Neuschwanstein Castle

Be jealous - I spent three days with these handsome fellows. 
Chris and I booked a pair of spendy tickets to Munich, and met up with Reece on the other end.  The three of us have seen quite a lot of Europe together this past year: Krk, CroatiaVienna, Austria  - Cologne, GermanyWeltenburg Monk Brewery, GermanyVarious German beer festivals – and Venice, Italy, just to hit a few highlights. I typically book a suite or a room with a roll away bed for Reece, but this trip was an entirely new way of traveling for me! I threw my controlling tendencies to the wind and didn't plan a thing (and it was one of the best trips), and as you can tell from the picture above, rather than a travel group of three, we were a, won’t-all-fit-into-one-car, pack of six!

Five guys + one girl = I totally crashed guy’s weekend, and subsequently stayed in my first European hostel! Guy’s weekend was awesome. . . . the hostel . . . well, I guess it was everything I had expected. I had not expected very much. I will leave the details up to your imagination. 

Chris and Reece graduated from the University of Kentucky and three of their (awesome) classmates flew out to Europe for a week of city blitzing (seeing as many sights as possible in a very short period of time).  We effortlessly picked Stu, Kirk and Ben up at the Munich airport, piled into a borrowed “mom-van,” told the guys they could drink in the car (as long as they weren’t driving - sorry Reece), and set out to see the first sight on their blitz: Neuschwanstein Castle. 

Neuschwanstein is the stuff of fairy tales. It literally looks like a perfect princess castle, and it inspired Walt Disney to create Sleeping Beauty's Castle. It is just stunning, but it sadly whispers of a reclusive king who wanted to get as far away from people as possible. Ironically, as soon as King Ludwig II of Bavaria died in 1886, every year, some 1.3 million tourists pay to get inside the once isolated castle. 

It was slightly overcast, and fluffy snowflakes stuck in our hair as we made our way up the hill. The hike up to the castle takes a good 15-30 minutes based on your fitness level, but there are romantic horse carriages for hire if you’re not feeling the uphill climb. Once you get close to Neuschwanstein, you will find a glass, viewing bridge that offers a nice picture opportunity. The view is great, and I took a million pictures, but there was another view of the castle that I had to get. I read that there is a summer trail that takes you up above the castle in order to get that “money shot” – you know the one that entices tourists to make the tedious trip to the castle in the first place. Unfortunately, the trail is closed in the winter, but that could not stop me and five adventurous fellows! A few of my friends had visited a week earlier and said that loads of people were jumping the fence to get that “money shot.”

Do you have to ask? We totally jumped the fence! Rebels. I know, but it was so worth it! We hiked another 10 minutes up a snow covered path and suddenly walked out onto a suspension bridge to find this "money-shot" view!

I gasped and squealed and jumped up and down on the narrow bridge while my camera bobbed up and down around my neck. I was like a kid again and I was ecstatic that we had broken the rules, ignored the signs, and hopped over that fence. Sometimes in life, it is easier to apologize than to ask permission. That absolutely held true in this case! Enjoy a few of our pictures and have a wonderful day!