From Vienna, Austria
May 30, 2018
SKIPPING NEUSCHWANSTEIN IN FAVOR OF LINDERHOF CASTLE
A whirlwind tour of Bavarian castles – 18.5 hours on the road in two days
I really was all se and ready to go this morning on a tour of the two German castles built by the Bavarian King Ludwig II in the 19th century. In fact, I skipped breakfast and was at the Hohenschwangau ticket office for the Neuschwanstein castle tour before 8 AM. These are some of the early morning scenes I saw along the way.
And this is the scene at the ticket office before 8 AM:
Alas, I was not alone, as you can see from the picture of the snaking queue which resembled TSA lines at major US airports. I waited in the line for about 5 minutes. It moved very slowly with only two ticket counters open (the third one only served people with pre-reserved tickets).
“This is nuts,” I said to myself. “What am I doing here – lining up with hoards of people only to be crowded into another bus and taken to a man-made castle like those in Disneylands around the world?”
That’s not me, I summed it up. I would much rather spend this time in nature, driving through the beautiful Alpine countryside on this sparkling sunny morning.
So I stepped out of the line and, after taking some photos of the two castles, I went back to my hotel where I had a kingly breakfast. After that, I decided to drive to Linderhof, the castle which was the real home of King Ludwig II for the last 8 years of his short and turbulent life. To learn more about his life, check out also this 1973 Italian film, and this Warner Bros. 2012 German movie trailer.
The drive from Schwangau, where I was spending the night, and Linderhof castle was the best part of the day. Beautiful, pastoral Alpine scenes, some with lake, were strewn along the road like artistic pearls. Take a look, starting with some interesting sight at Fussen, the town that’s close to both of the Ludwig Schwangau castles.
This is where Ludwig spent the last 8 years of his life, before dying at only 41, many believed by a conspiracy of the powerful Bavarian politicians who had him murdered.
Over the last two days, I have spent a total of over 18.5 hours on the road. Guess that would qualify for a whirlwind tour of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest and King Ludwig’s castles. And yes, I was getting tired by the end of it.
In fact, about half way on my today’s drive from Salzburg to Vienna, I had to pull over at a gas station and take about a 15-20 minute sitting power nap. When I arrived in Vienna around 6:30 PM, however, I felt as good as new.