Our second day in Munich was right out of a fairy tale! Kind of:) We had a plan to go out to the town of Fussen and the Neuschwenstein Castle, built by mad King Ludwig. It also is the template for Sleeping Beauty's castle. It was exciting to head out on the train about an hour outside Munich. We started the day, aware that the clouds above us threatened rain. So we headed out and sure enough, rain was what we got:) But that didn't stop us from enjoying the sights.
Our first stop, some of the little shops on the way up the hill to King Ludwig's parents "house." We stopped in a Christmas shop, everything was carved, created, stuffed or sewed there in Bavaria. Pretty cool. We of course all had to purchase something:) Next stop, Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig's childhood "house." Or castle if you want to call it that.
It was interesting to hear about the family that lived there. The 2 son, Ludwig and his brother grew up there. The brother of Ludwig, was declared insane. So it's not too hard to believe that Ludwig himself was crazy.
When he got older and took over the kingdom in the mid 1800s, he started in on a building frenzy, building multiple castles, spending the money, which is what led him to be deposed and declared crazy. But he created beautiful buildings and put them in beautiful settings!We toured the castle and then hiked up the 1 mile trail to the main attraction, Neuschwanstein.
It was at this point that it really started raining. We got to the top of the trail, to the entrance to the castle and it was full on raining. Because of this, the castle was shrouded with a mist that added that fairy tail quality. So while we were a little wet, it was a beautiful sight.
After the tour through the castle, we walked up the path behind the castle to the bridge that gives you the iconic view of the castle. (fyi-it was pouring by this point:) So we enjoyed the view and enjoyed the walk down the hill.
Tasha ran down the hill, the rest of us walked down. We met up with Tasha at the Christmas store and then headed to get dinner and dry off.
We finished dinner and headed back to the bus station to catch our bus that would take us to the train station to catch the train back into Munich. When we got the bus station, we weren't really sure when the next one would come, everything was in German!
There was a group of young adults from South America, Uruguay to be precise, who were asking us if we knew what we were doing and how to get back into Munich. They stuck with us the rest of the adventure back. We met another couple from Chicago trying to get back to Munich as well. So we formed a rag tag group of English speakers who were trying to get back to our hotel. Fun times! We did get the bus back to the train station, to meet up with another couple who were from San Diego actually, trying to get back to Munich too. And one local man. We found out that the next train to Munich was 1 hour and 20 minutes away. We couldn't wait that long, we wouldn't get back into Munich till about 12:30 at that rate. So the local told us about a bus that ran to Munich, he said he was going that way too. So we followed him to the supposed bus, got on, but there was no driver. So our little group of castaways talked and hoped that driver would come, and if it came down to it, we could go back to the train, but at least we were warm on the bus with no driver. Finally a driver came, asked in German, if we were all headed to Munchen, we said yes, confirmed again with our one local passenger that we were all headed the right way, and off we were. We did get back into Munich, but the bus dropped us off 2 stops away from the one we needed, so we had to RUN FAST for the train at that train stop to make our connection to the train station we wanted. It was funny to see about 20 foreigners running through the station to catch that train, but we did, we all got off at the Munich Hauptbahnhoff, and parted having shared this wonderful experience with eachother.
We walked down the now familiar landmarks, the casino, places of ill repute that lined our street towards our hotel, happy to have made it back to Munich by the time we would have just been catching the train from Fussen. But a little worn for the not quite so confident of making it back to Munich adventure we took to get there. One more night in Munich and then off to Salzburg!!