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mhpr262 01-19-2008 05:39 AM

Micro Adventure: Daytrip to Castle Neuschwanstein
I currently live and work in a place about 50km west of Munich and am therefore not far from some of the most beautiful places and scenery in Germany.

Last Tuesday I had a day off from work, the sun was shining and the temperature not too bad (~7°C), so I decided to visit a place I had always wanted to see up close, but had never really gotten round to actually do it: Castle Neuschwanstein by the Forggensee.

I left at about 10.30am. The "Föhn" wind had cleared the air and one could clearly see the Alps in the distance.

There is a very quick road south from where I live, but of course I took the small and twisty roads through all the little villages. This horse can go ice skating whenever it feels like it...

I am drawing closer. There is a beautiful blue haze over the mountains and foothills...

Clouds of steam...this pic was taken right into the sun, with tele. Eerie lighting, I find.

I took a little break to stretch my legs. My bike wanted to have its photo included. I have been thinking long and hard about getting the new 1250 Bandit, but as it turned out later, it was a good idea I had stuck with the little GS, for this trip at least...

The resting place was situated on a little hill, with a nice view.

Another into-the-sun shot from the same location. I like the lighting effect this creates.

if you look at this photo very, very closely, you can just make out four little smudges over the mountaintops...(no use trying to wipe them off your monitor!

Hot air balloons!

How awesome that must be, floating over the Alps in one of these things. The weather allows this only one or two days in every year, I have heard.

Stark beauty:

Lake Forggensee, completely frozen over. You can just make out the silhouette of the castle above my gas tank, halfway up the mountainside.

A panoramic shot:

Without the bike:

i wonder if the people in this bed and breakfast get charged extra for the view:

GB 01-19-2008 05:50 AM

Nice!! Let's see a few more pics of the castle!! :thumb


mhpr262 01-19-2008 06:56 AM

Shot from a field behind the bed and breakfast, 1st without, 2nd with tele.

at the foot of the hill Neuschwanstein was built on is another castle, Castle Hohenschwangau. Ludwig II. used this one for practice before he went for the real thing...:lol3

More foreground to put the size into perspective:

The castle is painted in a colour that would go wonderfully with any peach flavoured ice cream...

The last stretch of road is closed to general traffic, either you walk by foot or take a horse drawn carriage.

They are a big attraction, especially with Japanese tourists. Here is a short video. (Will be added later, youtube has not yet processed...)

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Still closer...

Here i fiddled around with the exposure a little bit....

This is what Ludwig saw when he looked out of the window.

The northern part of the castle, surrounding the courtyard:

If you haver ever wondered where the phrase "to tower above somebody" comes from, here´s some illustration...

The main entrance:

The door:

A view of the inner courtyard:

A 180° view back to the gatehouse:

I didn´t go inside, as that is only possible with a guided tour, and there weren´t any as it was not the tourist season. This pretty little house stands at the foot of the hill:

I met a nice middle aged guy on holiday from Ontario there who was much interested in my motorcycle. he told me he was a rider himself, but had sold his Kawi Z 1000 last year to a young man who "rode off into the sunset with it", as he told me a bit wistfully. He also told me he had seriously thought about moving to Germany a couple of times, but apparently immigration is not so easy.

From Füssen I went south, as I had planned to ride along the Plansee to Ettal and then back again.

mhpr262 01-19-2008 07:23 AM

a little church just outside of Reutte:

Just behind Reutte, the snow began...

For some reason that I cannot for the life of me remember now, I kept thinking "I am committed now" and "it will get better soon". Well, it didn´t. That was the first time I had ridden on snow and I was abit uneasy, to say the least. i feathered my clutch and throttle like I´d never done before...

The Plansee, also frozen over.

The whole road was like this, all 20 or more miles of it.

With the sun out, it could actually look quite pretty:

The feathering paid off, and I made it through without dropping the bike. I had a nasty moment, however, when the front tire almost wiped out on an iced over part. That one left a fair sized pucker mark on my seat cover. Oh, and have I already mentioned how glad I was I wasn´t doing this trip with the 1250 Bandit...

Halfway on this road is another of Ludwig´s castles, Schloss Linderhof, the only one he actually lived in. I didn´t visit it however, as it was already getting dark and I hadn´t packed my normal glasses, only my shades. I´m going to leave that one for another ride report, I think...

This is what you see at the end of the road:

Aye, Ettal with its famous monastery and Oberammergau with the Passion of Christ festivities shown only once a decade.

I did a little detour for the monastery:

It was actually much darker, but somehow I had managed to get the exposure just right. *grinningproudlylikeidiot*

And the farewell shot:

Too bad the picture doesn´t quite manage to bring the mood and the lighting across properly. The ride home was rather uneventful, so no more photos.

As a somewhat longer lasting memory of this trip I caught a cold during the way home I think, and am typing this with my sinuses close to bursting and with aching head and joints...was it worth that? Hell yes!

Boatman 01-19-2008 08:27 AM

That road up to the castle is pretty steep. We did it on what seemed to be the hottest day in August a couple years back and were drenched by the time we got to the castle. When my wife was stationed in Germany a couple years back we ended up touring quite a few castles and palaces. My favorites were Neuschwanstein and the Residenz in Wurzburg. It's also unbelievable that quite a number of these places have been meticulously restored after they were nearly leveled during the war. There is a diarama (sp) in the Fortress Marienburg that shows what Wurzburg looked like after bombing. Stone by stone they put it all back together.

EZ OUT 01-19-2008 08:48 AM

Great report and beautiful pictures :thumb. My girls especially liked the castle pictures. Parts of Germany look a lot like the countryside here in Ohio. Except for the Alps...and the castles...and the architecture...and the pine forest...and....:shog

Frontiersman 01-19-2008 11:25 AM

Great photo's, thanks for sharing. I lived in Germany for two years and it was some of the best riding I've ever done. If you have the chance go back and do the tour, it is well worth the return trip.

Just a little trivia fact: Walt Disney's Sleeping beauty casle is based on the Neuschwanstein casle.

Klay 01-19-2008 12:25 PM


E-man 01-19-2008 12:46 PM

Awesome pics.
But once again I must profess, I can't take these beautiful places anymore. I can't surely ride all of them.


Borinott 01-19-2008 01:00 PM

That place is very nice one.
I was there in summer two years ago and now I realize that the place is nicer in winter than in summer.
The problem is the temperature. Those -7Cº are very cold weather. We are not used to that temperature right here in Mediterranean coast.

MikJogg 01-19-2008 01:01 PM

:thumb Toller Bericht,klasse Bilder...

mhpr262 01-19-2008 01:31 PM


Originally Posted by Borinott
That place is very nice one.
I was there in summer two years ago and now I realize that the place is nicer in winter than in summer.
The problem is the temperature. Those -7Cº are very cold weather. We are not used to that temperature right here in Mediterranean coast.

It was +7°, thankfully:eek1 . The " ~ " sign was meant to indicate I didn´t know the exact temperature, but it was thereabouts. thanks for the kind comments! A pity my camera isn´t very good, I use a Nikon L 11 and there are always large blurry areas, especially toward the edges.

vagt6 01-19-2008 02:17 PM

Really nice pix, thanks for posting. I was there last summer, the weather was warm and perfect. I'll take the warm stuff over 7C!!:eek1

Mad King Ludwig: poor nutball, beautiful castle.:D

franken 01-19-2008 03:29 PM

:clapgreat report.
Made a similar report last summer. (, so maybe we can do a ride report together later this year.

have fun

idea man 01-19-2008 04:03 PM

Thanks for taking one for the team to get these shots. I hope your cold and corresponding hypothermic symptoms pass quickly.:D Beautiful stuff.

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