Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg from Berlin
Although planned weeks before our arrival to Germany, on our final weekend together, we ventured south from Berlin into Bavaria to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, Austria. Nobody knows exactly how many castles and manor houses there are in Germany, but estimates put the number at close to 30,000. However for us, the Neuschwanstein Castle and accompanying Hohenschwangau Castle were an effortless choice. Used as the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, the structures have become global symbols for the era of Romanticism.
Although the “fairytale king” commissioned the castle to be perched on the north side of the Alps range, we had a relaxed and enjoyable time with the stroller exploring Ludwig II’s seemingly endless grounds. As we left, it was interesting to reflect on how the citizens of his time referred to Ludwig as the “Mad King” for overspending on his grand projects, only to have befallen to endearment for the beauty of his projects in Bavaria as the time has passed.
On our way back to Berlin, we decided to take a short detour to the west and visit Salzburg for the afternoon. The peaceful, glowing Austrian City seemed to be endowed with an old-world charm made famous in The Sound of Music, when the children learned to sing at its landmark Mirabell Palace and Gardens. Looming from above while we explored Old Town, we couldn’t resist making the hike to Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) to overlook the city skyline and impeding Alps beyond. After all this, you could expect we were utterly exhausted and the girls were happy to saw some Z’s on the final stretch back to Berlin.