11 September 2007
Fuessen and Schloss Neuschwanstein
Fuessen is one of the few places where our trip overlapped with Helen's. (See previous posts of Helen's bicycle trip.) We only spent one night there, really just one afternoon when you figure that we spent the whole morning on trains, the night in the hotel room, and left early the next morning. Helen only spent one night there, too. The big difference between our 24 hours in tourist-ville is that Mike and I slogged up to Schloss Neuschwanstein and it appears Helen and crew did not.
We were exhausted by the time we got to Fuessen. But we had specifically requested a night there so we could see the castle and we were going to see the castle, dammit. The bus schedule was confusing and it appeared that busses only leave hourly from town to the castle. (But they leave the castle and go back to town every 15 minutes or so.) So we got a taxi, and the driver's advising us not to eat at any of the sushi restaurants in town made the price worth it. (We were ready for some non-Bavarian cuisine for dinner and he overheard us talking about sushi.) He let us off in a dirty, crowded, touristy ticket booth area. We had pre-purchased tickets so didn't have to stand in that line. We decided to walk the rest of the way up the mountain. We couldn't find the right path. We were getting bickery. Then I looked up and saw the castle peeking out from behind some trees, and all I could say was "Wow." It really is a fairy tale castle.
Schloss Neuschwanstein is the castle that was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. I don't know which came first, Disney using the castle's image, or the Disney-fication of the castle grounds. It's all tourists in khaki shorts and fanny packs standing in line, then taking busses up to the castle, then standing in a holding area, then going through turnstyles, then another holding area. And then you get about 20 minutes of a tour you can't hear because so many other tour groups are walking through the castle making noise.
But there's something about an insane king and a beautiful view that made the whole experience very satisfying. (I won't regurgitate the history; it's all here at Wikipedia.)
Helen's postcards from Fuessen:
(Clicking on images will take you to the full sizes on flickr.)