Friday - 04/23/2021 — When I was ten or eleven, my family visited Neuschwanstein Castle, which stands on the tippy-top of a very steep hill. My folks didn’t want to spend the money to hire a horse-drawn carriage to ferry us from the town below to the castle above, so we walked the entire windy road to get there. I wonder now how my mother ever made it that far. I guess she was made of sterner stuff than I gave her credit for.
We managed to tour several of Ludwig II’s castles when we were in Bavaria. I loved the cascading artificial waterfall at Linderhof Palace (the only castle Ludwig actually lived in for any length of time). But I was entranced by the view from the open courtyard here at Neuschwanstein.
There was a hallway with open arches that overlooked the courtyard – and beyond that a waterfall (a real one) plummeting down the mountainside. I wasn’t all that interested in the gold doodads and crystal thingamabobs, but that view was more than spectacular. I could have stood there for hours. But of course my mother pulled me along to see the draperies and the completely overblown gilding, all of which was ugly as far as I was concerned.
Which may be why my own castle now is surrounded by woodsy areas. No waterfall, but there is a little creek at the back of the property. And no gilt anywhere.