Back in 2012, we had a less than successful visit to Neuschwanstein. Less than successful only in the sense that unbeknownst to us the castle was being renovated at the time, and as it slowly dawned on us as we drew ever nearer, looked like it had been completely bubble-wrapped.
The rest of our visit proved most memorable when we decided to undertake the quite stunning Pollat Gorge as a form of compensation… This truly has to be one of the most stunning hikes we have walked in Bavaria, even if my Mum found it slightly challenging part way through (I should point out – thanks to a distant family member’s upset that I had reminded my Mother of her “atrocious ordeal” – that no Grannys were harmed in the making of the original post. Although she was perhaps a little worried at crossing the river for a minute or two, it was all taken in good humour, and resulted in a lot of hysterical laughter for the rest of the day from all of us, both at the state of the castle, and at the damsel in distress scenario!)…
We recently returned (as we were staying in neighbouring Fussen which I will write about when I have ploughed through the hundreds of photographs I have taken!) to find Neuschwanstein gloriously restored to all of the original beauty that King Ludwig must have dreamt of as a child all those years ago.
The walk up the hill to the castle wasn’t half as painful as I remember it being first time around (I am alot more used to hiking up hills perhaps?!), and I would recommend the end of March as a great time to make a pilgrimage as you are distracted from your aching legs by the gorgeous woodland wildflowers all around you.
Sadly (although we think my Mum would be pleased) we found the entrance to the Pollat Gorge currently closed off, which I am hoping is just because there’s plenty of snow still on the mountains, and it might be a little unsafe at this time of year. Instead, we walked onwards and upwards to the Marienbrukke, with wonderful views of other castles on the way. Having taken a different route, we hadn’t attempted this infamous bridge the first time around. Strung between rocks across a deep ravine, the Marienbrukke flips the bravest of stomachs should you be tempted to look down.
But if you make yourself venture across it, you are rewarded with what has to be the best view point of the castle itself… I even think Granny might have braved it for this photo opportunity!