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How I missed Bavaria’s #1 attraction from only 100 metres away

How I missed Bavaria's #1 attraction from only 100 metres away

What is Bavaria’s #1 attraction? Most of you might say Neuschwanstein Castle, but I beg to differ.

Do a web search for Neuschwanstein Castle, and what comes up? 90% of the images you see will be the ridiculously picturesque view of the castle from Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge).

You would have to be insane to visit Neuschwanstein and not do the short walk to Marienbrücke. It’s at this viewpoint that you can truly comprehend how Disney became so inspired for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

So when I visited Neuschwanstein Castle on a day trip from Munich, my number one priority was getting my ass up on that bridge.


Neuschwanstein 3

Upon arrival at the castle, we toured the interior. I had imagined it to be freakin’ huge so was somewhat surprised that it not all that large. But hey, it was still incredibly ornate and fancy.

The tour only lasted 30 minutes, so afterwards I bee-lined for the path to Marienbrücke only to discover there was a fence blocking my way.

‘Caution, path closed due to ice’ was splashed across the blockade. No matter, I thought. I could see others making their way along the path. I’ll go anyway.

Confidently ignoring the sign, Robert and I climbed around it.

We slowly made our way down the slight decline, holding tightly on to the handrail to keep ourselves steady. Our shoes were making a decent effort to get us on our asses by sliding around on the ice, but we kept at it.

A few hundred metres in, Robert made the decision to turn back as the ice was getting too slippery. He slowly started pulling his way back up to the safety of the castle grounds, using the handrail to keep himself steady.

Determined, I continued. I could see people ahead that had made it further than I had. There was no way I would come all this way to Germany and not see the view of Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke.

How I missed Bavaria's #1 attraction from only 100 metres away

It proved increasingly difficult to keep steady as I made it further along. The handrail was coated in a layer of ice and my gloves were struggling to get a firm hold on anything.

A turning point in the path meant I had to let go of the handrail to cross to the other side. I slowly edged my way across to where a bunch of other people were attempting to climb over a second barricade and up a snow covered hill to get to Marienbrücke.

Half way across the path, my feet went from under me. Falling backwards, my arm went out to break my fall and my backside hit the rock hard ice.

I cursed loudly. A few people ahead turned around and asked if I was ok. Embarrassed at my horribly uncool fall, I checked my limbs to make sure nothing was broken, then told them I was fine.

Carefully standing back up to continue my quest, I realised there was something up with my wrist. It was giving me some pain when I pressed it against the ground to get myself back on my feet.

Making it to the other side of the path, I began to climb over the second barricade, but the pain in my wrist made it impossible as I couldn’t get a good hold on anything. I tried a number of different ways of climbing past to make it up the last little section of path to Marienbrücke, but in the end I conceded defeat. Ice = 1, Ashlea = 0.

Marienbrücke map

I carefully slid back down the way I’d come, holding on to the handrail with my good wrist and trying very hard not to injure myself a second time.

Robert was waiting for me as I made it back to the area in front of the castle, and as I emerged from the path, I burst into tears – not because of my injury, but because I didn’t make it to Marienbrücke. I tried so bloody hard but just couldn’t do it, and it killed me knowing I’d made it all the way to Bavaria and not been able to see the one thing I’d been most excited about.

I sulked all the way back down the hill to where our bus was waiting. Robert managed to console me by telling me we’d come back one day in summer and I could go to Marienbrücke. He also said he’d seen another young woman emerge from the path with blood pouring out of one hand – she’d obviously slipped and cut herself on something. Apparently ice is significantly more dangerous than we all had thought.

Neuschwanstein 5

We arrived back in Munich and I used Dr Google to figure out how bad my injury was. It looked as though I’d done something very similar to an injury tennis players get when they fall and land on their wrist, pulling a tendon beneath the thumb. Dr Google prescribed resting the wrist for a few weeks and no strenuous activity.

Point of the story? Sometimes, shit happens and we just can’t do the things we want to do. It was something as simple as a snowfall that crushed my dream of photographing Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke.

I did everything in my power to make it, but sometimes, you’ve just gotta take what you can (or can’t) get. And what better reason to go back and see some more of Bavaria than this?

Have you ever been so close to a major attraction and missed out on seeing it? Share your story with us in the comments!


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Ashlea Wheeler

Blogger & Photographer at A Globe Well Travelled
I'm Ashlea, an excitable Australian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

23 Responses to “How I missed Bavaria’s #1 attraction from only 100 metres away”

  1. Chelsea

    All the more reason to go back! Have to give you credit for even trying. I would have been too scared and ended up in a bar with a ton of German beer at my disposal! So cheers to you for the bravery!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Chelsea! That’s what ended up happening anyway (hallelujah for Bavarian beer halls) but now that I’ve gotten over the disappointment, I’m happy to have a reason to go back!

      Reply
  2. Erika

    What a bummer! You definitely made it farther than I would have, though. And you still got some great pictures from other angles!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      True, I was glad that I managed to get some good snaps on the way (still not the same as Marienbrucke but what can you do!).

      Reply
  3. Coba

    Oh wow, now that sounded like a quite dangerous adventure you had there. Ice can indeed be very dangerous, so maybe it was better you turned back. Who knows what else might’ve happened. It’s sad that you missed Marienbrücke, but since Robert promised to go again, I’m sure you’ll see it at one point ♥ Also: How did you manage to take a picture inside Schloss Neuschwanstein? I’ve never been inside, but all the castles I visited said “No pictures allowed”. Did you secretly take it, or were you actually allowed to? 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I’m sure I will too 🙂 Well now that’s a tricky one because you are correct in saying that photos are not allowed, but I am terribly bad at following rules so I took a sneaky one anyway by holding my camera down at waist level when I took it 😉

      Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      That’s very true – I actually find it difficult to think of travel as glamorous as that’s not really what it’s like at all, it’s more of a collection of experiences for me. I guess this is another travel experience that I can add to the list, even if it was somewhat of a failure! 😉

      Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It was incredibly close 🙁 I’m glad I managed to grab a few good photos though. I’ll take you up on that recommendation, you’re the second person to mention the hike so will definitely take you up on that recommendation in a few Summer’s time! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Packing my Suitcase

    Awnnn I am so sorry about that… about both, your injury and you not seeing the Marienbrücke. But I hear that when they close something up there because of ice it is because it can be very dangerous… the bridge itself is very scary.
    I do hope you can go again when there is no snow 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      True, I can entirely understand why the path was closed, it was very dangerous! I do hope to head back there sometime, and be able to safely walk to the bridge 🙂

      Reply
      • Packing my Suitcase

        Yes!! I can recommend during the fall, as during summer it’s so packed that it’s almost impossible to find a place to stand on the bridge. 🙂

        Reply
        • Ashlea Wheeler

          Ooh that’s a really good tip, thanks Allane! I presume the surrounding foliage would be prettier during fall as well? 😀

          Reply
  5. Damon and Jo

    LMAO – this post just reminds me of the time I went to London, spent two days exploring, and the minute I get on the bus and sit next to a British girl she asks, “Oh so you went to Camden Market, I’m sure!” and I was like….”ummm….what is that?”

    Oh well, as someone else said in the comments, just another reason to go back!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Ahh no! Of course she said that as soon as you were leaving! Definitely a reason to head back and see some more 😉

      Reply
  6. Imogen

    Yep, same thing happened to me this January! The snow was heavy and the ice was bad and they shut the bridge on us. Devastated. Except I didn’t try to go further because I’m a massive wuss. It was so dark and overcast that I feel like I got no good photos, so I definitely have to go back! Didn’t think about that when doing Bavaria in winter, did I??

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Well, after my experience on the bridge, not going ahead was probably a good idea on your part! I was the same, I didn’t even think that the bridge might be closed during winter. I just thought it would be open year-round! Oh well, hopefully there’ll be a next time for us both to actually make it to the bridge!

      Reply

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