Driving through the deep Austrian Alps from Innsbruck to Bavaria, Germany took us past some stunning mountain scenery which included the sublime Blindsee Lake and Germany’s tallest mountain Zugspitze(seen below). We stopped for lunch at the Restaurant Zugspitzblick sited above the lake with these amazing views and they served an exceptional apple strudel as well.
Arriving at Schwangau we booked into the Hotel Das Rubezahl around lunch time and were immediately struck by the fabulous mountain and castle views from our room. The anticipation of visiting a childhood dream was coming to reality and we enjoyed our lunch before visiting the local town of Fussen for the afternoon.
The town is sited one the Lech river which runs from the Alps to the Forggensee and is a real capture of medieval history with its magnificent Basilica st Mang, the Hoes Schloss palace and the Franciscan Monastery of St Stephen to name a few notable buildings. But the one that caught our attention was the ornate but compact Geist-Spitalkirche with its massive curved windows and frescoed exterior.
The Benedictine Cloisters of St Mang dominated the river side and the turquoise coloured river Lech made for a very picturesque scene along with coloured houses along the bank
It was a fairly hot day so when we walked along the riverside i stripped off down to my undies and dived into the freezing cold mountain water whilst an elderly gentlemen just stood in the water up to his waste supported by his walking stick for the full 20 mins we were there. They breed them tough in those mountains.
It was getting close to beer o’clock so we stopped off in main square and had a snack and a cold one before continuing on our old town discovery and taking in the various sights along the way
we love our village gardens and this town had some beauties as well as serene monastery grounds and quiet churches and little lanes to explore.
We had researched the local restaurants and found the highest rated was of course the most popular ” Il Pescatore” and for good reason. We scored an outside table..only just and enjoyed a fabulous Italian meal in the square where we enjoyed a lovely balmy night with the locals and tourists.
Our visit to the Castles meant that we needed to get to the ticket office at 8.00am for our 9.00 start of the tour so i dropped Ann off at the ticket office and found the closest car park which worked out very well. after a few dramas we got our tickets and had time to visit the stunning Alpsee lake with its mountain panorama and morning reflections.
It was then off on the over crowded bus up the hill to the famous Schloss Neuschwanstein built by Mad Bad King Ludwig between 1869 and 1886 as a fanatsy replica of all things romantic, and he certainly succeeded in his quest. Even if was his ultimate undoing.
We arrived at the Marienbrucke bridge over the Pollat gorge to get this fabulous view below of the castle, which was a real highlight which showed its precarious position above the gorge and the amazing engineering achievement it was to construct.
From every angle the castle is impressive and even though it was never completed ( there were supposed to be two more big towers)it is impressive from every angle
We were not allowed to photograph inside so we bought a book and photographed the images to get a better memory of the highly ornate and crazy interiors of this magnificent folly.
The model of the castle dates back to the late 19th century and was such an intricate miniature in the finest detail
The views over the country side to Forggensee on one side and Alpsee and the mountains on the other shows that we were right on the edge of the Alps before the great plains of bavaria open up to the north. The Schloss Hohenschwangau too the right below was our next destination after a walk back down the hillside so as to avoid the crowded bus.
This castle was built by Ludwigs father Maximillian 2nd in 1832 and was Ludwig’s family home for most of his childhood as his parents ruled in Munich and then used this castle as one of their summer homes. It was more austere than Ludwigs folly but more practical and equally ornate in its traditional square design and had the first ever lift in Europe installed . Again no photos allowed but the book helps.
It is on a small raised hillock and enjoys a panorama on all sides with its own chapel and extensive grounds on top of the hill so it is actually very private and accessible. The Lion fountain courtyard was a fabulous place to netscape the summer heat and pick up any available breeze.
Our last last night was spent back at our hotel in the restaurant where we enjoyed a very nice fish meal whilst being overlooked by an interesting old deer!!