We headed towards Switzerland and a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, or as the kids referred to it, the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” castle. Not sure of our potential arrival time, we didn’t follow our tour books advice and pre-book a time to see the castle. So we stood in the long line, with light showers, to buy our ticket and thus our viewing time for the castle. We managed to get in on one of the last English tours of the day, so we took some “quiet time” in the car and waited for our 16:25 tour.
By the time we walked up the trail to the castle the sun was poking out occasionally and spirits had lifted.
The story goes that King Ludwig II (aka Mad King Ludwig) had the castle built up on the hill, not for security and the ability to protect it from attack, but rather for the view. Unfortunately, King Ludwig did not live to see the castle completed. He lived in it for only 172 days. Although it looks older, it was built in the 19th century, about the time the Eiffel Tower was built.
The rooms that were finished are absolutely amazing. The “ballroom” on the top floor is unbelievable. You can close your eyes and imagine an orchestra playing on the stage and couples spinning around the dance floor. If you time it right, a visit in September might allow you to enjoy a performance by the local orchestra playing Wagner, who was subsidized by Ludwig’s love of the arts.
The picture at right is just one of many beautiful vistas that can be seen from Neuschwanstein.
Once we completed the tour we started driving towards Luzern, Switzerland. As we headed towards the Swiss border we came upon the town of Imst and located a relatively large hotel. This is primarily a skiing community, but they seem to encourage business in the summer by leading hiking tours in to the local mountains.