The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Two Castles Day … or Not

That was a very pleasing day which didn’t go at all according to plan! The plan had been to do the touristy thing of visiting one of the two castles at Hohenschwangau, but it turned out that 11am was far too late to arrive (a fact we should have known from the evidence we saw when we drove past before 9am yesterday morning). Neither of us fancied queuing an hour for tickets, particularly with the unknown as to whether we would then have to wait even longer for the next available tour.

Instead, as Mick satisfied his craving for a Bratwurst, I got out the map and outlined the alternative plan of throwing a circuit of the lake of Alpsee into our walk back to Füssen.

The lake is very pretty, and once three minutes away from the castles, the path not too crowded, which was good for us, but a shame that the vast majority of visitors who miss the good views of the castles, which can’t be seen from close-up. The best views are seen from on the water, and see them we did, when we impulsively hired a pedalo for half an hour. My first time ever in a pedalo, and I adjudged it to be good fun.


Back on dry land, we enjoyed a similar (but more distant) view as we lunched* at the far end of the water.

We didn’t quite finish a complete circuit, as we peeled away from the lake just before getting back to busier parts, to head over to the smaller lake of Schwansee.

With the sky having clouded over, and with it feeling like the forecast thunder may happen, once past Schwansee we hurried up the pimple, over which lay Füssen, having come to realise that neither of us had closed Colin’s skylight. As it turned out, the hurry was unnecessary. The sky later cleared again, and as I type this at 8pm, not a drop of rain has yet fallen.

Arriving back in Füssen I tried yet again to take a photo of the river which would capture its startling green colour. The result was better than the previous attempts, but still not truly representative:


The walk back out of Füssen to where Colin is currently residing was a walk adjacent to the road – a fact that I only noticed when we were half way back; I had intended us to take the slightly longer but more scenic route. Even the road is not an unpleasant walk though, and we were soon back at our start point having covered a total of 12.25 miles (including the pedalo tour – I forgot to stop the Garmin Gadget for that – but at least it was self-powered) with a very modest 500’ or so of ascent.


The route of the pedalo tour!

(*Talking of lunch: I bought a new (and rather large) block of cheese yesterday. It looked so ordinary, sitting in its wrapper, and being sold in such big blocks I took it to be a popular local choice. When I opened the wrapper, as I made sandwiches this morning, I was hit by an intense and very unpleasant smell of week-old socks (and I say that as one who loves Stilton). The smell when Mick opened his bag at lunchtime was equally pungent. Unfortunately, it tastes just as it smells, and more unfortunately I’m not sure I can bring myself to write off such a large lump of cheese. Maybe I’ll have come to appreciate its flavour by the time it’s gone?)


  1. Oh my! Who was steering? Chuckle.

    We have some 'pungent' European cheeses in the cabinet. I dread anyone asking for them, it's hard not to visibly recoil as they are unwrapped...

  2. My excuse for the steering is that I was too busy looking at the surroundings to keep an eye on where we were going!