A Fairytale Winter’s Day in Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle
When I found out that my mom had a four-day layover in Munich at the end of January, I knew I had to find a way to get there. Luckily, my coordinator at school was kind enough to let me take off a few days during the week and make up my hours. Using Munich as our base, we took advantage of the Bayern or Bavarian ticket to take day trips around the region. Our combined ticket was only 28 euro for the day and took us to and from Füssen to visit Neuschwanstein Castle, said to be the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. The nineteenth century Romanesque style castle was commissioned by Ludwig II, king of Bavaria from 1864-1886.
The hour-and-a-half train ride with pristine vistas of fields blanketed in fresh snow was meditative. We were blessed with the perfect backdrop for a day draped in Bavarian style and fairytale charm.
Once in Füssen, we boarded a bus tightly packed with peace sign flashing tourists towards the castles. The sun radiated through the perfectly coated pines and reminded us how perfect this day was.
The snowfall from the day before made it impossible to take a bus up the hill to Neuschwanstein, so after securing our tour tickets, we braced ourselves for the steady 40-minute incline.
The uphill walk wasn’t too bad, especially considering our anticipation. It was only upon arrival to the castle doors that we found the path to the famous Marienbrücke viewpoint fenced off. After some pressuring, I convinced my mom to hop the fence and prepare for a steep, snowy climb to the bridge. We weren’t alone in our adventure; others were doing the same, but trampling through the deep snow towards our destination, we couldn’t help but feel we were in our own fairytale.
The view of the castle from the bridge was exactly as I imagined it to be. It was a storybook scene come alive, a landscape gently brushed with a soft snow, shimmering with hints of afternoon sunlight.
The day was yet another valued adventure with my mom and another reminder why this year of European living is the greatest fairytale of all.