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It’s a 2 hour drive from Munich to Neuschwanstein. A beautiful drive to Bavarian villages. And suddenly you see the castle up in the distance.

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You don’t get the iconic image when you arrive at the ticket office. Since we didn’t reserve tickets in advance, we got up at 5.30am to get in line before 9am for a morning tour.

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After a quick breakfast, we hiked up the mountain. Some people opted for the lazy option of horse carriages or buses. Not sure why. The hike was an easy 30 minutes surrounded by beautiful scenery.

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In the background, Hohenschwangau Castle. Ludwig spent his childhood there, dreaming of building a castle on his own.

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A closer look at his childhood home.

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While waiting for our turn, taking time to explore the outside of the castle from all angles.

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Only 30% of the castle was ever built, debt caught up to Ludwig. It took 30+ years after his death to pay off all the debt.

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He lived in the place only 172 days. In his vision, nobody else would ever see the inside of his dream. We’re up to 1.6 million a year now.

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Rugged landscape. The pain and suffering inflicted by Ludwig to erect this monument is inconceivable.

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Ah, to be young and dreaming.

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The view from his living room.

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No photographs allowed inside the castle. But you are allowed to climb up the Marienbruecke to take this iconic shot.

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Frankly, it was a zoo to get to take this shot. In and out.

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Serenity now.

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He was arrested for his insane spending, died a premature death but we were grateful for spending the morning inside his vision.