I just got back from a tiny mini-vacation! One I’ve been looking forward to for a year now.
I went to Bavaria.
You see, I love my home. I love Germany and I love the corner of Germany where I’m from - the Black Forest - because it is literally the place of fairy tales. The original Enchanted Forest. And you can just… feel the fairy tales in every corner of it.
But this mini-vacation brought me to the most magical fairy-tale-like place on Earth. The one and only, the original - Castle Neuschwanstein. Everyone has at the very least seen variations of it, because Disney and… literally everyone else who ever thought up a fairy tale castle… drew their inspiration from Neuschwanstein.
To me, personally, it’s the epitome of dreams. You see, you’ve probably never heard of Ludwig II if you’re not from Germany, I guess. So let me briefly elaborate.
King Ludwig II was the king of Bavaria. Not Germany; Bavaria. Now, Bavaria is part of Germany but back then it was its own kingdom. And Ludwig, he… was the king of dreams. He was known as the Märchenkönig - the fairy tale king. He spent his money and mind on art and music rather than war. He surely wasn’t a perfect king, he wasted a lot of money on his various castle projects, but he was a true dreamer.
And Neuschwanstein is… magical. Inside and out. Every single room is painted with illustrations from myths. Tristan and Isolde. Siegfried the Dragon Slayer. The Holy Grail. They’re detailed and beautiful and enchanting.
The fact that he was such a dreamer and visionary aside, he was also a rather fascinating character. For one; he was gay. He was engaged to a woman for a while but in the end broke the engagement off. He never got married to a woman.
His best friend was his cousin the empress of Austria - Sisi. A woman herself who is quite the interesting character. As much a princess of my childhood as Aurora, Cinderella or Belle were, because there was this cartoon show about her… I’m unsure if it ever even got an English dub or if it was purely Germany though?
And, to this day, no one knows how Ludwig really died. Whether he was assassinated or if he killed himself, after he was dethroned.
I’m just… really a little obsessive with Ludwig II. He fascinates me. He’s the only histoical figure that if time-travel was real, I’d be dying to meet.
And while I was there, I also went to see a musical about his life. It was… mindblowing. Such beautiful imagery and the acting and singing and story and… Even though I already listened to it like 50 times on YouTube, I still cried at the end. I always do.
In my opinion, everyone who would describe themselves as a dreamer, everyone who has an interest in fairy tales and all things that take you to magical places… should, at least once in their life, at the very least visit Castle Neuschwanstein. I’d also recommend Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, but Castle Neuschwanstein is a must see.