"Fussen - more than a place to stay" Top 5 Page for this destination Fussen by iandsmith
Fussen Travel Guide: 130 reviews and 479 photos
"It delivered. In a day and half here I've already walked about 30 kms on some wonderful trails.
John take note - I not only walked up to Neuschwanstein once, I returned again after I did the tour of Hohenschwangau Castle. For those who haven't been, the "N" castle is the famous Disney style one and "H" is the hunting lodge/holiday home the king lived in while the other was being built."
This shot is not of Neuschwanstein but the High Castle in the town where the majority of tourists stay (the town that is), though Schwangau is actually the village where the Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein are located, just two kilometres down the road.
The next time I visited I managed even more, including a walk around Alpsee and exporing more of the town.
"The second time I was trying to get that famous angle and ended up walking three quarters of the way up a mountain overlooking it before I quit. That was where I met Eric, the nomadic German whose whole world is on his back, literally.
We chatted and reminisced for around an hour at this stunning viewpoint and only one person went past the whole time. It was a wonderful experience as he related travels to the Canary Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Majorca, New Zealand and Australia. He gave me his card which caused me great mirth. It had a phone number on it and I remarked what a waste of time that was since he was never home anyway. He totally agreed but promised to look me up if he gets to Oz again.
He sleeps out with nature every night and spent the previous night below the castle."
I was with Eric when I took this unusual angle of Neuschwanstein, more about my meeting with him below as I wrote it later that day.
More about Neuschwanstein in my tips.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria is one of the most colorful characters in German history. Widely regarded as insane, he was certainly a troubled individual and not well suited to the demands of a monarch’s life. Although as a ruler he was neither effective nor well-liked, he is remembered fondly today primarily because of his contributions to the future economy of Germany: his castles, which attract huge numbers of tourists each year. Of the three castles Ludwig had built, Neuschwanstein was the most famous, with its fairy-tale pseudo-medieval design, Linderhof was the only one ever completed but, even more ambitious, was Herrenchiemsee Castle.
For some time I had climbed alone, zig-zagging up the Teleborg ridge whose summit lay at 1,720 metres.
The solace of trekking through the forested high country of the Bavarian Alps has much to recommend it. No snakes for one, no bull ants for two and no wait-a-while vines for three.
Devoid of much animal life save for a blackbird or two, their red beaks constantly adjusting the leaf litter, the stillness is at one with the majesty of the snow capped peaks. The sunlight shafts intermittently poking through the shadows highlight the moss on long ago fallen logs and the stumps of felled trees, the latter reflecting an ongoing industry here.
The mist has long since disappeared and the soft blue European haze, long the scourge of photographers, has taken its place, though it's not noticeable at short to medium range.
The rate of ascent is gentle so I am able to maintain a pace as the tourists of Neuschwanstein Castle are now much smaller and few gaze this far upward, most staring at the rivetting outline of Ludwig's unfinished dream from the Marien Brucke Bridge perched high above the cascades, fed now by the unseasonable snow melt.
At one time I came to a new outlook but felt the view no better than the one below so I joined the track again that mostly ascends the blind side of the slope.
It was perhaps 15 minutes later when I chanced upon the next window through the boughs giving an open view of Neuschwanstein (pronounced nurse-von-shtine). Eric was there before me and was busily sizing up his options with his SLR camera. I later ascertained he was still using film, not having taken the great leap forward.
Since he spoke some English but I, little German, we conversed in the former.
Eric the loner was a man who travelled, though not in the manner to which I have become accustomed. Sleeping the night in a Bavarian forest on your own in a small tent in the middle of winter is not something I aspire to but Eric had been to Greenland and watched glaciers calve, Iceland to see the snows melt, been in the desert like Canary Islands in 40 degree heat, all in his tent.
He was effervescent and I was a ready listener, finding his tales at once odd yet fascinating.
Some of his strangest experiences have been in major cities. London for example saw him cared for by the police who advised him on places to camp for days after they discovered him in Hyde Park and explained to him this was not a good area to be in at night.
In Sydney he tried the Botanical Gardens but was assailed by possums that proved more than a match for him. At one stage he momentarily left his gear and a possum seized the moment and sunk its teeth through his plastic bottle of soft drink in one stroke. As he tried to sleep they were climbing all over his gear.
On one of his rare visits to his sister in Munich he discovered an amazing thing called 'Google'. That there was so much information to be had at your fingertips blew him away.
I queried whether or not he had an email address but already anticipated the negative reply. His world, he explained, was in his back pack. T.V., radio and newspapers were things he pretty much lived without.
Our common bond was walking the forests of the world, be it New Zealand, Australia, Italy, England or Bavaria, we had tales to share. There's an understanding of the peace it injects you with, a calmness distilled through your entire being, a serenity discovered on a balmy day overlooking Neuschwanstein with a background of Alpsee (alpine lake) and the mountains beyond all the time caressed by a soothing updraft that gently massages your face.
People don't go mad in places like this, for a transcendental view of the world envelopes one with an unsurpassed tranquility.
I shall return, with or without Eric.
- Pros:Neuschwanstein, much more to do than Neuschwanstein
- Cons:Tourist hordes
- In a nutshell:One of the must-see's of Germany
We didn't actually eat much here, but what we did was very nice. What I really wanted to pass on was the ambience of the... more travel advice
There is an opportunity to move out onto the old palace walls and then climb one of the towers. Should you choose to do... more travel advice
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