After our night in Austria, we headed back to Germany, making use of the Austrian motorways to save time (remember you need a vignette for Austrian motorways, or a GO Box if over 3.5 tonnes). We were heading for two of Germany’s most famous (and touristy) castles, Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau.
Castle Neuschwanstein is reputed to have provided the inspiration for Disney’s famous fairy tale castle and when you see it, it does live up to the billing.
Unfortunately, the best view was obscured by scaffolding during our visit:
(The picture above was taken from a bridge up in the woods behind the castle. It’s a well signposted and well trodden route but is nonetheless well worth the walk (if the view appeals). While we were there, an old gentlemen in traditional costume was offering to help visitors by taking photos of them and their loved ones with the castle in the background. He didn’t ask anything in return but had left an empty cigar box for donations at the end of the bridge. I’ve no idea how long he had been up there, but while we were there, two police officers appeared (having walked up the path) and politely but firmly ensured he left the bridge. )
Although the scaffolding was a bit disappointing, we did get a good look at nearby Castle Hohenschwangau, too, which was completely different and also very attractive.
Parking near the castles is very strictly controlled and is not free. Not all car parks accept motorhomes and there is a separate tariff for vehicles larger than cars, like minibuses and motorhomes. However, charging is automated (I think weight sensors might be involved) and our small motorhome was only charged the same as a car.
The walk up to the castles is easy enough for anyone with a normal level of fitness, but bus and horse-drawn buggy services are also available if preferred. Admission to the inside of the castles costs money but visitors can walk around the outsides quite freely.
We stayed two nights in this area, both of them at the excellent Fussen Mobil motorhome parking facility. Fussen is the nearest sizeable town to the two castles and has two large motorhome parking facilities, all of which are signposted as you drive into the town. (There is only one set of signposts, as both sites are on the same street!) Considering how popular the area is, the charge of €11.60 per night was not unreasonable – especially as all facilities and a toilet/shower block were available and the town centre was within 15 minutes walk.