“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
As we waved goodbye to the Italian alps and headed north towards Germany, one thing became very clear: We had one of the most skilled bus drivers in all of Europe. The way he wheeled that bus around the narrow hairpin turns with traffic coming the opposite direction was seriously impressive.
Füssen at a Glance:
Location: Southern Germany
What It's Known For:
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles
Before arriving in Füssen, our bus stopped at the German-Austrian border, so that we could take a gondola ride up to the top of Germany's highest peak (the Zugspitze).
The views from the peak make the surrounding mountains seem small!
(Below) Alpinists at the true peak, who didn't cheat by taking the gondola up!
On To Füssen:
The town of Füssen is full of charm, offering many places to eat and shop. With bike shops and the local bus station just around the corner from our hotel, transportation was never an issue.
A traditional German meal (sausage, potatoes, and kraut)
really hit the spot for dinner that evening.
Day Trip to the King's Castles:
Having purchased tickets in advance to tour the two King's castles, just outside of Füssen, my first task the next morning was to catch an early bus. Upon arrival, I secured my tour times and then took a walk around the lake. Few clouds and low winds made for nice reflections on the water.
My first tour was of the Hohenschwangau Castle. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but man was it impressive. King Ludwig II of Bavaria grew up in this castle and watched as his dream castle, the Neuschwanstein Castle up on the hill, was being built. The most impressive part in my opinion was seeing the gifts that were handcrafted and brought to the king. As someone who enjoys manufacturing and creating things, I was extremely impressed by the craftsmanship.
After eating a quick lunch, I found the trail which leads up to Mary's Bridge. From this viewpoint, I was able to snap these amazing shots of the Neuschwanstein Castle. This left just enough time to make it back to the entrance of the castle, for my second tour of the day. This castle was also extremely impressive, however the inside was never fully finished due to the king's death, just six months after he finally moved in.
No shortage of views here - King Ludwig II certainly picked a good location.
This was an incredible day from top to bottom.