As I sit inside my house (as all of us sit inside our homes), I am getting by through going on walks – finding local travel my saving grace – and thinking back on the times I was free and had no idea it was a privilege to wander the world as I did. Had this pandemic not come, I would be in Vegas with friends right now – talking, laughing, making memories, photographing them. My loss is nothing; I am aware that it could be so much worse and am so thankful to be healthy and safe within my own comfortable space.
Now all I can do is look back to the travels I had, and look forward to traveling in the future. I am convinced that it will be that much more beautiful to go new places carrying the knowledge and wisdom of what it is like to be unable to do those things, grasping an appreciation that will allow travel to take on a whole new meaning and experience.
As Dumbledore says, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” I will spend small times thinking of what is ahead, while living through the here and now by, in this moment, documenting what is one of my favorite memories. My memory of Neuschwanstein in a Day. After, I will get back to life and savor the little things I can find at home.
The morning began with our walk in Mittenwald (above!), which in itself ended in picking up some coffee, a sunhat, and hitting the road to head towards Neuschwanstein.
I am sad to report that I remember little-to-nothing about the trip from Mittenwald to the castle. However, upon refreshing my memory on Google Maps, I see that it was only an hour and a half, so it is not so devastating to forget that small chunk of a trip. I’m fairly confident that we listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on our way, so it was well worth the inattention to my surroundings.
Arriving at Neuschwanstein was, not unironically, like a fairy tale. Despite not remembering the trip there, I do remember the feeling upon arrival and it was something akin to awe. This castle is the one I had always hoped to see when thinking of visiting Germany, and being there was pretty amazing. The castle is up high, so views are everywhere, and they are everything.
We went the lame route of a free visit. We’re more outdoorsy people in our curiosity, and are perfectly happy to admire from afar. So, we simply took the 45-minute hike to gain spectacular views of the facade of this breathtaking structure.
The walk was HOT. We were there at the tail end of June, and we were not properly prepared to take a somewhat strenuous, uphill hike to the bridge. But we did it. We spent a pretty penny (Euro) on water. This trip, we found it incredibly difficult to find free water anywhere – there were stands to buy expensive bottled water, and that was it. So we sweated our way up and down with expensive bottles to be used sparingly. It worked!
If and when you go, be prepared; fill your water bottle up at your hotel before coming, and make sure it’s a large bottle! The walk is obviously uphill, and you have to go because it is too beautiful to miss.
The top three photos have been taken from the hike up, to the bridge that every tourist is aiming for as they hike. However, the last two photos are from our hike across the bridge and further about 10-15 minutes. Going beyond the bridge is SO WORTH IT. We were the only ones there for a good 5 minutes, and the bottom two photos reveal the view. This little secret was the key to making the whole hike worth it.
The bridge is CRAZY CROWDED. It borders on feeling unsafe, as tourists galore are pushing around for their classic selfies and family photos. I think we stopped for 1-2 photos but wanted to get out of there as fast as possible because the bridge is high, and so crowded that it doesn’t feel perfectly safe. (It is safe; the staff limit the number of people who are on it at once, but it is still so high up and slightly intimidating.)
Once we hiked the additional 10 minutes or so though, we had these views. A small group of people came then, which we were grateful for, and we exchanged photos for one-another. We are a sweaty, dehydrated mess in this shot, but so happy.
And the next best thing to the view was hiking back down and having a beer and sweet treat with a view of the castle, with the knowledge that the worst part of the day was over.
After another drive of about two hours, we arrived in Bodensee. We stayed in Lindau, an island on Lake Constance. This was one of the places we were looking most forward to and unfortunately, it felt like a bit of a letdown. Aside from being picturesque and not allowing cars within the city center (we found an Airbnb with a parking spot!) we were not impressed and will not be returning.
We did not feel like we fit in in this place; our Airbnb for one night was over $200, and the price says a lot about the culture of the place. Maybe it was our imagination, but it felt as if people stared us down as we walked around. Perhaps they could smell the sweat on us from our hike? (Just kidding. We stopped in and showered and changed at our overpriced Airbnb before going out.)
The greatest part of this location, however, was the views. If you do find yourself there, it is definitely worth a walk around the area. (Just be prepared to get stared at if you’re not wearing Gucci clothing.)
We struggled to find a place to eat, finally settling on a restaurant with outdoor seating and pizza. La Fontana – Paradiesplatz 14, 88131, Lindau, Bavaria. It’s located in a courtyard with good food and cheap wine, so it was a win! Gotta love eating in a courtyard.
Coming out of this day, we highly recommend the visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, and we highly recommend skipping Bodensee if you are part of the Middle Class as we are. But looking back, both pieces of the day made a fantastic memory and we have no regrets.
Stay tuned for the next adventure we took – Rothenburg!
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