It started raining at about 4.30pm yesterday and was still going strong as we got going this morning. After being beaten away by the crowds on Thursday, we suspected that 8am on a very rainy Sunday morning would be a better time to go to the castles, and so it proved to be. Rather than a queue snaking out of the ticket office and right down the road, there were only three people in front of us and within minutes we were clutching tickets.
Both castles can only be entered as part of a guided tour, and we were allocated to Hohenschwangau first:
We then had an hour to pause for coffee and elevenses before we needed to make our way up to Neuschwanstein, which lies an (uphill) mile away:
The rain had stopped by then and, as it was gone 11am, the crowds were building heavily.
I wasn’t quite as impressed with the second tour, even though it’s clear that the two buildings are just as interesting as each other. The problem here was the size of the tour group (70+) causing a feeling of more time being spent waiting for everyone to group than there was in being addressed, and the crowded rooms meant there was no opportunity to move around to look at various features. Quite a contrast to our first tour, with just 20 or so people present and plenty of opportunity to peruse the features of each room.
Our visit wasn’t quite finished with the second tour. On our way out of the castle we spied a high bridge over a gorge:
so off we set to find it. By now it was approaching 1pm and this is the crowded state in which we found it:
Yikes! We did manage to squeeze on after a short wait, and it was clear why it was so popular, with excellent views back down to Neuschwanstein (the second photo above was taken from here) and of the waterfalls.
In my view, it was worth the second attempt on visiting these highly touristy honeypots, even if we did have to get an early start and brave the rain to do so. It was a good and interesting day which told us quite a bit about King Ludwig II of Bavaria; Wikipedia has since told us even more.
This may be the last post for this trip. Depending on the weather, we may take a walk up a hill tomorrow, but we certainly won’t have internet tomorrow to talk about it. If the weather is as bad as forecast, then we’ll likely skip the hill and start the long journey back towards England, stopping off at a few places en-route.