A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Fussen & Salzburg: Second Time Around October 4, 2011

Filed under: Austria,Europe,Germany,Travel — Kelocity @ 11:59 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Where were we? Ah Yes. In Munich. We woke up at the crack of dawn on September 9th and made our way via subway to the airport. There, we picked up our rental car. It turned out to be outrageously expensive, but driving through the Austrian Alps sounded so romantic and I begged Irving to let us do it. I wanted to feel like I was on the Amazing Race navigating through the roads trying to translate the German signs.

It wasn’t until we buckled our seat belts that Irving admitted he hadn’t actually driven a stick shift in about 15 years. That’s ok babe. It’s like riding a bike. BAHAHA. (spoiler alert: we only stalled twice).

We had some maps from AAA and Google to get us from Germany into Austria and I was confident we’d be fine…. but thank GOD there was a built in GPS because we wouldn’t have even made it out of the airport without that thing. Seriously. My maps were so confusing it would have been a lost cause and I’m pretty sure my plan for a romantic drive would have backfired.

Before we made it into Salzburg, we made a detour to Fussen, home of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Sure you see gorgeous scenery from a train, but being in the car gave us so much more freedom. Plus the Autobahn is really super fun. Getting on and off the highways was hilarious for us since we don’t know how to downshift and upshift. LOL I have a video I’ll post later.

We enjoyed the quaint towns along the road and kept giggling that it looked like a postcard.

And finally we started to see our destination up in the mountains!

Neuschwanstein! The castle was built by the crazy Ludwig II, a royal who lived in Munich.


There are two ways to get up to the top. Horse and buggy….

Or by foot… we chose to walk since we’d been in the car all morning and didn’t want to wait for 2 hours in the line.

It was actually a pretty easy walk and soon we were up at the top.

Does it look familiar? It’s the castle that Walt Disney modeled his castle after.

Sadly we couldn’t go inside (you can only go in with a tour and we would have had to wait a few hours for the next English one.

But it was still fun to walk around and see the wacky architecture.

It looks like a lego castle, doesn’t it?

[FLASHBACK] I visited here in 2003 in the midst of winter. It looks much different now!
snowy castle

The view from the top was just as impressive as the castle itself:




And because Irving couldn’t pass up another opportunity to enjoy some Brats (and because it was lunch time), we stopped halfway down the hill for lunch. I was expecting it to be super expensive since it’s kind of a tourist trap, but it was actually quite reasonable.

And some Pasta for the lady.

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Across the street was another cute castle that I’m sure is worth a visit, but it was time to hit the road before it got too late.

Back in the car, we drove away from the castle.

I kept looking back at it in the distance as it faded away. I love Europe.

Just a few hours in the car, we made our way into the heart of Salzburg.

Our first stop was an afternoon tour of the Hellbrunn Palace. When you visit Salzburg, people will ask you if you saw two things: 1.) The Sound of Music Tour and 2.) The Crazy Palace.

So alas. Here we are at the Crazy Palace. Why is it called that? It looks pretty average, right?

Until you go around the back and walk through the gardens. Then you realize how fun it is. Let me explain.

It was built in the 1600s by Markus Sittijus von Hohenems, the Archbishop of Salzburg. And that man had an intense sense of humor. See this outdoor dining area? Seems like a good place to host your guests, right?

Well the whole place was rigged with secret water tricks that he could turn on and off to surprise and wow his visitors. With the push of a button he could soak them while they ate. And it was all operated with non-electrical power (it was the 1600s, remember?)

He had strange fountains and childlike displays all over the property that would dance and play on their own.

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At one point, Irving got nailed by some hidden fountains!

There are some displays inside the palace itself but the it’s the exterior that is worth a visit.


Know what else Hellbrunn is known for? The Sound of Music gazeebo is located on its property.

[FLASHBACK] I came here in 2003! (I know, where didn’t I go in 2003?!)
gazeebo from movie

Oh, want to see our car?! Here she is! A Renault!

Finally we made the drive into the city to find our hotel. On the way, we passed the fortress! Wish we would have had time to up there again. But we had a tight itinerary and couldn’t fit it in.

We dropped off our bags at the Radisson, but turned right back around to catch some of the city before the sun set.

Luckily our hotel was close to the river and we were able to walk into town.

Remember the scene in The Sound of Music when the kids are frolicking in the grass? This is where that was filmed!



We found someone who didn’t look like they’d run away with our camera to take our picture. Such a pretty backdrop.


We had just enough time to walk through the main squares before we lost our daylight altogether.

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Finally we surrendered to the night and enjoyed a nice dinner out.

All I wanted was veggies! We found a great place that had a salad bar for me…

And Oh. My. God. MORE schnitzel for Irving. Believe it.

Paired with some Austrian Beer. His and Hers.

It was nice to walk back after dinner and take in the city at night.

I might have to frame this one. It’s perfect. (Credit goes to Irving).

Sorry, these posts are so long. I fell in love with our photos and had to share them. Just one more Trip Recap post left!


6 Responses to “Fussen & Salzburg: Second Time Around”

  1. Beverly Says:

    Hi! I just came across your post and I find it interesting! I’m sorry you didn’t get to go in! I just want to give a suggestion to you or people who want to go to Neuschwanstein in the future, that is to take the Sandeman’s tour. It’s really worth it! We don’t have to queue to buy tickets (the line can get superrrr long!! And it’s really a waste of your time.) The Sandeman’s tour is $32 and the tourguide will tell you Bavarian stories all the way. They are very interesting! Please take that tour, you will not regret it I guarantee!

  2. brenda Says:

    wow! this came up when i searched “driving from neuschwanstein to salzburg”….what beautiful pictures!! was wondering if i could ask you……how long did it take you to drive from the castle to salzburg and which route did you take? i’m traveling with my mom and i want to make sure i don’t run into any trouble with the roads, etc. i was planning on doing this as a day trip from salzburg, but there are many people online who suggest the train – i would just rather be in a car on my own schedule and get to see some of the countryside and stop for a picture here or there. also, i wanted to stop at oberammergau and ettal either on the way there or on the way back, but i won’t push it if you say the drive will take all day just for the castle and back – thank you in advance for your help and seeing your pictures just got me super excited for our trip!! brenda

    • Kelocity Says:

      Hi Brenda! Thanks for the note! You will LOVE that area. We had an absolute blast. Everything is so beautiful and picturesque. I believe the drive from the castle to Salzburg was 2.5 hours or so. We actually can’t remember since it was such a fun and gorgeous route. We also don’t remember the roads since we had a GPS (came with the rental car), but I think we did the most direct way which I think is this:,+germany&daddr=salzburg,+austria&hl=en&sll=47.809465,12.244263&sspn=1.355763,2.070923&geocode=FW7k1QIdwyOjACkJ9GZogF-cRzEA84vXrUgeBA%3BFdKD2QIdIjTHACmx1Aip3Zp2RzE99ypBoYPhwQ&vpsrc=0&mra=prev&t=h&z=8

      I’ve actually done Fussen/Neuschwanstein twice: once by car and once by train. The train was pretty expensive from Munich and took a long time. Having done both, I think the car is your better option. You have the freedom of pulling over and snapping photos. If you rent a car, ask for one with GPS or rent one. The roads are a bit confusing if you don’t speak German.

      We drove from Munich to Fussen and then to Salzburg all in one day and had plenty of time. There are three ways to the top of the Neuschwanstein castle: by bus (long lines), by horse-drawn wagon (a bit pricey) or by walking. We walked and it was totally easy. It’s less than a mile, but pretty steep. The first time I went I did the wagon and it was a fun experience if you don’t want to walk. There is a reasonably priced restaurant half way that serves simple German/American food. Walk down if you can, it’s easy on the way down.

      One thing I wish I had known was the view of the castle when you’re at the top is not as good as it looks from far away. When you’re super close to it, it’s hard to get a picture of yourself in front of it. We found out later that if you go to the top of the castle on the other side of the road (Hohenschwangau), you have better views. and better pictures.

      Have an awesome trip!! Let me know if you have any other questions! Would love to hear about your trip when you get back!

  3. phyllinphat Says:

    After being a slave for the Big Mouse himself at Disney World, I added Ludwig’s castle to my top 10 places to go! Love the photos!! thanks for sharing!

  4. Amanda Says:

    I love these posts. Andy went to Germany when he was younger and got bit by some poisonous spider in one of the castles. He had to call an emergency doctor and get a shot at the hotel because he was covered in hives apparently. SCARY!

    I love those hidden fountains!

  5. Papa Says:

    I love europe ——- and i Love you both !! BEAUTIFUL PICTURES!!!!

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