Despite the fact that I still have such an excessive number of places to write about from this summer’s trip, I have also neglected to share stories from a ton of places I visited last summer. I was scrolling through my old Instagram posts yesterday, as I like to do to reminisce, and came upon my pictures from a roadtrip to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.
This was one of the places I desperately wanted to visit after seeing an Instagram photo somewhere, but despite my desire I had never actually checked where it was. I knew Germany, but other than that I wasn’t sure. I had no plans to visit Germany last summer, but I had a few free days to fill up. Three of the guys I travelled Morocco with were German, living in Munich, and they invited me to stay. How could I say no?
When I asked what I should do nearby, they suggested a concentration camp (I went – cried), and then offhand mentioned that Neuschwanstein Castle wasn’t too far. I think I dramatically gasped, perhaps jumped around a bit, and was immediately overjoyed that I could visit the castle.
But the best was yet to come. If I had visited Munich the way I normally travel, I either would have had to see the castle on a tour or take a bus that took way too long. I still would have done it of course, but it would have been annoying.
This way, I got to spend a wonderful day with people who knew the country. Enjoying a German road trip with German music, the opportunity to practice all the German swear words I had learned, and even a beautiful picnic by a breathtaking lake I never would have discovered on my own. I love travelling on my own, wandering strange streets with no idea how to communicate or navigate – it’s a unique opportunity to really delve into a place. But in my experience, staying with locals is amazing in a completely different way. I’ve crashed on people’s couches in London, Paris, Munich, Dar es Salaam, etc…the insight into how people actually live is so valuable and I can ask all my annoying cultural and linguistic questions to people who actually invited me into their homes, rather than pestering waiters, baristas, and random people on the street like I usually do.
But anyway. Back to the castle before I get all emotional about how much I love travelling and subject you to yet another rant. I love castles because I am a five year old girl at heart. And Neuschwanstein Castle, despite not being old and historic (it was only built in the late 1800’s!), was the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty, so my deep and abiding love for Disney meant I had to go there.
It was everything I had hoped. We didn’t pay to go inside the castle, because it cost 12 Euros and all the Germans I was with had already been. All I really wanted was the iconic view from Marienbrucke (Mary’s Bridge) – and that’s free! Wandering the grounds is totally public which is the coolest thing ever. I have read that the bridge is currently closed for repair, which is a terrible shame, but I believe there are other viewpoints you could research.
Mary’s Bridge was pretty crowded, but I managed to make room to have myself a photoshoot. #priorities. The view of the castle, the countryside, and the waterfall you see along the walk up were just amazing. I’ve never felt like fairytales were so real.
Writing this made me realize how much I want to go back to Bavaria…mostly for castles. But also for history, practicing my German..no, it’s just castles. If you are ever in this part of the world, make sure you visit Neuschwanstein!