Germany: Grüß Gott München!

Castles

We rode an Intercity-Express train from Bochum to Munich and then went straight to a Regional-Express train then a Regional-Bahn train and finally a bus to Hohenschwangau, the home of the famous German castle Neuschwanstein. It was a long ride, but it was definitely worth it.

We ran to the ticket counter to get our tickets pretty quickly. We got tickets for about two hours after so we were able to hike around the mountains before seeing the castle.

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View from the top of a mountain we hiked!

Then, we were ready for Neuschwanstein, the famous castle! It is located at the southwest border of the German state of Bavaria, the same state as Munich.

Neuschwanstein was built for the king Ludwig II. At the time of Ludwig’s death the palace was not done; he only slept 11 nights in the castle! Due to this and monetary issues, the castle was not finished using the original design. Instead it is a simplified version.

This blew my mind that this humongous structure with beautiful architecture could be a “simplified” version!

Ludwig II never wanted the castle to be open to the public, but it was only a little over a month after his death. This allowed the royal family to pay off the massive debts that had added up during the construction. More and more visitors came each year, reaching 200,000 per year by 1940.

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Neuschwanstein!

The tour was pretty short (only 35 minutes), but each room was utterly amazing! More than 1.3 million visitors go on the tour per year making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The day we went there were over 6,000 visitors!

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Neuschwanstein might look a bit familiar!

Neuschwanstein Castle served as the inspiration for the castle in the 1950 Disney classic, Cinderella. That’s not the only time Disney took nspiration from Neuschwanstein! Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland also looks strikingly similar.

Between the castles there was a lake called the Alpsee. It was breathtaking.

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We rowed a boat around the Alpsee!

After exhausting ourselves rowing around the lake, we made our way to the second castle, Hohenschwangau!

We didn’t go into this one because we ran out of time, but we were able to see the courtyard and the beautiful views. This castle is not nearly as famous, but I actually like it more! My friend Emilio and I decided we would move in soon.

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The beautiful view from the courtyard of the Hohenschwangau castle!

During our time in Germany, we did not make it to the Black Forest, but we thought this was the closest point we would be at so we made sure to get some black forest cake!

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My first black forest cake!

It was only day one of the trip, but half of us were already sunburned!

Yes mom, we did put on sunscreen!

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Eating cake and drinking beer by the Alpsee !

Munich

Our tour of Munich was great! People in our group were from Brazil, Iran, Australia, and more. Our tour guide was a local so she could give us the best tips!

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We started our day in Munich with a Sandemans tour by our new friend Veronika!

After the tour, we went to enjoy beer at a brewery that our new friend Veronika recommended!

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Two Ole Miss Rebels and our friends from Mexico enjoying Bavarian beer!

After lunch, we went to the Deutsches Museum (German museum), which might be the biggest museum I’ve ever been to. It’s all about science and technology. The cool thing about being in an engineering program is that all my friends would nerd out about that stuff too!

I realized how many technical words are not the same in German and English, but it was definitely still worth it! With our student discounts, it was only 4€.

After more than 3 hours in the museum, we met up with yet another Ole Miss rebel. She’s an alum who is working as an Au Pair in Munich. She knew the best places to go so she showed us the English Garden and her favorite Beer Garden there.

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The river that runs through the English Garden — people can actually surf in this river!

From there, we walked back to the main train station to take our trains home. We stopped at 3 different fountains on the way!

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Beautiful fountain right after the sun went down!

Munich and the whole state of Bavaria are what most people think of when they think of Germany — from Lederhosen to Oktoberfest. It was definitely amazing and everyone should check it out, but don’t forget that Bavaria is only 1 of 16 states of Germany! Don’t limit yourself to just one!

See you on my next adventure,

Kristin

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