Exploring King Ludwig II’s castle, Neuschwanstein, begins with a steep 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot but the reward is certainly worth the effort. Snow capped mountains, many shades of green vegetation, deep blue sky, and bright yellow flowers provided a beautiful backdrop for the structure that inspired Disney’s Cinderella castle. It almost looked too pretty to be real – it was like we stepped into a postcard.
Ludwig watched the building of his dream palace through a telescope from nearby Hohenschwangau. Construction began in 1869 and continued for 17 years, stopping only when he died (mysteriously) in 1886. During the tour of the castle we viewed 16 of the over hundred rooms planned for the castle. The king lived in his beloved – and unfinished – Neuschwanstein off and on for only about 170 days.
In addition to the 30 minute tour of the castle, we took the short walk further up the mountain to cross the footbridge over the waterfall. This provided another great vantage point of the castle and mountains.
In the foothills of the Bavarian Alps about a couple miles from Neuschwanstein is the medieval town of Füssen. This marks the official end (or is it the beginning?) of the Romantic Road. I had read about another waterfall just south of Füssen. It had been a long day, we were tired, hungry and ready to head back to the hotel so we decided to skip it. Then lo and behold we passed right by the waterfall!
A footbridge spans the ledge type waterfall, where the Lech River squeezes through a rocky gorge. It wasn’t spectacular especially compared with the waterfall we saw earlier in the day, but it gave us reason to pause long enough to notice Steakhouse “Villa am Lechfall" Füssen across the street. We had an outside table where we could hear the waterfall and enjoy the late afternoon sun on the mountains and river. Another delightful evening to an active day.