12th April- Fussen- 10km
This has been one of my favourite days so far. I cycled 5km or so to the ticket desk and purchased my combo ticket for Neuschwanstein (the one that inspired the Disney castle) and the other one opposite it (Hohenschwangau). Hohenschwangau doesn’t have the wow factor from the outside, but the tour inside the castle was amazing.
Most of the original furniture is still there, and all the paintings on the wall are originals having never needed restoration. The guide was great, kept things really interesting. It was made more amusing by the cute/annoying little American kid that had his hand up in every room ask questions. I’ll give you some interesting facts I learnt…
- Hohenschwangau means the high swan palace
- it was built in the 19th century by kind Maximilian II
- In Those times (those with money) the husband and wife had separate living areas, so in this castle’s case the queen had her floor, the King had kids, then the kids and their nannies had theirs
- they would only have a bed necessary for their size, so no doubles and it would be shorter as they were scared of lying down completely vertical In case they stopped breathing I they’d sleep half upright!
After a 20 minute walk up a hill I reached Neuschwanstein castle, which is even more breathtaking up close. We only got an audio guide in here, which felt a little rushed but just getting to look around the rooms in this place was phenomenal.
king Ludwig II, the son of Maximilian II had this and two other castles in Germany built in the 19th century- this one in honour of his composer mate Richard Wagner. He was pretty reclusive and wanted to live like a medieval King, with all the painting in the castle depicting medieval royalty life. The castle was never actually finished, as he was declared mentally ill then died shortly after his 40th birthday under suspicious circumstances.
I came away from the castles feeling honoured to have seen inside these palaces and to have a learnt a little bit too.
As Fussen is a thermal pool area I wanted to check out the spa on offer. Oh my word, this puts any spa I’ve ever been to and I imagine any spa anyone has ever been to (big call I know) to shame! In the two hours I had I didn’t have enough time to go into every sauna/pool/steam room there were that many. If I had to guesstimate I’d say 10-20 saunas and steam rooms, all different scents or oils each win their own health benefits, then 10-15 different pools (outside and inside) including a 20% salt pool you could float on! the place was huge and The best bit was the view of he mountains and Neuschwanstein castle in the outdoor pools and a panorama sauna.
I couldn’t take photos, so taken some from the website instead. I couldn’t take photos cos the bloody place was a naked spa!! I felt a bit uncomfortable at first, then I went with it and it was liberating- I’ve never felt freedom like it!