The end of our Germany trip during which we visited Salzburg and Nuremburg, was rough. We both got sick, and were pretty exhausted after nearly three weeks of travel. Rather than be sad that our trip was almost over, we were looking forward to it. (I was daydreaming about my own bed, bathtub, the fact that you can actually get iced coffee in America…)
But like seasoned travelers, we powered through, and saw some pretty cool sites.
Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles
Like many tourists to Bavaria, Neuschwanstein castle (aka the castle Disney based the Disneyland castle on), was at the top of our list. And since Hohenschwangau is close by, we stopped there too. Neuschwanstein was the pet project/tribute to Richard Wagner/medieval fantasy of King Ludwig II (yes, the mad king Ludwig). It was never really completed probably largely due to Ludwig’s mysterious drowning (suspected to have been murder) in 1886.
We reserved our tickets online several days beforehand (you have to). A bus took us up the hill, after which there’s a longish walk to the castle entrance. We weren’t allowed pictures inside, but I took these outside the castle.
The tour itself was an audio tour. We got to see the main rooms of the castle, including Ludwig’s bedchamber. The interior of the castle is very much an ode to 1800s romanticism, with lots of medieval inspired decorations and furniture.
Hohenschwangau castle was the family seat/main residence. We also weren’t allowed photos inside, and owing to the steep cliff it is built on and dense foliage, I didn’t manage to get many shots.
Unlike the oott gaudiness of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau has a lived-in vibe and still features a lot of the family’s possessions. And this tour was given by an actual person!
Set atop a hill that towers over the town, Hohensalzburg castle has quite a long history spanning almost 1,000 years! That’s crazy. The downside of such a long history is that castle has been added to, and rebuilt on top of old ruins so that most of what you’re able to see is from the Renaissance at the latest. But there’s no denying the castle is a fortress is every aspect. Thick walls enclose the structure and save supply deliveries, it seems self-sustaining.
Banqueting Hall. Actually a pretty cool room (look at the ceiling!), not sure why they though adding a totally modern table with a tablecloth was a good idea, seems out of place.
View from up top.
If you ever want to know how wealthy an old town like Salzburg was during it’s heyday, visit the cathedral. And yes, Salzburg had some might wealthy residents.
This was one of those times (no doubt helped by being woozy sick) where there’s really too much detail to take in. Those red bursts of color on the ceiling are all separate paintings, and the crown molding(s) rival any I’ve ever seen.
Our last site-seeing stop in Germany was Nuremburg. Here we finally started to feel better, and good thing too because there are so many things to see in this picturesque city.
Schoner Brunnen, the famous fountain whose gold ring you turn to make a wish
Our last day in Germany was spent in Frankfurt because we had an early morning departure flight. We stayed at the same hotel that we stayed in when we first arrived in Germany (unfortunately). The shower broke the morning before our flight and I had to shower in the sauna room while my husband stood guard.
-area surrounding Salzburg is stunning with the alps rising not far out of town
-markets in town square of Nuremburg that sell everything (also the Christmas shops and chocolate shops!)
-Our hotel in Salzburg, the Altstadthotel Kasererbraeu, was the worst. We reserved a specific suite, and upon arriving they informed us that it was already taken (even though we reserved it…). The person at the desk was very rude and basically told us it wasn’t his problem. We were sick enough at this point that we were too tired to find a new hotel (and we’d already paid). This hotel is very old and the rooms are very hot (which is weird because the hallways are quite cold).
-food. Typical German that is blah.
And that wraps up my Germany series! All in all, we were disappointed with Germany. While the sites were cool and the architecture of most historical buildings was stunning (and Baden-Baden was awesome!), the day to day realities of travel in Germany were pretty rough. Lodging, food, and our interactions with Germans constantly fell below expectations and left us feeling a bit depressed to be frank. There were times when we were treated so poorly (even though we try and be humble travelers, always respectful and grateful), we were left looking at each like “Did that just happen? Am I seeing this correctly?”
Out of all the countries we’ve traveled to, Germany is our least favorite.
The blog will be undergoing a bit of a refurbishment over the next few weeks, so there won’t be any new posts until that is completed. But I think its going to look really good once it’s done!
Have you read my last post about our trip to Munich? You can here!