The line between fairy tale and horror story has always been rather faint. Nestling just on the German side of the Austrian border is the famous castle of Neuschwanstein. Built by the supposedly (who knows anymore??) mad king Ludwig II and drawing heavily on the work of Ludwig’s great hero, Richard Wagner – Lohengrin, Tristan & Isolde, Siegfried, Parsifal, they’re all there on mural, mosaic, cushion and curtain – it was also the model for the famous fairy castle logo (plus Tinker Bell!) used by Walt Disney. Today it’s a major tourist attraction, and, as an aspiring major(?) tourist I duly wound my way up into the foothills of the Alps for a visit.
It was horrible; not because of the castles (there are two of them in close proximity; the other one is called Hohenschwangau) which were rather splendid in a very-over-the-top sort of way, but on a morning on which a significant proportion of the world’s population seemed to have turned up to gawp (me too!), it poured and poured and then did some more pouring – net result: squashed, damp misery for all.
Most of my visit to Bavaria has been great, and to prove it here are two rather contrasted photos (with others to follow):
- a weisswurst with its close pals, the (giant) pretzel and süsser Senf (sweet mustard) and…
- the magnificent St. Peter’s cathedral in the mediaeval town of Regensburg.