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Fussen - Mad Ludwig's Residential Address

After our early morning arrival in Munich we were greeted by my friend Kimmo from Finland. We were very fortunate to be able to stay at Kimmo’s apartment which happened to be five minutes from the station and 100m from the entrance to Oktoberfest. What a dream place to stay. After arriving we went out onto his balcony to look at the sunrise over the Oktoberfest site and to see the place come alive for another day of partying. It was amazing to see the cleaners clearing the debris from the night before and the workers assembling for another 15 hour day of providing beer, food, souviners and rides to people who just wanted to party.

After a quick breakfast we began our journey to Fussen which is 100km south of Munich at the end of the Romantic Road. Of course a pit stop via a McDonalds for our first bacon and egg mcmuffin in a long time was necessary. Luckily for Lisa and I, we had the services of our driver and guide Kimmo and his BMW. What a way to travel.

We arrived around 10am to find the place littered with cars and tourists assembling to view King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle at Disneyland. It was built between 1869 to 1886 but the original construction work had to be discontinued because of the king’s early death. It was modelled on the castle in Wartburg in Thuringia with its turrets and mock medievalism. With the Alps towering above and the beautiful Alpsee Lake situated behind it, this is one fairy tale castle.

Unfortunately we witnessed this gorgeous castle with the onset of rain that was to envelope our whole weekend in Munich. We picked up our tickets and made our way up what I thought was a never ending hill to the castle entrance. Unfortunately I was not dressed for the occasion in my boots and not prepared for walking up and down hills and tracks.

Upon reaching the entrance we realised that we would not be permitted entry for another hour so we made our way back down the hill and up another one to the Marienbruecke or Mary’s Bridge that overlooked the castle from the side. The picture on the left is the view we had but of course taken on a sunny day. The rickety bridge with its sheer drop to rocks below and the 45m waterfall that greets visitors from the opposite side is enough to send many sane people scurrying back to the safety of solid land.

With the rain really coming down we made our way back to the castle to await our tour. At the designated time, we were permitted into the castle to view a small selection of rooms. The most beautiful of the rooms was the Throne Room. An interesting fact was that the most important object in the room, the throne,is missing.

After completing the tour we went back to the car to drive back to Munich. The road was a beautiful drive along green pastures and cute German villages that really took our breath away. Such a pleasant change to the normal scenery I see in northern Italy.


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