Welcome to the Bayern (Bavaria, auf Englisch)! :D Hehe, before autumn hit Germany, my parents, some of the diplomatic officers and family, and I decided to go see Schloss Neuschwanstein (New Swan Stone Castle, auf Englisch) in the village of Hohenschwangau. It's said that Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle was based on this Bavarian landmark! Below are photos of the village and the lake (Alpensee) beside it. You can see the famous Alps in the background. Swans seemed to be found in every lake I see in this area! I'd like to think that this is the reason why so many places around here are named after the beautiful beasts, for example, Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Schwangau, etc. Anyway, Hohenschwangau is definitely a great place for relaxing, despite the number of tourists visiting the castles.
A photo of me taken at the balcony of our room at Hotel Mueller! It was cool, since you can see Schloss Neuschwanstein from this balcony!
Here are several photos taken of Schloss Neuschwanstein. Again, photos just don't do the castle justice. We actually went inside, but we weren't allowed to take photos inside. A pity, would have loved to show you how amazing the castle is. A bit of history, this castle was one of the three castles built by Koenig Ludwig II, the other two (you'll see photos later!) are Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Linderhof. Schloss Neuschwanstein was built in honour of the famous German composer, Wagner - hence, many rooms were decorated with many of Wagner's operas in mind. Unfortunately, the king was a bit too extravagant, he ran out of money, resulting in most of his fantasy castles not being finished. He was considered "mentally unwell", and drowned under mysterious circumstances at a lake near one of his castle homes.
The following photos are of Schloss Hohenschwangau. This castle is also located in the village and like Schloss Neuschwanstein, it is located on top of a hill.
The last castle that we wanted to see was about 17 km from Hohenschwangau. To get there by the most scenic route, we had to enter Austria! We were only near the border, but even so, the area we passed through was breathtaking. Below are two photos of the lake, Plansee. Again, you see swans!
Finally, we reached Schloss Linderhof. It's not as big as the other two, but it is still an amazing structure, and it is the only one of the fantasy castles which the king lived to see its completion.