Spätzle@Hotel Müller

The reason why I didn’t reserve tickets for Neuschwanstein Castle was because I weren’t sure if mum’s knees could take the stress the visit may cause. As the castle was built on top of the steep cliff and the access was limited by foot only, the visit would involve a fair amount of climbing up and down the slope as well as the stairs. ‘Are you sure you really wanna risk them?’ I asked mum. She told me that she would rather choose to risk her knees than miss out on the visit and regret about it forever. 

After waiting in the queue under the beating sun for about half an hour, we finally put our hands on the tickets. Phew! 

However, our guided tour was from 16:45 and we had more than four hours to wait. Oh, what should we do? 

The time was almost noon and we were a little peckish. ‘Shall we eat at here then?’ I pointed at Hotel Müller which stood next to the ticket office. 

The interior of the hotel was airy and bright with white walls and unstained woodwork, and there was hardly anyone except hotel staffs. 

Their restaurant was also almost empty when we walked in…

A waitress with a pretty Bavarian dress greeted us and she let us choose a table. We wanted to see the castle while we dined, therefore, we opted for the one by the window.

Aww, Neuschwanstein Castle in the distance…

Our arrival must have been slightly ahead of the rest of lunch diners. We saw a sudden influx of the hungry customers filing into the dining room and taking up all the tables as we studied the menu.

Hmmm, what shall we have?

We wanted to try something new and asked a waitress who arrived to take our order. ‘Could you recommend us any Bavarian specialities?’ 

She suggested “Spätzle”…

She described the dish as rich and comforting with lots of cream and cheese. She assured us, ‘You will like it.’

Then, it arrived!

The dish tasted like very tasty macaroni cheese. Could this be the origin of the present macaroni cheese, a king of comfort food which is found in any supermarket shelf and freezer cabinet? Maybe, immigrants from Bavaria took the recipe to the States and eventually the dish had become the American favourite? We mused as we ferried hot cheesy short pasta into our mouths.

Another dish we order was salad. We need to top up vitamins, mum and I agreed…

We chose Salatvariation mit Feigen und Pinienkermen…

Unfortunately, the fig was slightly underripe. Otherwise, the salad was very fresh and tasty.

It was because we had ample time to kill before our guided tour, we ate with leisurely pace and managed to finish the Spätzle whose portion was very large. 

Now, our stomachs are full, and we will have to find a transport to the castle…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Road to Füssen

Getting to Füssen from Augsburg was easy.
From the outskirts of Augsburg, B17 would take us there all the way.

The unfolding scenery changed dramatically after passing exit 69 for Landsberg am Lech. The window screen was filled with the undulating green pasture of Bavarian countryside.

I encouraged mum to take pictures with her iPod touch. ‘Mum, look! Why don’t you take some pictures and show them to your friends?’

Then, ridges of the mountains started to appear in our vision as we got closer to Schongau. We also saw a couple of paragliders flying from one of the peaks. It must be an amazing sight they are enjoying, I wondered as my secret dream was turning myself into an eagle and fly like the one…

I wish mum took more images from her seat because there were loads of pretty sceneries came and went. Unfortunately, she was not an Instagram generation and seemed to be less obsessed about “capturing the moment”.

Mum, it’s out of focus!

From Schongau, typical Tyrolean houses with painted walls and widely projecting roofs started to emerge. Most of them were displaying window boxes laden with summer flowers, and some houses had the wall around each window painted in the style of trompe l’œil, pretending them to be decorative wooden shutters.

At Schwangau, we changed to B16 and headed towards Füssen.
From Füssen’s town centre, a visitor centre for Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous Bavarian tourist attraction, was another 10 minutes away via Parkstraße…

We arrived at a public car park near the castle around 11:30. The place around the car park was already very busy with visitors from all over the world. Oh wow, we should have reserved our tickets online! I groaned. There was no guarantee that we could join one of their guided tours that day as the number of the place was limited. To make the matter more critical was that the next day was Saturday and the place was expected to be even more crowded.

Neuschwanstein in the distance…

‘Let’s see if we can secure the tickets for today!’ We agreed and join a long queue in front of the ticket office…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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