Germany and Austria '92
The Royal Castles

We have visited the Royal Castles a number of times both with and without students and have stayed in at least three or four different places. But once we located the Pension Weiher in the village of Hohenschwangau, we have used it on every occasion that it has been open. The Pension is located just a few blocks from the bus stop in Hohenschwangau village if you take the bus out, but even a cab ride from the Füssen station is pretty inexpensive. On this trip, the castles were our first stop, and Frau Oswald's hospitality helped make the girls feel right at home.

A room at the Pension Weiher

Hohenschwangau from the village

Hohenschwangau Castle lies a little above the village and can be reached by walking up a series of steps. (Unfortunately, at the time of year that we usually travel, Hohenschwangau rarely has enough English-speaking tourists to warrant a tour.) For the trip up to Neuschwanstein, many tourists opt to ride in the horse drawn carriages. The carriages will take you up to a point about three quarters of the way up, so even with the help of the horses, there is still a pretty good walk. Another option can be found near the Hotel Lisl; a small bus will take you up another path to a point near the Marienbrucke, but from there, you have another fairly long walk to the castle.

The Pollat Gorge stretches behind Neuschwanstein, and when King Ludwig II built the castle, he might have chosen his location partly for the view of the cataract in the gorge. Today, the Marienbrucke, the walking bridge that spans the gorge, provides some of the best views of the castle. Many of our favorite shots of the castle have been taken from the bridge. Someday, I plan to overcome my acrophobia long enough to venture farther than the three steps I usually take before crawling back to the safety of hard ground!

The Marienbrucke

The Train from Fussen

A small train travels several times a day between Füssen and either Augsburg or Munich with its load of tourists, shoppers, and schoolchildren. The first time we traveled on the "schoolbus" leg of the journey, we thought it was interesting to be able to do some comparative observation, but since then we have decided that it might be preferable to spend this part of the trip in the relaltive quiet of the baggage car.

 Munich and Salzburg - Rothenburg ob der Tauber
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