Germany
I guess it is safe to say that every little girl's dream is visiting a princess castle. I don't actually think it was my dream to be a princess. I was one of those kids that would prefer to LIVE In a castle but not as a princess (I wanted to be one of the maids - I know. Say what?!) Visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle is probably the closest I got to pretending like I was living in a Fairytale Castle.
It seems like many cities in europe will have a church, building, or something architectural that they would claim inspired the Walt Disney castles.

Source

The Tyn Church in Prague (click for pictures and my previous blog post) and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany both claim to have inspired the Cinderella castle in the Walt Disney films. I kind of don't agree because, in my opinion, neither looks particularly like the castle in the film. Regardless, ALL of them are stunning and have marvellous architectural design.


When Jerald and I were in Munich, we decided to take a day trip out to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle. We joined a Sandermans tour again, and were really pleased with the experience.
To get to the castle, we had to take a 2 hour train and a short bus ride, after which we had to climb up to the castle. That was the worst part.
Whilst we were climbing up, no doubt the view was FANTASTIC, it was snowing heavily, and the winds were so strong I had snow flying horizontally into my eyes(!!!) Actually, I was slightly amused by that, and I kept laughing. Half the time I did not know where I was going. Thankfully, foot prints on the ground in front of me could lead the way.


The great thing about our guide was that she gave us a story like description of the history behind the Neuschwanstein Castle. The Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II, and she told us bit by bit about his life story, his strict parents, and his character, allowing us to fully appreciate the castle and why he designed it the way he did.

We finally got into the castle at around 2 in the afternoon (we left Munich at 9!) and there was a short 30 minutes tour of the interior of the castle.  30 minutes in my opinion was pretty short, but since we weren't allowed to take photographs in the castle, it meant that I could take the time to fully internalise its design and admire the beauty of it.


Unlike other castles i've visited (Versailles in Paris) this castle was preserved in its original form. Even though it was 1/3 completed, it was massive and obviously beautiful. The ceilings in the rooms were different, the carvings and details on each walls were unique, each room had its own character, and the halls had walls painted telling different stories from books that Ludwig loved. There was even one part of the castle that mimicked an underground cave with water flowing through, because the king was fascinated by that scene in a story.

In my opinion, the castle showed how King Ludwig II was a dreamer, a lover, an romantic. Unlike most Kings, there were NO pictures of himself in the castle, evidently, he was the least bit narcissistic. We also managed to observe a bell system the King used as well as the first telephone like thing that was invented. People were already so creative back in the 19th century.


Usually, if tourist visited the Neuschwanstein Castle (especially in the summer), they would be able to cross over to a bridge to get the most stunning view of the castle. Unfortunately, it was snowing heavily and the tour got delayed because of the delayed trains and bus, so we did not have the time to do that. Also, our guide mentioned that it was cordoned off due to safety reasons (of course many people went ahead and crossed the barrier anyway).

Even though I love the view of the castle in the winter with the snow, I guess it would have been greater if we could have visited the castle in the summer. The trees would be green and vibrant, everything would be so colourful.


If you're thinking about visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in the summer, I really do suggest going on a tour if you have never been to Germany and have little knowledge of the history behind the castle. However, if you're well-versed in its history, it would be better to go on your own to have more time to explore the area, spend more time around the castle or even climb up to the bridge for an amazing view.


Cinderella was my favourite fairytale story when I was young. So I guess its sort of like fulfilling a childhood "dream" visiting this castle ;)

Did you have dreams of being a princess or visiting castles when you were younger? Would you want to go to the Neuschwanstein Castle?
Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Visiting a Fairytale Castle in the Snow - Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

19 February 2015 Neuschwanstein Castle, Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany


Do you wanna build a snowmannnnnnn!!!~
Or ride our bikes around the halls?~
I have this thing where I sing songs non-stop when I'm in a different city. It started of with sweater weather, and I go " 'Cause its to cooo-oo-oo-old oh oh, for me here, and now, so let me puuuut both my hands in the holes of my pocket." I'm one of those annoying people that have a terrible singing voice and yet enjoys changing the lyrics. I just realised I was probably really annoying seeing as I repeat the same line over and over and over again, as if its the only line from the song I know. There's a quirky traveling habit I have, please don't judge!

Anyway, if you don't know, this year is the first time i've seen and experienced the snow. First time EVER. In fact, it is the first time i've gone to a place where the temperature hits a single digit value! At 21 years of age, I FINALLY SAW SNOW. Time to cross that off my bucket list! I must say, I really do enjoy seeing snow on the ground, but I absolutely cannot stand having it fall all over my face, and eyes.
So on New Years Eve, I was ecstatic that there was snow on the ground, but none falling from the sky! Instead of doing what people typically do - going for parties and drinking the night away, I chose to make walk around a german market, observing kids run around and have snowball fights, trying (and failing) to have one with jerald, and drinking the best warm honey wine ever - IT WAS SO SO GOOD. It did not have too much of an alcoholic taste to it, but at the same time was not too sweet. I loved it!
After which, we went to the English Garden in Munich and I BUILT MY VERY FIRST SNOWMAN!!!


You know how kids get really excited when they see snow for the first time? Well that was me when I was building Mr Snowman (yes that is his name, even though it looks more like a boy than a mister).
Inititally, I thought i'd be really bad at building a snowman, I mean, you've got to like roll the snow into a ball, compact it, and make sure it looks like a ball all at the same time. I thought "Oh it's probably like rolling rice balls, or cookie dough." but no, it isn't! Regardless, I think Jerald and I did a pretty good job! Well, I did a better job because I made BOTH the head and the body and then proceeded to help with making the base.
But we'll give points to Jerald for sacrificing his scarf so that Mr Snowman doesn't look naked.


Whilst we were putting on the eyes for the snowman, a dog came running towards us (because we had food in our bags) and I remember protecting the snowman and making Jerald block the dog from toppling our snowman over. Dedication indeed.  The owners of the dog must be thinking "Whats up with this overly excited girl? It is JUST SNOW." Because they didn't seem to care too much that their dog was endangering the life of my snowman. It was not easy building it.
I think I'm being melodramatic again, aren't I?
It felt as though that snowman was my kid or something. I was so sad to leave it behind! The snowman is just too cute!

That's one of my new years eve stories for you. So glad I got to indulge in my inner child and build a snowman.  The only thing i've ever built successfully was a half falling sandcastle. Indeed 31st of December 2014 was a proud day for me - Cheap thrills and little achievements.


P.S. We did go and try to catch the fireworks at midnight, but everyone was out in the streets a little tipsy, and setting off their own fire works, there wasn't a fireworks show like how i'd expect it to normally be. I was so freaking scared of people lighting off their own fireworks and throwing bang snaps when there are people everywhere. I nearly went into a frenzy. I think it was the first time i've ever freaked out over something, and Jerald got really REALLY annoyed by my behaviour. The thing is, where I come from, fireworks aren't allowed, and neither are bang snaps. Truth be told, i'm really glad for that rule, because every time I hear one of those explosive sounds, I feel as though they'd hit right in my leg or blow up in my face! I can remember the fear up till now.
New year, New fear. Am I the only one? Or do you share this fear?

My First Snowman!

15 February 2015 English Garden, Munich, Germany

Völkerschlachtdenkmal

A memorial of the 1813 Battle of the Nations. The place we spent the morning at, but I for the life of me cannot pronounce it's name.
For the morning of the 2nd half of the day, we decided to take a 20 minute tram ride out to visit the 91m high monument.

It was an EXTREMELY windy day that day, and since I enjoy climbing up tall monuments to get a bird's eye view of the city, thats exactly what we did. As we climbed up the building the winds seemed to get stronger and stronger. When we got to the top, the winds were so strong, my hair was in a permanent state of medusa, flipping and flapping all over my face but, the view was good! At the top of the monument, the walls were pretty high, so to get a good view/picture, I had to stand up on a stone slab placed on the ground. Every time i got up, I made sure to hold on to the edge of the wall for the fear of being blown away by the wind. IT WAS THAT STRONG.


When we got to the monument, we were given the option of getting an audio guide for a fee, I concluded that "It's a monument, there will definitely be some form of explanation along the way, lets just save that money." And so we decided against getting the audio guide, and I WAS WRONG. The monument had no explanation whatsoever, so J and I turned to WIKIPEDIA.

That being said, I really adored the large stone statues and the general peacefulness that surrounds you when you step into the monument. It was very dimly litted, and this one level was called the Singer's Hall, where you literally hear some form of mellow music. In my memory, that was how it was like. Hopefully I was not imagining or hallucinating all of that!

I don't know much about the 1813 Battle of the Nations, but this monument is just such a calming place, I think it was definitely a good visit.


Not to mention, the surrounding was just breathtaking with the large pond in the centre, nicely lined trees and gorgeous tall lalangs. It was such a serene place, and made for an amazing morning stroll.

Here's me trying to unknot my hair half the time. 


After visiting the memorial, we took a short walk to a cemetery nearby, and it was just BEAUTIFUL. Even though there was no one around, it didn't feel like a cemetery or that it was creepy. There were neat rows of tombstones lined up all the way to the front of the church, and we just walked by it looking at the different names and realising they were mostly from the same family, and that people with the same last name had their tablets side by side.
I think its heart warming to see such beautiful cemeteries. Chinese/Asians have the perception that cemeteries are haunted or spooky, and we see how creepy they usually look in shows, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this cemetery, and how well maintained the trees were. It feels like a nice great place for the spirit to rest. Cemeteries should all look as peaceful and nice like this.
 

If you're a european history buff and have knowledge of the battle of the nations, I think this monument is a must visit. However, if you don't have a clue, REMEMBER TO TAKE THE AUDIO GUIDE.  My 36 hours spent in Leipzig was really enjoyable. Even though I didn't do much sight seeing or go to many different attractions, it was fun to eat at different nice cafes and just to walk around the city and go where the wind would take you (almost literally sometimes!)

The great thing about a less touristy city like Leipzig is you really get to experience the charm of the city without being bombarded and shoved around by hoards of people. Also, you don't have to constantly be on the go, taking it slow is definitely a good thing once in a while!

Stay tuned for my upcoming posts about Prague!

WHAT I WORE
Shirt: H&M (Similar Here)
Pants: Primark (Similar Here)
Boots: Timberlands (Similar and NICER one Here)
Scarf: Fendi
Coat: Coldwear.sg (Similar Here)

Chillin' By the Monument - Leipzig, Germany

4 February 2015 Monument to the Battle of the Nations, Straße des 18. Oktober 100, 04299 Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig StreetsLeipzig, Germany - A lovely city just 150km away from Berlin.
Stepping out of the Leipzig Central train station, I stepped right into a vibrant christmas market in the middle of the old town square. My first thought was "Oh my gosh it's so pretty!!" I spent the next 5 minutes looking up at the  building and admiring its architecture, while Jerald beckons for me to follow him, and I apologise to people no the streets for constantly knocking into people with my hand luggage.

Leipzig Side streetLeipzig Deutsche Bank ArchitectureLeipzig Commerzbank architecture

Leipzig has one of the most gorgeous looking Banks. Yes. BANKS. The architecture of the buildings were amazing. It reminded of how pretty banks in Paris with their huge gates. Cities like these with nice buildings even of common things like banks really get me.

Coming from Berlin, the architectural beauty was a fresh change. Streets were a lot narrower, but decorated with beautiful street lights and bursting with vibrance. Kids sipping on Kinderpunch (which I thought was mulled wine) and adults feasting on various german street food. Leipzig is less internationally acclaimed, not as well known, yet oozing with charm. It was a perfect transition city to spend a day or two in.

Leipzig Old Town HallOOTD Leipzig day 1OOTD Leipzig day 1

After leaving our bags in the hostel, we left to roam around the city (and get me my daily dose of bratwurst. When in Germany...) Instead of entering attractions, we spent our time walking around the streets, listening to children choirs (it was almost christmas!) visiting opened air shopping centres, discussed about the difference in the architecture in Leipzig and Berlin, wondering if Leipzig was part under capitalistic rule or the soviets, googling random information, eating various food items in the market, and trying not to be tempted to buy the lovely lamps and cute home decorative items that were being sold.

Leipzig Candles at Christmas MarketLeipzig Pottery Christmas MarketLive Sheeps in Leipzig
The thing that was most fascinating to me, was that they had a makeshift barn with figurines that represented the 3 wise men and REAL LIFE SHEEPS, right in the middle of the town square, in the christmas market.
I know, its way past christmas, but can we just take a moment to look at these cute sheep? Of course they were protected by a barricade and could go in and hide in the "house" if they didn't want to be stared / photographed by the overly excited tourist and locals.

Leipzig Bridge of SighsOOTD Leipzig day 1

Honestly, there weren't many tourists in Leipzig. Maybe other europeans / germans, but not too many asians. In fact, we only met 3 other asians the entire time we were there. Little kids who walked past Jerald and I were looking at us weirdly, or maybe they were just staring because clearly, we look different from the general population. It was an interesting observation we both made whilst discussing about the city over breakfast on the 2nd day.

Leipzig ChurchStatue of Musician Composer Bach Leipzig

All in all, it was a lovely, laid-back day in Leipzig. I'll recommend it to visitors who will be spending lots of time in Germany, or like us, wanted to go to another intermediate city before heading off to Prague.
What I wore
Grey Sweater: H&M
Scarf: Fendi
Coat: Coldwear
Maroon Jeans: Primark
Boots: Timberlands

Lovely Laid-back Leipzig, Germany

31 January 2015 Leipzig, Germany

Latest Instagrams

© Travel and Life | By Carina Chung . Design by Fearne .