Wednesday 20 August 2014

Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany - Tips and Money Savers in Bavaria

I decided to focus most of this post on travel tips.  Information on creating this layout in Studio J can be found at the end.  During my trip planning, I had to navigate a lot of information in German.  Luckily since then, many websites are now in English and if not Google chrome will do an automatic translation.

School in Ireland ran until the end of June, but the kids had no school the 1st week of June.  We decided after much discussion to explore Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  This required flying out of Dublin to Salzburg, Austria and back through Basel, Switzerland.  This was booked on Ryanair, but after scheduling our whole trip, including non-refundable hotel in Salzburg, we were notified that Ryanair would not be flying to Salzburg.  I booked an Aer Lingus flight to Munich, Germany for the day before.

We decided that we would spend that night in Hohenschwangau, Germany and see the amazing Neuschwanstein castle.  Germany offers money saving regional day tickets which work on all regional train, bus and subway travel after 9am on weekdays, midnight on weekends/holidays.  The one for Bavaria was €28 for 2-5 people, the price now varies depending on how many are travelling.  This was great as the pass covered the S-bahn from the airport to the train station, the trains from Munich to Füssen and the bus from Füssen and the Hohenschwangau.  Even those travelling on expensive Eurail passes had to pay extra for the bus.  I also bought a pass for the following day as the Salzburg train station is part of the Bavaria train network.

We arrived in Hohenschwangau shortly before 2:30pm, grabbed a some quick bratwurst and beer and checked into our hotel.  Tours for the Neuschwanstein castle can fill up fast.  I had decided to purchase the 14 day palace pass  (included Neuschwanstein and many other places in Bavaria, but not Hohenschwangau) for €36 (currently €40).  This also allowed us to take the next tour.  We walked up the castle, though you can also go up by bus and horse drawn carriage.  I purchased the palace pass and we were put on the next English tour.  

The tour was great and it is the only way to see the castle.  Our guide was American.  After the tour, we walked to Marie's bridge (Marienbrücke) where you can take the best pictures.  Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture, that side had scaffolding due to a multi-year renovation project.  We started to hear thunder and on our way down the hill, the skies opened up and we were drenched.  Near the bottom of the hill we found the Hotel Müller and decided to eat in their restaurant.     

The next morning we headed up to Hohenschwangau Castle.  We didn't take a tour; we just explored the courtyards and exterior.  We then took the bus to the Tegelbergbahn to ride the summer luge.  The Bavaria regional day ticket that we would be using to get to Salzburg, could also be used on this bus.  For the luge, we bought 6 adult tickets (€10.50) and 6 kids tickets (€9.50) so we had 3 rides each for a total of €20. Current prices and other information can be found here.  There was also a playground here with some free and coin operated rides as well as a canteen.  The luge was great fun. We were only there a little longer than an hour before taking the bus back. 

We grabbed a quick lunch, gathered our stuff from the hotel and took the bus to Füssen for our train. I had a bit of time at the station and managed to find a grocery store to pick up a few things for our trip.  During the half hour stop in the massive Munich Hbf train station, we picked up dinner to eat on the train to Salzburg. The train from Munich to Salzburg was direct but the whole train doesn’t go that far.  Everyone on our set of cars had to get up and move to the other half.  In Salzburg, we stayed at the Best Western Hotel Imlauer which was an easy walk from the train station.  

Created in: Studio J

Kit: Mischief
Pattern: Reflections: Front and Center—In the Middle/Sidebar—Main Frame™
Kit Mix: 1
Photos: 1 horizontal, 4 horizontal
Colours: Topiary, Cranberry, Grey Wool, Outdoor Denim, Buttercup, Colonial White
• Creating your own argyle B&T paper
• Customizing kit by adding different colours
Notes: This layout was based instructions provided for a Close To My Heart Regional Celebration for consultants.  However, I made change to colours and photo orientation to suite my photos.  Buttercup and Grey Wool are not current colours, so if you choose my colours, you will have to substitute canary and slate.  The argyle pattern was created with a lot of journaling boxes and dashes.  Studio J now has an easy stitching option under embellishments.

Let me know if you have any travel or creative questions.

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