We spent the night in Füssen, a small boutique town just 5 min drive away from Neuschwanstein castle. During the planning stage, we couldn’t get a decent accommodation in Hohenschwangau, a small town at the base of the castle, also the home for the original and smaller, Hohenschwangau castle.
So, Füssen was seen as the second best option. But reaching the town, we were pleasantly surprised by its quaint, old-world charm, cobblestoned streets lit in an orange glow. The Hotel Sonne Füssen was an icing on the cake, which went beyond all expectations, which were already high, after having read great reviews. This was a beautiful hotel, decorated in a quirky and eclectic manner!
This morning we ambled to the restaurant and feasted on a lavish breakfast, definitely one on top of the list during all our travels! We gorged ourselves, then set course relatively early by 9 ish, for Neuschwanstein castle, …the fairy tale castle celebrated by Disney..
DH had visited the castle 10 years back, on a tour starting with a train ride from Bahnoff station (Munich) till Fussen, then a bus from Fuessen to the base of the castle, followed up an uphill hike with a Japanese student guide. He remembered that the inside tour of the castle was pretty boring (by our point of view), just like all other palaces and castles, with the routine of gold inlay everywhere… So this time we decided to skip the indoor tour and decided to head straight to the best vantage point for spectacular views of the castle from the Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge).
So we started walking uphill from the bus stop, a very steep hike and saw this regiment of German army passing us, using this path for rigorous training!! As we hiked up, we were overtaken by huge horse drawn carriages, with 15-20 people sitting in, some of whom gave us…the breathless sweaty mortals’, supercilious looks. That lasted till the half way point beyond which everyone has to walk up…Huh!!
We just motored on and reached the bridge meeting a pleasant young Frenchman who insisted on talking to us in impeccable Hindi.
The views of the castle from Marienbrucke, are Classic with the majestic turreted Castle rising amongst dense woods surrounding it. Obviously, traveling during the Fall season is even more beautiful with the verdant greens interspersed with hues of orange and red! This I know because I bought a magnet with such a picture!
The bridge can get a bit crowded, very windy and younger ones need to be firmly taken hold off.
After taking the mandatory pictures, we walked down, and drove back. There is an alternate adventurous hike down to the stream, at the back of the castle, which DH had loved last time but in company of younger and elderly, we went the routine way. …And yes we, the non-drivers, tried some Glühwein (just like Mulled wine), on the way down, which tasted heavenly after the strong winds on the Marienbrucke!
Coming back to Füssen by 12 noon, we first went to a super market to stock up on essentials for our long road journey ahead.
Then we went down cobble stoned streets led by Sriram who was looking for this Vegan restaurant called Casa Veda…which had tremendous reviews on Tripadvisor. This was a self service restaurant with funky decoration.. We tried the soup of the day (smoked pumpkin, coconut, curry leaves and veggies) and the meal of the day with tasty vegetables, greens including asparagus & mild spices ( without the heat). The meal was so good that we ordered seconds. For dessert we had Chia seed pudding with fresh strawberries, and a Johannisberry (Redcurrant) cake…In all, a Delicious, heavenly affair! Sriram got a lot of thumbs up and pats on the back for his excellent choice of hotel and restaurant.
To call it a perfect afternoon, we shopped at the gift shop of Hotel Sonne Füssen which was again loaded with eclectic lamps and other curios. Happy Me!
Rest of the Day was spent in a long, pretty dull and dreary road journey to Montreux…more about it in the next post… Guten Tag.