IN MEMORY of our beautiful sister, LAUREL SCHULZ (24/8/47 – 19/7/16) who inspired us with her love of Bavaria. 

A very pleasant day trip on the train from Salzburg to Munich.  We stayed at a new hotel (name TBA) near the railway station – we just walked across (10 min).  There’s a lovely bar and restaurant at this hotel but over our 4 night stay we mostly dined at local restaurants as well as some of the traditional beer houses.  
Our day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian countryside was a highlight.  We walked up the hill through the forest, past a beautiful stream until we arrived at the castle on the hilltop – it was a leisurely one hour walk.  Those with a reasonable level of fitness would find the walk easy;  if you’ve been a bit more sedentary in recent years (like me after spinal surgery) it’s still worth doing as we found the walk invigorating – just take walking poles as the track gets a bit rough in parts.   It was built for King Ludwig II (1869 – 1886)  and has a very scenic mountain backdrop and vistas (see photo).  King Ludwig’s plan was for it to “embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle” – it certainly does that.  The rather sad story that you can hear on a tour of the castle raises questions that have never been answered but give the castle an air of mystery.  We were lucky enough to have a short impromptu performance in the concert hall (more like a large room) by a few people from a choir – they had just been walking through like us and wanted to test the acoustics…just beautiful!  Apparently King Ludwig had a passion for music. 

It’s probably quite possible to do this walk & visit independently but we did see some people turned away at the castle entry as they hadn’t reserved their tickets.  If the walk up is too difficult it is possible to drive up although parking looked very limited for private vehicles.  Our tour guide did organise for our small group van driver to give 1 elderly woman in our group a lift up to the castle.  We met up with her at the castle entry.  Another way to travel up and down the mountain is via horse & carriage as in photo below.  We took this photo on our walk back down the road.