Although this post was titled as Day 2 in Munich, we didn’t spend that much time here at all. Today we are about to embark on a round trip and also meeting up with the rest of my family who are also doing their own version of the Europe trip.
We had to wake up early this time around to catch the regional train to Füssen. It is a small town at the edge of the Germany-Austria border. Travelling by train takes about 2 hours to reach, same goes if you are travelling by car, so why do all the work?
Get the Bayern Ticket. €29 per ticket, valid for 5 adults
Tip: There is this ticket combo thingy known as the Bayern Ticket. Only applicable to Bavarian local transport. So no ICE or any transport outside Bavaria. One ticket is good enough for 5 adults and it is only €29 per ticket. I think it lasts for 24 hours. But a few trips to and fro for 5 would most likely cover the price of the ticket nicely.
At the unholy hour of 530am in the morning, there is not much of activity at the Munich Hauptbahnhof, so make sure you know where you are heading to. Get on the train, free seating, any side of the train would do. Both will give you good views.
The train left right on time and soon we were rolling through the countryside. I feel that most Germans are environmentally friendly, because we saw quite a number of farmhouses or even houses in the countryside that have solar panels installed on their roofs! Compared to my country where we basically have sunshine all year round, there is no such initiative. It is even prohibitive to have them, at most, only to heat up the shower.
Besides the houses, you could also have a view of the Alps as we approach Füssen. The weather was also slightly colder here as we near the Alps. But nothing a jacket couldn’t keep out. There were only another handful of tourists who took the same train ride as we did. Outside the station, there is a small bus stop.
“Look for the #73 bus. We need that to get to our next destination,” I said. It was still early in the day and the tour buses from Munich have yet to arrive. We had the place all to our own. If you are still in the dark, I’m referring to the town of Hohenschwangau and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.
Try to visit the castles when the crowd is less, for more photo opportunities and interaction with the guides
Since we had the Bavarian Museum Ticket, Neuschwanstein Castle is covered. However, Hohenschwangau Castle is not because it is still a privately owned castle. The logical choice is to visit Hohenschwangau Castle first then Neuschwanstein, because that is where the story of King Ludwig II starts.
“King Ludwig II. He is the one who dreamt up the idea for Neuschwanstein Castle,” came the reply.
You can do it our way, which was to travel early by train to visit these 2 beautiful castles. Or you could take one of the tour buses from Munich, which might combine these 2 castles with another famous castle, Linderhof. Or you could stay overnight and enjoy both castles the next day. Plenty of variations, but the main point is to visit them when the crowds are less.
“We need to avoid the crowds if you want the nicest pictures!”
Take the bus up and hike to the Marienbrücke
There are a few ways to make it up to Schloss Neuschwanstein, my tip would be to take the bus, unless you have a lot of time and willing to sweat a little, then you could hike up. The bus wouldn’t take you all the way, there is still a short walk, but it is very near to the Marienbrücke. This is where you should be to get the nicest pictures of Schloss Neuschwanstein. Almost postcard-like.
A good sense of direction is also helpful as when the bus drop you off, most of the crowd would gather at the map. You need a good headstart like we did, in the end we had the bridge all to ourselves for 15 minutes. Plenty of time to set up the tripod, adjust the angle and shoot away.
(to be continued)