The Frozen Series – 1. Neuschwanstein

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It’s almost December and the winter air is starting to takeover. When I first came to Europe, I couldn’t wait to experience snow first hand only to be disappointed because it did not come where I hoped it would fall – here in Paris. Apparently, it rarely snows in here so last year, with a few friends, we took a trip to Munich. I was actually there mostly for the beer but snow came as well so I was glad to experience it for the first time. Although I was pleased at first, a day after, we were drowning in the mist and blizzard that transformed from snow powder Christmas confetti. It became quite a nightmare. So we were a bit iffy about our original plan of sending ourselves to Füssen and visit the famous Neuschwanstein aka Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty Castle. My younger mates were all like YOLO so we hopped on the earliest train we can get and went. Everything outside was just all white. The enthusiasm from a swarm of tourists is probably the only thing that kept us going.

Then we arrived at Füssen and we have to take a bus to get to the pedestrian entrance. There are usually buses to take you up directly to the castle but the thick snow, yes, it is serious, impeded any form of transportation. So of course, we have to do it old style – by foot – while freezing our balls off. But it was actually worth it because we had astounding views as we followed the trail – snow covered trees and rivers I’m surprised were still flowing amidst all the ice.

Then we got to the castle but it is humongous so it is hard to appreciate it up-close. Its entire silhouette they say is the view to die for and so, on a normal summer day, there is an easy paved trail that further takes you up the mountain to the Queen Mary’s bridge where you can get the perfect view of the castle (first/cover photo). Obviously, the trail is covered in ice and there is a makeshift steel gate which says CLOSED in every possible language. We saw people however managing to still squeeze themselves along the sides of the gate to get into the trail and hold on to the rails for dear life. We followed suit, of course, because YOLO so we took the risk and went. Nobody felt they were going to die that day so we were like, whatever, then came one of the scariest trails in our lives. Not only was the path slippery at times, it is steep and falling off the edges could be a trip to hell to probably one of these pits:

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But boy, it was totally worth it. The views were spectacular. It is literally like being put inside a snow globe. Along the way is this amazing view of the Alpsee and Schwansee lakes and parts of the Alps mountain range that separate them. The yellow Hohenschwangau castle, the smaller sister of the Neuschwanstein, also takes centerstage in this panorama:

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Then probably another kilometre of tumbling and hurting our butts from the slippery slopes got us finally to the Queen Mary’s bridge where the splendid angle of the Neuschwantstein surprised us, making us forget we have to slide down the same path to get back to civilization. But yes, we got home safe, thankfully, as well as hundreds of other tourists. It wasn’t as dangerous as we had thought… thanks adrenalin. It was an experience to never forget. I wished for snow and I got a blizzard. So really, the lesson is to be careful of what we wish for. And yes, YOLO.

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