half way up there was a chance to take some photos at a camera stop which also acted as a well deserved break from the climb. Here is where I took these pictures.
From this point onward we made it up and waited about 20 minutes until it was our slot for the tour. I do not have any pictures from the inside of this castle as I believe we were not allowed to take any but I was as impressed with the interior as I was the exterior. We then visited the shop where I managed to pick up some coins to remind myself of the journey. After this we made our way back down the hill to start the climb to the next castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle – The castle with the better exterior
For me this part of the journey was both amazing and exhausting as the hill to the castle was horrendous. At this point in the afternoon the snow had picked up again. This made the views walking up to the second castle better than before. Luckily for me there were many view points where I could stop. This meant that I could take a breather from the harsh air. The best parts of this walk were the horse drawn carriages. In the snow it reminded me of a Charles Dickens book. Unfortunately I hadn’t taken a picture of them but I can guarantee you it was beautiful.
When we finally got to the top we were very high up. I was taken back by the astonishing views. From this height they may have even been better than before. We stayed here for about 30 minutes taking in our surroundings. Then we moved along a path that we thought was open to the public. We didn’t know we couldn’t go along it until we found signs down the track telling us to turn back. As well as this many other groups of people went along it as if it was open. Despite this, this is where we found the best spot to take this picture (credit to Ian’s photography skills). I believe this added to the entire journey making the day even better.
We then managed to get back on the right path back to the small village below the two castles. From here we made our way home. All in all I can honestly say that this trip will be forever ingrained in my mind. Oh wait I forgot to mention there is another 4 and a half hour train ride home. Not fun whatsoever but completely worth every second.