Europe Day 5 (Munich): Neuschwanstein Castle

Today was a new day and I woke up all excited – we’re going to the castle! This is the very castle Disney took inspiration from for Sleeping Beauty and the iconic Disney logo. From the city, the castle is about one and a half hour drive away. Despite being excited, we only started the trip late at noon because we really took our time.

Because we started the trip at about 12pm, then we still had lunch, we reached the castle at around 2pm. And little did we know that there are actually 2 castles in the area, another one being Hohenschwangau Castle.

We walked to the ticket counter and found out that the last castle tour is at 4pm. They actually offered a two-castle tour package for a cheaper price but sadly we did not have the time to tour both. We chose the Neuschwanstein only. The ticket was EUR13 for adults. The tour takes place in about every 15 minutes and it took about 30 minutes to walk up to the hill on to the castle. There was also a horse carriage to take us up there which cost EUR6 per person. With the carriage, it took about 15 minutes to get to the castle. One carriage can take 10 adults with only one huge stallion pulling. This kind of horse is nowhere to be seen in my hometown, we have pony-like horses instead, so seeing this majestic being brought awe to my eyes.

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On our way to the castle, we could feel the chill blowing on our face and the freeze creeping into our palms. I don’t think this uphill walk is suitable for the elderly who are not used to cold winter temperature.

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Once we reached the castle premise, we were required to wait until our tour time came. We were given the group number and a barcode to scan in the entrance. Unless it was really our time for the tour, we could not go inside the castle. We tried.

When our tour time finally showed on the big screen, we lined up to the barcode scanner and got inside. The entrance of the castle was guarded by tall big guards wearing uniforms. Inside, we were greeted by a very friendly young lady and we were handed an earpiece connected wirelessly to her speaker. Our tour group had about 15 people altogether. The tour guide introduced herself and she spoke English well.

We toured around the castle while the tour guide explained to us what each room was about and the little features it had. For example, the King’s bedroom had mural paintings of one of his favorite operas; the scene of Tristan and Isolde. Other rooms of the castle also had different scenes from operas or medieval legends that he liked. More detailed information about this can be found in this link.

The tour guide continued with the heating system established to keep the King’s bedroom warm. They, too, had the first generation of phone. The castle logo and its name was based on the King’s favorite animal – swan.

After the tour, we were headed to the souvenirs shop and Jacky and I got ourselves a magnet with the castle image on it. We’re trying to collect magnets from cities that we visited. Sometimes it’s quite hard to find one which has the city’s name on it. The magnets have to look good too!

After the tour, we walked back to the “downtown” area by walking – there was no more horse chariot. The winter breeze really got its way to our gloved hands. At the end of the road, Jacky and I sled down the snow and got our pants wet (from the snow!). We walked back to our car and Googled the nearest restaurant that still opened.

We found this place that served as a hotel and a restaurant. The building looked traditional and the roof was covered in snow. We got in and were greeted by a big waiter in his forties with a big smile. He showed us to a table and we ordered steaks and beer. The food was absolutely delicious (not only because we were starving). The beer was awesome too and stronger than usual can beer.

We continued our way that night and back to the city Munich.

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