Random adventure to Neuschwanstein Castle

To get there, it's a 2hours+ train to Fussen, followed by 10min bus up the mountain site, and another 10min bus up the mountain. The train ride is just delighting.
To get there, it’s a 2hours+ train to Fussen, followed by 10min bus up the mountain site, and another 10min bus up the mountain. The train ride is just delighting.

 

Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen. My objective ‘was’ to take shots where no tourists/photographers had taken and of course, timelapse of sunset (failed). I did a 1min research before I go, ‘what is the best spot for the shots?’ 90% of the return says Merry’s Bridge. When I reached the bridge, I suddenly realised to take the shot I want, I will have to trek in the woods.

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I went beyond the bridge, there’s actually some sign of track and fainting sign. I followed the track thinking that my past army experience should come into use. Time was 6pm, all return buses should have gone by then. I don’t know what’s driving me even knowing I might not have the way back especially if I wait till the dark.

I walked and climbed for about 20min, first climber I met along the way says ‘500m more!’ I was delighted. After about 300m, 2 sporty looking dudes say ‘you need 2 hours to get to the top! Good luck!’. SCHEISSE! I know I am going to miss the golden moment for the shot. Not even sure if I can see the castle from this hill, I continued into the unknown. I started curse and swear why do I have to torture myself with 2 cameras. 5 lenses and a GoPro.

(Top collage, second photo from bottom left) Looking at my Android GPS, I saw the light from the woods. I know it’s not the top, but definitely I am going to see something. Voila! Not the best view yet, but enough to distinguish my shot especially with my special modified lens. On my way up, I was also disgusted by a Chinese tourist who wrote his name on a wooden barricade (reference to the other Chinese who vandalize Egypt relic).

1/2500 F2.8 ISO320 with my DIY tilt-shift lens which almost spoiled the next day.
1/2500 F2.8 ISO320 with my DIY tilt-shift Canon lens which almost spoiled the next day. Shot with EOS 7D.
Sweet cottage, taken by holding Tamron 70-300mm lens on the Olympus OMD
Sweet cottage, taken by holding Tamron 70-300mm lens on the Olympus OMD.

Total height gained was about 250~300m from the bus where I alight. I setup my timelapse, take out my picnic stuff and one small bottle of liquor. I met a couple from Russia, who has been biking on the Spyder Can-Am all the way from Moscow, pretty impressive.

The story doesn’t end here! With no camping equipment, no tent, no jacket, I hear thunder. Damn it I should’ve done my homework! 7.40 PM, still very bright, I should be heading down. I took some shortcuts really, really carefully, I don’t want to miss my step and become another missing photographer. Almost got lost actually, since I didn’t take the original path. I am back to the castle at about 8.10pm and it started pouring. I decided, let’s try to hitch a ride! 2 cars going down the mountain, one stopped. It was driven by 4 Chinese ladies, came to Germany the first day, and kind enough to save me from the rain! They even offer to send me back to the hotel, but I tell them I only need to get to the Fussen train station and no, I have no money to stay in hotel, only hostel.

The ladies took my camera to see the pictures, since they were intended to go Merry's Bridge and were too stopped by the rain.
The ladies took my camera to see the pictures, since they were intended to go Merry’s Bridge and were too stopped by the rain.

Thank you kind souls.

Story.. doesn’t end here yet! After exchanging contacts with the lovely ladies, had something to eat and chillax, I wait for the last train at 10.30pm. There was no one else at the station, before a German girl came. Long hair, skinny, smoking a cigarette and not smoking hot. For some reason, I feel she’s either a drug addict or went through some hard time in life. She has a dark eye bag, wandering soulless eyes. While waiting I tried start a conversation, hardly get any as she can’t speak English. I offered her snickers, she accepted, seems quite pleased, smiled, not the most beautiful smile in the world (I don’t like sweet talk) but that was one beautiful smile. She received a phone call, I don’t know what’s that about, but she left before the train arrives. Whatever things she went through in her life, I hope at least I brighten up her night.

The last photo I took. Didn't take the shot of the girl though, don't think she would like to be taken.
“Waiting for train, love is delayed” – The last photo I took. Didn’t take the shot of the girl though, don’t think she would like to be taken.

At some point in life, there’s always give and take, wherever you go in the world. Just don’t forget to give a little helping hands to the people in need.

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