“We are off on a road trip! Woohoo!”
“Pack your bags and let’s go!”
Imagining conversations aside, the whole family got into the car for a road trip back to Munich from Neuschwanstein, with a few stops along the way. You might be wondering — where in the world did that car came from? To cut a long story short, my family did their shortened version of the Romantic Road from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Neuschwanstein the day before.
Read below for 5 tips before your road trips
Breaking out our lunch of sandwiches in the car, we came prepared. But before that, I think I need to put a few things straight in preparation for this road trip.
Going through the maps before hand is a good idea before the trip, especially when noting landmarks and highlights along the way. Plan it beforehand on Google Maps to make sure you cover what you wanted to see along the way.
2) Licence & Registration
Make sure your driving licence is up to date and to get yourself a reliable rental car. Where I come from, we need to obtain an International Driving Visa before being allowed to drive on foreign soil.
If you are still following the old fashioned way, then by all means, get yourself a road map. Especially the detailed ones. If not, any GPS will do, either a standalone or the one in your phone.
No road trip is complete without food/drinks and if it is your preference, some good music to listen to while driving.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a couple of friends, or in my case, my family and go!
With the help of the onboard GPS, we were soon on our way into Austria. There weren’t that many cars on the road and I think we were the only ones heading away from Neuschwanstein at around 1pm on a perfect sunny day.
Tip: If you are using any of the major highways in Austria, you need to get an additional sticker/voucher thingy from one of the German petrol stations. We weren’t using them so that meant €10+ saved.
Our first destination was the Plansee, a vast expense of water in the backdrop of the Alps. I have never seen such clear sparkling water with their source coming from the melted snow of the mountains.
Wow! Repeated 6 times and above while looking at the Plansee
“Wow!” repeated 6 times and above while in the process of driving alongside the Plansee looking for a suitable place to park the car for a better view. Do not believe me?
This was also the first time a few of my family members including me saw snow. Albeit the melting type along the road. This came as quite a surprise since it was already the beginning of summer (May 2012). This was followed by the customary stop for all tourists, to step out, grab a few photos and of course, hold the snow in our hands.
Our next destination was Schloss Linderhof, another one of King Ludwig II’s castles built during his lifetime. It is also one of the lesser known. Same as with the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, the ticket is time-based, no photography allowed and it must be a guided tour. But don’t worry, not many visit this castle, there wasn’t even a queue at the ticketing counter.
“Is this what we came all the way for?” exclaimed my sister.
“It is so — small?”
What she was referring to was the size of the castle, as compared to Versailles, the Residenz, both the castles at Neuschwanstein, Linderhof is indeed smaller. But it makes up for it with the size of the gardens. If you are fit and healthy, you could climb all the way up the small hill to look at the Venus Grotto.
What goes up must naturally come down
Tip: When I meant fit and healthy, I meant that you are in tip-top condition, as the walk is uphill, with only a few benches along the path. Don’t forget, what goes up, must naturally come down.
“Is this covered by the Bavarian Museum Pass?” asked my mom.
“Yes it does, that is why we are visiting it.”
“Are you sure it was not the other way round?”
“What do you mean?”
“That you bought the Pass, so that you can visit the castles freely?”
This is NOT a must visit castle, but since we were on a loop back towards Munich, we felt that it was within our itinerary to give it a visit. A must if you are planning to visit all of the castles within the area known as Bavaria. Most day trips do visit this castle if I am not mistaken.
You will spend more time in the gardens than in the castle itself. Inside the castle, there isn’t much difference from what you can find at Neuschwanstein. Just that the latter is much more lavish. All these castles reminded me of how much wealth people of the olden days had.
(to be continued)