I am a huge fan of Blablacar. We paid 16 euro to get from Sant Galen, Switzerland to Memmingen, Germany, a town about an hour outside of Munich by train. Seriously, I am back in Seattle now and have been procrastinating finishing this blog up, but since being back. I envy the driving of Germany; Europe for that matter. Something about people understanding the left lane of an autobahn/interstate is for passing, not for sightseeing, lolligagging, or day dreaming. It is a law you are not allowed to drive in the left lane in Germany unless you are passing. HEY! Guess what America, it is a law here too, oh but wait, that doesn’t matter here cause your stupid. Seattle you have a lot to learn. It is unbelievably frustrating driving with so many clueless jack asses. There are stupid people everywhere, I get that, but there just seems to be a much bigger concentration of them here. Ok, I digress. Enough Ranting, back to story time.
Our end goal was to get to Munich for Oktoberfest but we had 2 days until the first day of the 3 week event, so we decided to spend the first night near Fussen. The train heading south ran only every hour allowing us some to have our first meal in Germany so we grabbed dinner at a smaller shop next to the station. The place was covered in coo coo clocks, steins, trinkets and doodads. Most definitely a mom and pop kind of place. We loved the place, so weird and kitschy. We ordered two of my favorite dishes, Jagerschnitzel and Curry Wurst. They were both delicious. The lady that took our order also cooked our food. We could hear her pounding out the schnitzel after we ordered. It was a perfect way to start this part of our journey.
From there we headed south towards another smaller town called Fussen just north of the austrian border. We got about halfway there and stopped to camp for the night next to a very large, very loud rushing river. We woke up super early in the morning around 530 or so to catch the first train out to get to Fussen.
The town Fussen isnt particularly famous for anything, but just outside of it, is one of the most famous castles in the world. Neuschwanstein Castle. The Disney castle is designed after it. It is beautiful; built on the ruins of another castle of the past. It is built on top of a small hill nestled in front of a waterfall at the foothill of a mountainside on the northern edge of the austrian alps. Spread before it are wide meadows, forests lakes and the rest of Germany.
The place is beautiful, but the only way your able to go inside is via guided tour. They also don’t let you take pictures inside and if you try they yell at you. Too many people come and visit the every day. Thee guides are rushed through so quickly you can’t really stop and appreciate its true value. It really takes away from the experience. My recommendation is if you decide to take the tour try to get the last tour of the day. You may get lucky and get to take a little more time and I am sure sunset there would be amazing, as it faces northwest.
One of the entertainment halls is still used. Once a year a concert is held in the hall. I don’t know what it takes to go, or how much it would cost, but I am sure it would be breathtaking. The design of the hall was engineered to amplify acoustics. The hall was intended for opera and theatre. I couldn’t imagine experiencing that. I only know this because when our tour went through, the seating and instruments were still set up. The concert was the night before and our tour was one of the first to go through.
I wish I could share more about the castles history, but honestly, we were rushed through so quick we didn’t really get to ask too many questions or get too much information. We were in and out in about 30 minutes. It was built by King Ludwig II and wasn’t completed and costed too much to maintain. The family cut all funding to the construction after the king’s death. Which was and still is a mystery. The King was help captive against his will in another palace by his family for a short period. They say that he went mad and 2 days later was found dead. No one other than those that were there truly know how he died, but if you ask me, history has a way of repeating itself. Royalty are assholes and have to have things done their way. And if they aren’t, well, they shunt you from the world, even if you’re a king, and write history how they please. So in the end, this beautiful Castle was never completely finished and sold to the German government because the cost was too great to keep it maintained. I believe the guide had said its annual budget is greater than what it cost to build it in the first place.
After walking around the castle grounds and up to the waterfall we hiked back down the hill and grabbed the bus back to the station. Now that we knew what to look for we got another regional day pass for the two of us and took the next train to Munich.