Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig's Castles
What she thought
When Jason mentioned going to Germany and seeing castles, this was the first place that came to mind. Though I loved every castle I laid my eyes on while I was there, this one was a must and lives up to expectations. The little village of Hohenschwangau, located between two castles is charming, to say the least. 2 million people visit here annually so it's definitely touristy but not too overdone. The two castles in the village are Hohenschwangau itself, the boyhood home of King Ludwig 11, and Neuschwanstein, his dream castle that he built later. When planning your trip I recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time. You can do so here. There is a small fee for ordering online but it's worth it, especially during busy season. Our hotel even picked them up for us so we didn't have to wait in line to get them. Also, make sure you pack some comfortable shoes, even hiking shoes. It's a pretty good hike up to the castles and even if you take the carriage you still have both castles to cover. You can do them both in a day if you choose, just purchase your tickets accordingly. The village is also located about 50 minutes from another of King Ludwig's castles, Linderhof. If you rented a car, drive on over. Any excuse the drive through the Bavarian countryside is a good one!! To find out more about our great little hotel, Hotel Müller, visit their website and also visit the "hotels we recommend" tab on our site.
What he thought
Considering the immense popularity of the castles in Hohenschwangau and the fact that pretty much everything that can be said about them has been said and the fact that I can't think of a sentence to describe them without using the word 'charming,' I will refrain from discussing these amazing mansions any further. Instead, I'd like to talk about the land.
Driving up to the village, we passed numerous fields of wildflowers and the guttural urge to rip my clothes off and roll around in those flower-beds was almost irresistable. We did stop many times but only to take pictures. All I can figure is, there is a herbal trigger in humans much like catnip for felines and I was getting a contact high. The emerald green, the perfect air, the beautiful sky - were all working me over. Everwhere you look in this place is a new beauty that gets inside you. The recommendation to visit comes with a warning: you may be ruined after this experience. You will never look at the watered-down, anemic, flat-land of your home with any sort of respect or appreciation again. The richness of this place will alter your system of values, sharpen your eye for beauty and potentially make every waking moment of the rest of your life absolute agony -- until you can return again.