Courtesy of 3DFlags.comFüssen / Schwangau, Germany

Fussen, Neuschwanstein Castle

After the splendor of Rome, Byron, Debbie, and Russ went their own ways. (They wanted to see some places they haven't been.) The rest of us (Scott, Robert, Katie, and I) took another night train toward Germany. Two things happened during this train ride that made it unforgettable. First, remembering how hot our first night train was, we decided to leave the window open. Big mistake. It felt like a meat locker in that car! Second, this was when one of us (who shall remain nameless, but has a three letter name) decided the only way to open the door of our compartment was to pull the emergency-stop handle!

Anyway, our first stop in Germany was to visit the storybook castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau near the town of Füssen. These castles built by King Ludwig II were the most well-preserved fairytale-ish castles on our tour. Neuschwanstein is nestled against a hill with a beautiful waterfall behind it, and Hohenschwangau sits on a small hill between two lakes. Gorgeous scenery.

Here are Scott and I on Mary's Bridge (Marienbrücke) looking down on the Neuschwanstein castle. This bridge sits over the top of the waterfall at the crest of a steep hill. The old growth is so thick on the hike up to the bridge that it felt like walking on a thick sponge! Very soothing...

Neuschwanstein View

Here's me getting crowned by Hohenschwangau, King Ludwig II's childhood home. Can't remember who took this photo, but he's fired!

Hohenschwangau Castle

A look back at Mary's Bridge and the waterfall in Pöllat Gorge underneath. There's an awesome trail next to the waterfall going down to the bottom. At one point, we were literally walking on water! (Well, walking on a wood plank suspended above the water anyway.)

Mary's Bridge

I'm getting soaked, but it's worth the trouble to get a close up of the Pöllat Gorge waterfall.

Pollat Gorge Waterfall