Neuschwanstein Castle // Vaduz, Lichtenstein // Engleberg, Switzerland // day five
Today we covered a ton of ground, and I was able to knock two more countries off of my list! We started the day with an hour and a half drive to Schwangau, Germany where the Neuschwanstein Castle – the inspiration behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle – is located. The castle was built by King Ludwig II as a private getaway where he themed each room either with swans, medieval decor or a gothic look. King Ludwig didn’t want visitors to his castle, so despite having a giant dance/singing hall no one ever used it. This palace was extremely controversial as King Ludwig paid for its construction out of his own pocket and via means of borrowing great amounts of money (instead of using Bavarian public funds). The castle is located on the side of a mountain and offers spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, towns/villages and lake at the base. The mountains offer an incredible backdrop to the lake as well as a hiking trail along the edge.
From Scwangau we continued our bus ride to Vanduz, Lichtenstein – the capital of a country with a population roughly the size of Belmont at 36,000 people. The city we visited lies right along the Swiss boarder, and therefore is one of the countries that makes Switzerland landlocked. Here we grabbed lunch, mailed out postcards and learned that Haley’s family is from Lichtenstein before heading towards Engleberg.
Switzerland has quickly stolen a piece of my heart with it’s absolutely stunning mountains. Our hotel is located on the side of a mountain and is completely surrounded by gorgeous snowcapped peaks. Tonight we wandered around Engleberg after eating dinner at the hotel and were able to talk through the courtyard of a huge local monastery. Tomorrow we will make our way up the Swiss Alps via Lake Lucerne before exploring the local area.