Today I hiked through forested foothills, ate a pretzel beside a crystal-clear alpine lake, and then spent the afternoon exploring fantasy hillside castles built by a mad German king. Yes, I’m in Bavaria!
I arrived in Munich early this morning, but instead of checking straight into my hostel I had decided to take a day trip to a little town called Füssen. This attractive town is nestled in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, but it wasn’t for the town itself that I went there. A short hike away through the hills are the twin castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. The former was a mountain retreat for the royal family of Bavaria, and the latter was built by King Ludvic II, who had been declared insane by his physician. Ludwig and his doctor were found dead in the shallows of a lake before his prize castle could be completed. To this day nobody knows the circumstances of his death, and the interior of the castle was never finished.
This is the castle Hohenschwangau where the king and queen held court:
And here’s Ludwig’s castle Neuschwanstein as seen from a bridge across a gorge: