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Neuschwanstein Castle highlights

October 29th, 2007

neuschwanstein castle_3So the castle tour is over. What do you do? If you’re not staying in town, you have a train trip back to Munich or Salzburg staring at you; or a car ride up the Romantic Road. Don’t be tempted. Hang out. In the summer, you should bring a bathing suit and jump in the cool lake waters. A beer garden is just off the path leading to a beach. Did you bring hiking shoes? Then find a trail and make your way into the pine forests surrounding the lake. The views of its blue-green water from cuts between the trees is breathtaking. A less strenuous hike route is to take the road up the right side of the lake. Benches are along the way for rest stops. There are several spots about one kilometer into the forest where you can dip down along a trail to find a fenced overlook at the precipice of a high bluff. Take a camera, as the view back towards town and the castle nestled in the trees above is a shot that will get you the “Ooos” and “Ahhs” you want to hear back home. If you’ve come during the autumn, the colors will make you sputter, so hold the camera steady.

neuschwanstein castle_4A boathouse near the beach at Lake Bannwaldsee rents paddleboats in season. No powerboats are allowed on the lake, which, I can guess, is why the lake remains pristine. Lots of swimming areas and hidden picnic spots can be found away from the town’s end of Lake Bannwaldsee, so lovers can plan a memorable trip. If you are Xtreme, cliffs jut out from shore for some high jumps into the waters. (I asked a kid if the water was deep enough, and he said, “I haven’t hit the bottom yet.” You might want to be careful.)

Food and Drinks
Bavaria is BEER COUNTRY, so have a brew at a beer garden in Hohenschangow. The weiss bier is delectable. I haven’t missed yet. Don’t fret, wine drinkers: Germany’s Rhine Valley vintners get their barrels downstream, and a Spatelesse or Reissling is just a corkscrew away.

Restaurants in Hohenschwangow line the streets. Authentic Bavarian dishes are the specialty, of course, and you’ll find the delicious schnitzel, bratwurst, wild boar, and pig’s knuckle on every menu. And don’t forget the spaetzle! Again, you can’t go wrong, so just do some price shopping as you walk along the street admiring the architecture. If you’re filled up on German fare already, there’s a pizza joint and Chinese restaurant.

Outside the Resort
Fussen has nightlife—bars and clubs, along with a variety of restaurants, a theater and cinema. Otherwise, a drive up the Romantic Road will take you into Medieval towns, past onion-domed churches, and along picturesque roads.

hotownneuschwanstein castle
Directions to Hohenschangow & Neuschwanstein
From Munich, take a train from the Hauptbaunhof (main station) to Fussen (they leave every half hour), outside of which are bus coaches well marked for the 10-minute trip to Hohenschangow. The train from Salzburg is the same deal: get to Fussen; bus up to Hohenschangow.

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