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King Ludwig’s Way Day 6: The Fairytale Castle

We completed our hike on the Trail of King Ludwig with a three mile hike from the town of Füssen up to Schloss Neuschwanstein—Swan Stone Castle—the fairytale castle that Ludwig built on a hilltop near the summer palace of his family. Fortunately for us, the rain that had driven us off the trail and onto a bus the previous day let up in the morning.  Fog and clouds obscured some, but not all, of our view.

On the trek up we passed by the largest rendition of the Stations of the Cross, that I’ve ever seen. The stations are a series of fourteen images depicting the journey of Jesus’ crucifixion from his condemnation to death to the final one—where he is laid in his tomb. Each station was housed in a small building or room off of a larger chapel. 

We also passed by a swan on a small lake called the Schwansee or “Swan Lake,” just below the castle. It was quite the mooch. We suspect other tourists have introduced bad habits among the local waterfowl population.

The palace itself has amazing woodwork and murals throughout. You’ll have to see it for yourself, as photos on the tightly controlled tours are forbidden. I can understand why as many people would lag behind trying to take shots. 

Fortunately we were able to take photos from a bridge above and surrounding areas to share.

Our six days on the trail ended in one failure—we joked about solving the mystery of Ludwig’s untimely death. Trev even suggested we would need assistance from Scooby Doo. And on day two, we spotted a stuffed Scooby in a shop window, as if mocking our idle boast. He was no help and the mystery remains unsolved.

Travel Tips

  • If you want to do King Ludwig’s Walk for yourself purchase the guide from Cassandra Overby. Great detail and helpful GPX tracks for navigation.
  • Look into reserving rooms months in advance. In several situations we couldn’t find places to stay on the trail that were within our budget. Fortunately there are other options near the trail connected by public transportation.
  • Also ensure that you reserve your tickets to visit Neuschwanstein months in advance. And pray for good weather and views. 
  • The town of Füssen is about a three mile walk from the palace and is an excellent place to stay for several days. It is a tourist town but prices are reasonable and restaurant selection excellent. We enjoyed our stay at Central City Hotel but there are many other options, including a hostel.

Scenes from Füssen

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