NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

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Castle8FROM MUNICH TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE BY TRAIN
Neuschwanstein Castle was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria in the nineteenth century as a retreat. Today, it is a popular tourist destination. Getting from Munich main train station HBF to the castle is easy. The train to Fuessen leaves every hours. However, there are a few direct trains, and several trains which need a changeover. I took a direct train in the morning; it takes about two hours to get to Fuessen. No seats are reserved, so try to be at the station a little in advance. The ticket costs 24 euros, and it includes the bus. As you arrive to the tiny train station, you actually see bus # 78. It shuttles back & forth about every hour, to deposit a busload of people going back by train, and to pick up those who had just arrived. This bus does not go direct to the castle, which served as inspiration for Walt Disney’s castle in “Cinderella”. In a few minutes, you arrive to the small picturesque village called Hohen Schwangau. It is more than picture pretty, you will wish to snap photos of every house you see! There is also another, yellow castle on your right as you follow the road, but you probably won’t have any energy left for that if you come for just one day.
A public toilet is right there at the tiny bus station. You have to pay 50 cents to go through the turnstile. If you don’t have change on you, you can either get it from a machine, or an attendant will help you. You can see the castle as you get out of the bus. However, it is very high up in the Alps. Now you have several options. If you did not book tickets online, you can stand in a long queue to get them, then go to another queue, either for a shuttle bus or for a horse-drawn carriage. If you booked tickets online, you stand in a shorter queue to get them, then go on to the shuttle. You can also walk along a serpentine road, which takes about one hours, depending on the weather, and on how fit you are. Lots of people do that. You will breathe in huge lungfuls of clear Alpine air and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to look around occasionally, as the castle tends to appear suddenly right behind you in all its glory. Once you climb up, you can do whatever you wish: walk around it, go to the observation points, and browse inside.
The walk back down is about twenty minutes. You can either enjoy a meal right there at the top in one of the cafes, of go down to the village. Once you descend, follow the sign which says Alpsee. It is a large and very beautiful lake. You can sit right there in a restaurant, relax and enjoy the view. Be sure to visit all the souvenir shops and compare the prices before you buy anything! The return bus leaves circa 40 minutes after hour (20 mins to) and brings you right back to the return train in a few minutes.

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