Linda does Linderhof (and Neuschwanstein)

If you’re wondering why we chose to stay in a random little pocket of Austria, the answer is that Heiterwang is just a 20-minute drive from the world-famous Neuschwanstein Palace, but with much friendlier prices than on the German side of the border.

Unfortunately, the fabulous weather we’d be enjoying had come to an abrupt end, and we drove there through torrential rain under an angry, cloudy sky. But, even in crappy weather, the palace doesn’t fail to impress.

The first glimpse
The first glimpse

The only way to see the inside is on a guided tour and thankfully we’d reserved tickets as the queues were insane. They advise you to get there an hour before your tour time – with good reason. On a nice day, there was a chance we might have walked up there but with the rain still coming down by the bucketful, we decided to take the bus instead.

The ride is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Winding roads, steep drops and a driver with a lead foot on the accelerator. Still, we made it to the top in one piece.

View of Hohenschwangau
View of Hohenschwangau

There’s still a pretty steep walk up from the bus stop, and you have to battle your way through oblivious Japanese tourists. (Signs in the town are actually in Japanese, too.) But we made it with around 20 minutes to spare before our tour, which meant a 20-minute stand in the rain as you can’t get in until your designated time.

Tour group number 464 was herded through and then 465 was called. Our tour guide was a German girl with a love of using continuous tenses for everything. There was also a rather annoying man who roared translations at the rest of his party who clearly couldn’t understand a word of English.

The tour itself was underwhelming and took just 25 minutes in total. It felt a bit like being on a factory conveyor belt. Only around a third of the interior is furnished as all work stopped after the mysterious death of “Mad” King Ludwig at the age of 40. And while it was interesting enough to hear the details of some of the craftsmanship – it took 14 carpenters 4 years just to make the bed – it could have been so much better. When you’ve got a character like Ludwig on your hands, an entertaining tour should pretty much write itself. As it was, it was a bit like the “bad sex” of palace tours – in, out… Huh, was that it?

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We left the palace and walked through the drizzle to Marienbrücke.

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If you have a fear of heights, I would definitely not recommend this but the bridge is where you get the “money shot” of Neuschwanstein so it’s worth braving it.

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We got the bus back down and hopped into the car again. With the day still being but a pup, we decided to make it a Ludwig-themed one and go check out Linderhof as well.

Manfredas: If you see anything you want to take a photo of, just yell “stop”. 

Me: Cool, O… Jesus Christ! STOP! 

We had arrived at Plansee.

Wow...
Wow…

I’d been impressed by some of the other lakes we’d seen, but this one literally made my jaw drop. The weather had cleared up a bit and the reflection of the mountains in the water was nothing short of heavenly. We proceeded to drive for around a minute, stop again, jump out, take a photo, drive for another minute, stop, take a photo… This went on for some time and it is now clear to me that Manfredas has the patience of a saint.

Me: Where are we?

Manfredas: Well, we just passed … so we’re about 5 minutes from …

Me: No, no, I mean which country are we in? 

This was around the 4th time we’d crossed the Austrian-German border that day so hopefully you’ll understand my stupidity.

By the time we made it to Linderhof, the palace was closed for the day but we were kind of palaced out anyway so we were content to just wander around the gardens for a while. This was the only palace that Ludwig lived to see completed and I reckon he must have been pretty pleased with it. It’s almost as nice as my flat.

Not too shabby, Ludwig
Not too shabby, Ludwig

With the gardens, he attempted to recreate Versailles but, as I’ve never been, I can’t really say if he succeeded. They certainly are very, very pretty though.

I think I would have liked old Ludwig if I’d met him. After Wagner met him for the first time he said, “He is unfortunately so beautiful and wise, soulful and lordly, that I fear his life must fade away like a divine dream in this base world”. People say that about me all the time too…

After all of the touristy madness of the day, it was a relief to get back to our quiet little town, settle on the balcony with a glass of wine and listen to me mooing and baaing away. After that got tired, we headed back to Sunnawirt for more delicious food and pan piping.

Turkey and an edible flower!
Turkey, baked apple and an edible flower!

There wasn’t any yodelling that night as Paul was a bit worse for wear, having been on the red wine for God knows how many hours. Instead, we got a private tour of the rooms from his wife which was great. If I’m ever back Heiterwang way, I’d definitely try to stay there.

As we were on the road again the next morning, we had to call it a night – but not before I yodelled all the way back.

 

 

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51 thoughts on “Linda does Linderhof (and Neuschwanstein)”

  1. Business cards? Une fraie aristocrate n’a pas besoin cette fiche bourgeoise!
    Apropos “bourgeois”: Berlin is a little bit indelicate. Let us call you
    Linda- Latviana Hildeberta- Helmwige von Gaolainn- Grady zu Lindahof- Charlottenburg 🙂

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  2. I liked the N’s interiors! Especially the murals in what I think was some sort of a throne/theater room? Very much underrated! But yeah, nothing compares to the landscape there – even on an overcast day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have done the tour of Neuschwanstein several (five?) times (with relatives from Spain visiting) and fore sure do not want to do it again. It is underwhelming and there is so much potential to do better! However I would always recommend to to the tour once you are visiting this remote little corner of Germany: although the castle (inside) has never been finished it is stll (imho) worthwhile to see the interiors. They are themed around the Lohengrin-Saga (and the homonymous opera by Wagner). In fact I think it feels like an opera stage-scenery. It would be nice to see everything without the tour in your own pesonal pace, but because of the masses of people visiting the only way to see it is the tour. If the guide is bad, just do not listen and take the time to fully enjoy the interiors. Linderhof is very nice too, the tour is a little better perhaps. And it is completely finished. The third Ludwig-castle, Herrenchiemsee, is worth visiting, too. The location on the island is spectacular. It is also unfinished but it does not really matter.

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    1. Yes, I agree – it’s worth seeing. It’s not that the guide was bad, just got the feeling that she had this script that had been perfectly timed to give just enough information while getting everyone out again in the designated time! Thanks for the comment! Linda.

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  4. What a relief this post wasn’t like Debbie Does Dallas (which, by the way, played at the porno theater next to the apartment building I lived in a long, long time again). Thank you for all the eye-candy and thank you to Manfredas for having the patience of a saint. As for Heiterwang,it sounds like a perfect place to stay. Maybe they can hire you to yodel when Paul is out of commission 😉

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    1. Porno theatre?? That sounds awesome haha! I wonder if there’s one in Berlin – seems like a good place for one!
      Manfredas reckons it’s not patience – he actually enjoys it 😉
      Linda von Grady of Lindahof – professional yodeller 🙂

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      1. Well, there you go … your second career. Btw, the porno theater wasn’t awesome; it was pretty seedy … The Pussycat Theater (I kid you not …). I usually hated having to walk by it, but once in a great while, there would be a young couple getting tickets and I’d think, “First date?”

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            1. Oooh, he’s a bit of alright! Yes, I approve that casting! I’m sure there have been German movies made about him but I don’t know about English ones… Must try to find one in German and watch it 🙂

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          1. Business cards? Une fraie aristocrate n’a pas besoin cette fiche bourgeoise!
            Apropos “bourgeois”: Berlin is a little bit indelicate. Let us call you
            Linda- Latviana Hildeberta- Helmwige von Gaolainn- Grady zu Lindahof- Charlottenburg

            Like

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