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King Ludwig’s Way: The Trail of the Mad King

Mix charming Bavarian countryside, a fairytale castle, and a murder mystery involving a mad King and you have—King Ludwig’s Way. For five days we will be hiking a trail that connects the place where the body of King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found to probably his most well known accomplishment—Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale Bavarian Palace that served as the model for the castle on the Disney logo and in each of their parks.

In Portugal on the Fisherman’s Trail we enjoyed great views but slogged through loose sand, tackled hills, and endured heat. By contrast this walk is flat, on firm, but sometimes soggy ground, and was cool today. A light drizzle greeted us when we exited our Airbnb this morning, but only a few drops of rain fell on us all day.

Our path started where Ludwig II ended: Lake Starnberg, a short train and bus ride from Munich. A small chapel stands just uphill from where Ludwig’s body was found in shallow waters, near the body of his doctor. Ludwig’s body was found on June 14, 1986, the day after his ministers deposed him for his irresponsible spending and other habits that earned him the nickname, the Mad King.

Our path took us along the lake, through villages, and through countryside where we saw a deer and a pair of squirrels. Seeing deer and squirrels is fairly uncommon where we’ve been hiking. Fortunately, we’re easy to please.

And, my non-beer drinking companions made sure we stopped at Andechs monastery on our walk, one known for making…yes…beer. Place was crowded. I guess the word has gotten out over the 900+ years the monastery has been open.

Enjoy Laurie’s Relive video to see the route and more scenes on the path of the Mad King. Tomorrow we have a short day—only ten miles. Might be a good one to get a haircut. You can see in the pictures that I am overdue.

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