Monday, November 1, 2010

Hohenschwangau Castle & Neuschwanstein Castle

I’m not going to write a ton about this place like I did last time we visited.  The history and story of our previous trip (click here) gives some more in-detail explanations. 
We did this trip the same day we had visited the Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle (see previous post).  We got here kind of late so we missed the appointment handouts to see both. These two castles are only down the hill from each other, and possible to view on the same day, as long as you get there in time to put your name in for an appointment. Depending on the size of the crowd (which surprisingly was quite large for November), it could be a few hours’ wait.  For us, the last tour was already going.  So we had to choose between the two.  Unfortunately we were only able to see the first one, and walk to the outside of the second.
The first castle “Hohenschwangau” was King Ludwig’s childhood castle.  I hadn’t visited this one when we came before so it was cool to be able to do it this time.
It was a pretty hefty walk up to get there.  We had to stop and rest once or twice.  Remember, too, we had just come from his other castle (Lindherhof) so we were all starting off a little tired anyway.
There are stories that King Ludwig was a very miserable child here and that’s why he built his other castle up on the beautiful mountain, to be “closer to the heavens” than where his miserable childhood was.  I never grasped why he would have been so miserable until I went inside.  It was very dreary and unfeeling.  I can’t think of the right “era” to term it.  The inside has the feeling of the time of the Crusades.  Very odd.  Not very much gold (that I noticed), but lots of brass (not my favorite).
As  you can see, however, the grounds around it were beautiful, especially because the bright fall leaves were surrounding the entire thing.
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Random picture of Brian and Spencer but he had just carried Spencer up the entire thing (all steps) on Brian’s shoulders.  I wanted to capture this feat for posterity, and to remind ourselves how much of a climb it is for next time.
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No photoshop on the color of these leaves. They were really that bright.
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Like many castles, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside.  But this part was in another building where the gift shop, which used to serve as the servants’ quarters.  It gave us a sneak peek inside what the kitchen would have looked like.  My dad thought it was pretty cool (of course cuz he’s a caterer) and it sparked some great conversation about how it would have been to live back in that time.
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Cute picture of Xoe.  I don’t know where Xanthe is though.  I need to find a picture of her.Hohenschwangau 001
There she is.  I wasn’t sure if this was a redundant picture, but we gotta get everyone in this post, right?Hohenschwangau 030
My dad caught this picture of us four at nighttime (well, right at dusk) of Hohenschwangau behind us.  He titled it, “The Queen and Her Princesses.” It’s not a super great quality when blown up like this, but you can see how pretty they light the castle up at nighttime.
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Neuschwanstein Castle
This castle was way too hard to walk up and down the stairs to take a tour.  That’s why we decided if we had to choose between the two, we toured the inside of Hohenschwangau and took the horse carriage up to walk around the outside of this one.  My  mom loved it and thought it was worth the trek up there (once the horse drops you off, you still have to walk a ways.) 
I’ll be honest.  The inside of this castle, even though the most famous, and one of the most memorable castles anywhere (Disney patterned Sleeping Beauty’s castle after this one), didn’t do it for me.  It’s not as amazing as most of the other ones I’ve seen. Only 1/3 of it was finished and it probably never will be finished.  I don’t think my parents missed out on anything.
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Afterward, we had missed the last horse and carriage (the man was so rude to us and pretty much threw us out of his carriage up at the top.  And even though he told us he would wait for us, he took off the minute we were off), we had to walk down the hill.  It’s a pretty good hike, and I was worried about my mom and dad’s health but they did pretty well. Xanthe was the most complainy of all of them!  And my dad even carried her part way down on his back.  He’s amazing!

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