Munich and Neuschwanstein

Day 13, 14 and 15

It took us just under 2 hours to drive from Salzburg to Munich, where we checked back into the same Ibis at Feldkirchen, where we stayed when we first arrived into Munich.

We decided to have a lazy night, a bit tired from all our journeys and with another big day ahead of us the next day, we decided to pop to a near by shopping mall for a mooch and grabbed some food for dinner there.

In the morning we awoke very early to drive 2 hours down to Neuschwanstein Castle, which is located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen. We paid €6 to park the car, then joined a small queue to pay €12 each entrance fee. It was suggested the walk up to the castle would take 15 minutes (or horse and carts were available at an extra fee), 25 minutes later we reached the castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace . The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds.The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer. We had unintentionally turned up in time for the very first tour of the day, which was great because the crowds were small and the area peaceful. The guided tour (the only way to see inside the castle) took 35 minutes, it was stunning inside and out, cameras are forbidden inside the castle, but if you google it you will see what I am talking about.

The palace has appeared prominently in several movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Great Escape and serves as the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle!!

We took a walk around the grounds and captured some amazing scenes of the village below us, we had seen on the map there was a bridge, but the area was under construction and boarded over, we seen others climb over the railings, and not wanting to be defeated we jumped too! The bridge- high over the hills and with a running stream below us provided us with an enchanting view of the castle. We took the drone up and caught the amazing building. (Catching the drone was not fun however, I had to catch it whilst standing on the thin swaying bridge, Eeek!)

Walked back down, in time to see hoards of tourists climbing up, glad we arrived early- its always the best way! We jumped back in the car and drove straight to McDonalds, the 'monopoly' stickers were in play, and everything we bought we won something else- a muffin, a drink, then another burger, then an ice-cream, it was fun!

The drive to and from Neuschwanstein was lovely sweeping hills and deserted roads, upon arriving back at our hotel in Munich we got ready to head into the city, again by train, taking only 20 minutes from Feldkircken to Marienplatz for only a few € return. The centre has became so much busier in the last few weeks, with the Christmas markets all in full swing and many more tourists. We struggled to find somewhere to eat dinner as everywhere had queues or were only taking bookings, so we found HB Brauhaus and happily waited on a table, drinking their own brewed beer at the bar whilst waiting. We hadn't ever been to a Brauhaus before and were a bit out of our comfort zone when we were finally seated, it was at a big long wooden table which we were to share with another group of diners. The place was in full swing and such a great atmosphere, FC Bayern (Munich's local team) were playing tonight and the TVs were all broadcasting the game, which also made the place feel special. We both tried local Bavarian food and beer and had a good time. Later we wandered around then took the train back to the conveniently located hotel.

The next morning was our day to leave our European trip, we stopped off at the Allianz Arena to try get some drone shots, but as luck would have it, there was a football match happening so it was busy and we couldn't park, but Shan was happy enough to see it from the outside. It was a 40 minute drive to the airport, we fuelled up, then took the hire car back, the car which we had booked through Hertz cost us £400 all in for the hire (excluding fuel) then went to check in for our 2 hour flight back to Southampton then onwards to Guernsey.

We had a great trip away and ticked a lot of our lists, I studied German in secondary school so it was nice to finally use some of the language I had learned, as unbelievably it was my first time in Germany.

Until next time.....

#munich #germany #europe2016 #neuschwanstein

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