Even if you haven't heard of or visited the castle at Neuschwanstein, you may well recognise it, because it is the castle on which the world famous Disneyland Castle at the theme park in California is based. In fact there are two castles here - the well known one with the turrets, at the top of the mountain, and a much less exciting one at the bottom. The one at the top was commissioned by King Ludwig II, to trump the one at the bottom, which was built by his father, King Maximillian II. The castles are in south-west Bavaria, not too far from Munich.
The castles get very busy with tourists, even out of season, and if you want to see the rooms inside, it is a good idea to book your tickets ahead of time. From the car park at the bottom, you can either walk up a steep, winding road to the castle at the top, or you can take one of the many horse and carts that make their way up filled with tourists. It is quite a long walk to the top, but as you ascend you get some stunning views of the castle at the top, and of the surrounding landscape.
After we had been to the castle, we went to a gorgeous Spa nearby, called the Kristall-Therme. The Spa had a series of lovely hot pools both inside and outside, including one with a strong circular current that the children thought was great. It was incredible to feel the contrast between the heat of the water and the cold of the air outside. It's amazing to think that these waters are heated by nature alone.
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