Ausfahrts & Einfahrts



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Hohenschwangau CastleHohenschwangau CastleRandom nutcase Neuschwanstein Castle

Monday 4th July Fischen im Aligau to Fussen

It never ceases to amaze us how many people visit major tourist attractions in Europe each day. We wanted to go to Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle and after some research we found we could not book tickets online nor purchase them anywhere other than the castle ticket office. Our intention was to get there early; however it wasn’t to be so we joined the queue for non-reserved tickets at 10.45am. That is, the queue right next to the line for those who reserved tickets; obviously they knew something that the several hundred people in our queue didn’t. After 1¾ hours standing in a queue with all nationalities, wondering why you would bring small children and dogs to stand in the queue (there is a sign warning the process could take two hours), and hoping the heavily pregnant woman in front of us wasn’t about to give birth in the extreme heat just before I got to the ticket booth, we finally made it and in that time only three ambulances went by.

For the small fee of 46 Euro (NZ$80) we had our two tickets, for guidied tours because you can’t do it any other way, to both the Neuschwanstein (N) and Hohenschwangau CastleHohenschwangau (H) Castles. Next issue was that the wait time for the next tours in English was 1.50pm for Castle H and 4.55pm for Castle N. This isn’t a problem for us as we were parked in one of the four car parks nearby and could go and kill time in the van, geocaching or eat cheap food from our fridge. However the poor people who brought children had to entertain them which included buying them expensive junk food or souvenirs.

For the Castle H tour we hiked up a hill for supposedly 20 minutes and joined a tour hosted by Fabian who had a soft voice with a lisp. Fine for me but we did have a multi-national group who had trouble keeping up Hohenschwangau Castleand some annoying race who insisted on being first into each room then stopped in the doorway thinking that would be the best vantage point. The castle, even though started in the 1200’s, has been reconstructed in the 19th century and had some interesting features as well as plenty of vulgar ones. We did however learn how they heated these castles which I have never heard about nor seen on any other castle tours. The previous owner, who like most important people of his time, slept and lived on a different floor than his wife, who also slept and lived on a different floor than the children. This particular guy had naked woman painted on his bedroom walls and ceiling, had secret rooms and passages and slept sitting up like the Dutch.

For Castle N, Neuschwanstein Castleafter some hours in the motor home, we hiked up an even steeper hill for 40 minutes in extreme heat, (or you can catch a horse and cart - they stink - for a small fee), we needed the exercise. A King or prince might have thought it was cool building on a sheer hillside but the tourists in summer don’t think it is at all that smart, especially when the lake is at the bottom. On arriving at the castle we found the heavily pregnant woman still going; this castle required a lot of internal staircase walking and she was still intact at the end of the tour!

This was crazy Ludwig II’s castle. Although the Germans like to say he was a romantic, I’m not sure how eccentric translates to romantic. This time we had a female tour guide who possibly should have stuck to doing German tours as her English pronunciation wasn’t that great and with such a large group in small rooms her strident voice echoed. We couldn’t really see what she was pointing to, so we ended up sort of giving ourselves our own tour. After the tour finished you could wander down stairs and check out the servants’ facilities, kitchens and of course the souvenir shop. Not wanting to appear the tight tourists and because it was hot and we needed rewarding for all those hill climbs we bought an ice cream and headed off to retrieve the motor home only to find we were about to get shafted again. To park your car is 6 Euros for 6 hours, a motor home 8.5 Euros, however after 6 hours you pay extra by the hour. Of course by time you queue for tickets to the castles and take the tours at your allotted times there is no way that you get out under 6 hours. So all up the two thirty-minute tours cost us over NZ$100 including parking and treats, and a lot of time queuing, waiting and hiking. Feeling exhausted we went to the nearest parking spot and found another cash cow to give money to.

There are two concrete jungles in a commercial area that take 137 motor homes at 14 Euros a night; all facilities have to be paid for separately except waste. You can get free wifi if you are prepared to hang outside the office with the mosquitoes. I unfortunately chose to do the weekly laundry which took a couple of hours in the dark with the mossies and some undesirables who were using their phones to look up websites of nude woman and disappearing into the bushes with their phones. The dishwashing facilities were free, so there was a steady stream of people queuing with their dishes from 8.30pm to 10.30pm, even though all these motor homes were self contained.

The greatest thing about this parking spot is that it is sandwiched between an Aldi and a Lidl supermarket which are free entertainment at its finest. The motorhome parking facility has a captive market,being the closest camp to the castles, however we witnessed people just coming here, getting out their deck chairs and relaxing. Why, we wonder, wouldn’t you find a lovely rural site or old town site to relax in rather than a fenced in concrete pad surrounded by supermarkets and constant traffic.



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