About Dave OByrne
A traveling Motorbike Journalist, Dave has a passion for the Great Outdoors, motorbike camping, finding new trails, as well as discovering the Great Indoors, in the form of Urban Exploration or URBEX.
This has led to many exciting experiences, cultural exchanges and interesting situations over the years, as Europe is littered with post-war, post-industrial, desolate, abandoned structures and cultural sites, usually far off the beaten track. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Dave has spent the last 15 years in Denmark, which he uses as a base from which to explore the rest of Europe by motorbike, both onroad and offroad.
One of the founding partners of Motorbike Europe, with nearly 20 years experience in graphic production, over 12 years in webdesign and development, including 3 years in the design of floating structures and villages, Dave currently runs the website aka www.motorbikeeurope.com, where he covers the areas of Webdesigner, Road Writer, Photographer, Content Manager, Social Media Manager, manic networker, motorblogger, and handles any other interesting digital possibilities that might crop up.
Latest Posts by Dave OByrne
The Mtkvari river carves its way through the lush and dramatic cliffs of Georgia. Its course runs like a tour through Georgian history. Ancient fortresses and castles loom over the river, and ancient trading sites attest to Georgia’s rich history as a crossroads between Europe and Asia. Eventually, the river’s meandering course passes by the hidden tunnels leading to one of Georgia’s most remarkable sites: the cave city of Vardzia.
It doesn’t look like a city or a monastery at first. In fact, the porous, honey-combed rock face looks more like the set of a sci-fi movie. But even today, you can see monks making their homes in this sprawling, 13-story cave complex. Carved into the Erusheli mountain, Vardzia’s nearly 6,000 caves include residences, a church, a throne room, and steep stairways connecting them all together. The site even has its own irrigation system and terraced farming fields.
At nearly 1,000 years old, this cave city has seen a number of changes throughout its history. Giorgi III built the sites as a fortress. With the only entrance being hidden tunnels near the Mtkvari river, the caves were buried and secluded deep within the Erusheli mountain, making them the perfect safe haven during times of war. Later, though, Georgia’s first female ruler, Queen Tamar, founded a monastery in the caves. The monastery grew to become an important spiritual site for Georgia, and for Eastern European Christianity.
The monastery was dramatically altered in 1283, when an earthquake crumpled the cliff walls, destroying much of the cave city, and exposing many of the hidden caves to plain view. It’s secrecy and isolation lost, the cave city fell to invading Persian forces in 1551. However, with the reestablishment of Georgian power and influence, Vardzia again became a functioning monastery. To this day, its stone walls house many monks, and its cavernous church plays host to many services and ceremonies.
It is also a popular tourist attraction. The nearby Georgian city of Akhaltsikhe has easy transportation to Vardia cave complex. For the more adventurous, it’s also accessible through kayak or rafting tours down the Mtkvari river. This is a popular destination for people teaching English in Georgia.
The Georgian Ministry of Education is offering paid flights and free accommodation to volunteer English teachers. Find out more about how you can teach English in Georgia.
Huang Di Dian, the sign reads: The Emporer’s Throne. This hiking trail, just outside of Taipei, is probably my favorite—certainly the most fun—day-trip that I’ve done hiking in Taiwan.
The hike starts in the picturesque town of Shiding. Bus number 666 runs from Muzha and Jing Mei MRT stations directly to Shiding, making this hike an easy one to get to.
The beginning of the hike is the most physically daunting part—Huang Di Dian may be infamous for its vertigo-inducing ladders and rope climbs, but it’s also infamous for the particularly grueling stairs leading up to the actual hiking trail. For over an hour, we slugged our way up non-stop stone steps before even reaching the trail itself.
Finally, when the stairs ended, the real hike began. The stone steps gave way to a muddy tangle of tree roots. It wasn’t long before we were grabbing onto ropes to pull ourselves up slippery steps, or lower ourselves down a steep rock face.
Soon, we came to the first ladder. This one was relatively short, but the metal rungs and rungs hugged the rock and made it difficult to get a hand- or foot-hold on the ladder.
And more ladders, some ascending near-vertical rock faces, and some plunging straight down into the jungle.
Much of the hike is along an exposed ridge line.
A railing has been installed on some of the more narrow and dangerous parts of the ridge. With the wind and slippery ground, having something to grab onto was much appreciated!
The ridge not only makes for a challenging and exhilarating balancing act, but also allows for some stunning views. The hike is in the mountains to the south of Taipei, and the views of Taiwan’s central mountain range are amazing.
Things To Note:
To reach Shi Ding, take the 666 bus from either Muzha MRT or JingMei MRT.
Shiding is worth spending a little time walking around—there is a single, albeit very small, night market street. Tofu,
fried red-bean paste, and various other Taiwanese treats can be found there. The town was an important mining area, and has a few preserved relics, as well as a small museum.
From Shi Ding, there are signs pointing to the entrance of the hike, so it is easy to find.
Get an early start—this hike can be a long one! With the slippery trails, and steep climbs, it’s also not one you want to attempt after dark.
A lot of people bring gloves with them, to help them grip the ropes. You can find cheap, white work gloves at most convenience stores in Taipei.
Guest post by Stephanie Long.
From Copenhagen to Stevns, Denmark. Great architecture, post-industrial landscapes, some undisturbed Urbex, some wide open spaces, great roads, unspoilt nature, fishing harbours, some nice food, and the Cold War fortifications at Stevns Klint. The ride started at Amager Strandpark, just south of Copenhagen city, then moved through the towns of Ørestad, Køge, Strøby Egede, Store Heddinge, past Højerup Gammel Kirke and Stevnsfortet, then on to Rødvig and Faxe Ladeplads. A great afternoon into evening ride.
Sitting up by a large stone circle, 137 km southwest of London, and thinking about what sort of people could have maneuvered these giant stones? How many of these Stone carriers got a herniated disk, or whatever it was called back then? Were they perhaps giants, who lived here in these fields north of Sailsbury, using stones as a kind of Lego bricks, they never got around to putting back in the box? Sitting and thinking, that only three days ago, I was lying in the bottom of a steamboat bound for Harwich, and feared that I was going to England to make a fool of myself driving on the left side of the road. What do I do at roundabouts?? I feared the worst.
Click on the image to open the gallery…
Thinking, that I have to go back to the hotel in Portsmouth, in a few hours. Thinking that in a few days I’ll be across the Channel with friends, for a nice dinner with some seafood in Normandy. Thinking of Canterbury, Dover, Eastbourne and the old culture over here in Kent and Sussex, which rears its head from all holes and crevices. It has been enriching to be in a place you’ve only heard and read about. Motorbike holidays are the best thing you can use your time on, and in a little while, a pint of Guinness will be ready for me.
TEN YEARS AFTER, OR MANY YEARS BEFORE
As a child in Denmark in the 50s, in a school where the history class was spent outside the door with red ears, I have probably missed some knowledge of Stonehenge in my boyhood. I think my first contact with Stonehenge was through the rock band ‘Ten Years After’ in the early 70s. Super guitarist Alvin Lee impressed me back then with his riffs, and I can still remember the reddish LP cover with a drawing, and the same name, as the stone I sit and look at now. In early 1969, they released the album Stonehenge, two years before I came out of school.
“Darn, I’m old”, I think to myself, while I hear a Swedish motorbiker say to his wife, “The stones were retrieved in Wales 4,500 years ago, and erected 2,500 years before Christ.” Suddenly age means nothing.
SPEAKING SWEDISH AT STONEHENGE
The Swedish Biker and his wife sit on the bench beside me and they both smile, and he continues talking to his wife, while I fiddle with my camera. “It’s a burial ground for a people, that goes back to 3,000 BC, though some say it was a special landing pad for UFO’s, or perhaps a star observatory.” Within minutes, the talkative Swede is telling me about their roadside adventures, on the road from the North of Sweden, to the South of England. They broke down not once, but twice on the way to Stonehenge, and he proceeded to tell me about the benefits of RAC Breakdown Cover and the fact that they cover all 47 countries in Europe. Apparently, they came to his assistance in both Germany and Belgium, once for a puncture, and once for en electrical fault. So there he was, at Stonehenge, trying to sell me roadside assistance.
In the same moment a young woman passes us, dressed as a Druid. She looks so much like my school sweetheart, from the ‘Ten Years After’ time, I almost get up off the bench and start talking to her. This day has suddenly turned itself inside out, the sun bakes down from a cloudless sky, and I’m really glad I came up here from Portsmouth, there is a certain sense of spirit here.
EVERYTHING IS SO MYSTERIOUS HERE
I love mystery, and this place is very mysterious. On my way out of the area, I stop at a Souvenir Shop to enrich myself with a symbol of some kind, proof that I have been to this place. I buy a patch that says “Stonehenge Rocks”. It fits nicely in my terminology. I read briefly in a brochure, before I leave the store, that Stonehenge is perfect for fast rhythms. Experts have discovered that the tall rocks, when the stone circle was new, formed perfect acoustics for fast rhythmic music, that is, entirely in the techno genre. “Everything is so strange,” I think, while a bus full of druids pass by the motorcycles. They wave, I wave back, and suddenly I miss the blues world. I find a “The Best of Jimi Hendrix” in the top box. All this vibration surrounding Stonehenge, requires a good guitar solo on the way home to Portsmouth.
62.2 miles, an hour and nine minutes to Portsmouth, and a cold Guinness to flush out the mystery, and wash the big stones down. Friends come back out to the bikes, and everyone is happy for the experience we had here. We leave the flat landscape, while the sun slips toward the horizon, and in a few moments, the luminous ball will create new mystery, surrounding Stonehenge.
Your North Atlantic adventure on a motorbike starts with the good ship M/S Norröna. No matter where you come from in Europe, the islands of the North Atlantic Ocean are something you must experience. Give yourself the ride of a lifetime, on a relaxed trip across the Atlantic.
With excellent transport opportunities, Europe has become much smaller. If you come from southern Europe, you can get on the AutoZug from Verona, Narbonne or any other southern AutoZug terminal, from where you can be transported northwards, to Hamburg. From Hamburg, you only have 517km to the unique experiences of the North Atlantic.
A cruise with M/S Norrøna is like a floating holiday, on one of the newest ships on North Atlantic. From the deck, there is an incredible view over the horizon, of waves, ocean and sky. M/S Norröna has weekly departures from Hirtshals to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In high season, there are two weekly departures to the Faroe Islands.
Apart from a few dolphins that had been keeping pace, the only thing to see since we had passed Green Island was blue meeting blue on the distant horizon. The sunlight’s warmth and the deck chair’s swaying and rocking had made my eyelids heavy.
I hadn’t realized that I’d drifted to sleep, though, or that the 4 hour journey could already be nearly over. And so, when a light touch to the shoulder woke me, it seemed to me that the wild, jungle-covered cliffs filling the world off to port had magically burst up out of the calm waters.
Orchid Island, also called Lanyu, had been on my travel list for nearly 2 years—and finally, I was there!
This volcanic island, with its turquoise waters and unique native culture, might not be as popular a tourist destination as the much closer Green Island, but that isn’t because it lacks anything in beauty or culture. Because of its remoteness—the island lies about 73 miles off the south-east coast of Taiwan—and the relative difficulty of traveling there, fewer people are able to make the trip. If you do brave the little planes or the ferry ride, though, the trip is well worth it!
Soon after climbing down from the boat, we were met by a driver who brought us back to a local home, partially converted into a hostel. Within an hour, we had our rental scooter, a full tank of gas, and an evening to drive, climb around on the volcanic rock, and explore.
A single coastal road wraps around the island, and it only takes 2-3 hours to circumnavigate this small island. You can take your time to stop and admire the dramatic rock formations along the road, and just enjoy the ride between the deep turquoise waters on one side and the dense, wild mountains on the other.
When it came time for a meal, there wasn’t any shortage of delicious things to eat. If you are looking for a quick snack or drink, there are numerous small, independently owned convenience stores along the island’s main road. You may have to drive 10 to 15 minutes to find a snack or a coffee, but that’s all part of the laid-back island adventure. There aren’t any 7-11s on this island, and that’s part of the charm.
There are a few western-style restaurants and bars overlooking the ocean, and plenty of small restaurants serving local food. Make sure to give the island’s specialty, flying fish, a try while you are there!
The stunning, deep blue waters that surround the island are home to some beautiful coral reefs, and Orchid Island has a reputation as being a great place for snorkeling. For only 400NT per person, we rented wetsuits and snorkels, and had a guide from the local village. Drifting above and through the beautiful world of coral reefs that lies just off the coast is the perfect way to spend a few hours here.
For travelers who like trekking, the climb to Orchid Island’s Taling mountain is popular, and offers great views. The weather station, which is just a short drive up the cross-island road. Although there’s nothing particularly spectacular about the weather station itself, the views along the drive, and once you’ve reached the top, are amazing.
One of the biggest draws to Orchid Island, though, is the chance to see its unique culture. This island is home to the Yami people. Culturally distinct from the rest of Taiwan, the Yami have traditions and customs that more closely resemble those of people in the Philippines.
On your trip around the island, make sure to check out the Lanyu museum, which shows a replica of a traditional Yami underground home, as well as tons of traditional crafts, tools, and art.
Be sure to also keep an eye out for the beautifully painted, hand-made canoes. Outside of the museum, the gate from the main road is made up to look like two of these canoes.
After an all-too short weekend there, Orchid Island ranks high on my list of favorite places in Taiwan. It has beautiful oceans, wild mountains, and a laid-back feel that makes it the perfect place to relax and get away from it all.
- From the coastal city of Taitung, flights and ferries leave for Orchid Island daily, weather permitting. The flights are run by Daily Air, and cost about $3,000NT round trip. Ferries are only slightly cheaper, at $2,000NT round trip.
- Bad weather often leaves flights grounded and ferries stuck in the harbor. Be aware that you may be stuck on the island for a day or two more than you had planned, and prepare accordingly. Even when the ferries do run, trip can be quite an adventure. We had calm seas on the way there, but ended up catching the edge of a Typhoon on the way back! I’d recommend the ferry only for people with a strong sense of adventure, and an even stronger stomach.
- Ferries and flights fill up early, especially during holidays. Trains and flights to Taitung are often sold out as well. Book your transportation to Taitung, and to Orchid island, well in advance.
- Not many people on the island speak English. You may have some trouble communicating and booking things if you don’t have someone with you who can speak at least some Mandarin Chinese.
- Renting a scooter is the best way to get around the island. Since the road is windy and often steep, having someone with you who knows how to drive a scooter is a must.
This guest post was written by Stephanie A Long.
It started a long time ago, when some inns in Jutland found out that it was a good idea to work together in order to accommodate more guests. Since then, Funen and Zealand inns also joined the co-operation, and this developed into the association Dansk Kroferie which today totals nearly 50 inns and hotels all over the country. Many of the inns are royally licensed inns which have been situated at the old main roads for several hundred years and which take pride in maintaining the good old traditions for good inn-keeping.
Neuschwanstein is on the list of the 20 building wonders of the world, and since 2007, people have voted for the world’s seven wonders, in fact, millions of people around the world voted. Neuschwanstein was not one of the seven. The seven wonders were: Chichén Itzá Temple in the Yucatan, the Christ statue outside Rio de Janeiro, the Colosseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, Machu Pichu in Peru. The Egyptians were of course also on the list, and they became quite angry that the Pyramids were not included in the fine company of the seven. Maybe next time?
One could wonder, what a wonder really is, if the pyramids are not wonders? Maybe we live in a wonderful world with such wonders sprinkled around us like pearls on a string. We know they’re there, but how much do we really know about these wonders and history behind them? Do we really appreciate them? Makes you wonder… In any case, the Neuschwanstein fairytale castle is a really photogenic building and, thus, is one of the world’s most photographed buildings.
The history of Neuschwanstein has it all. It is the story of the handsome young King Ludwig II, who didn’t know which leg to stand on, when he became king. A sad story about an unrequited love, loneliness, art, music, wealth and a coup with a macabre end. When Maximilian II died as King of Bavaria in 1864, his son ascended the throne, only 18 years old. Ludwig II would be an absolute monarch, with power and everything that goes with it. Bavaria at that time, was a constitutional monarchy, so the kid did not have the full power over the country. He was pretty angry because of that.
As a young ambitious king, it was not satisfactory just to be a figurehead king. He tried to change the laws so he could obtain the power he so wanted, but he failed. It was only in history books, that he was able to read about the absolute monarchs. One could try to buy a kingdom, he thought. Ludwig II set about trying to buy the island of Mallorca, but Spain wanted 50 million Reichsmark, to insert him as ruler of the island. Ludwig II did not have that much money, so the idea was promptly dropped.
In 1866, after the ‘Seven Weeks War’ between Prussia and Bavaria, Ludwig II was instated in the disappointing role of Vassal King, a figurehead under the iron chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Prussia. The young man was very weary of it all, and he fled into his own fantasy world, where only he ruled, supremely.
Ludwig II loved music, and especially works of composer Richard Wagner, (the temporal response to Rammstein), who was number one on the charts in southern Germany, with his romantic works which focused on German fairytales and legends. Ludwig II’s nanny at Hohenschwangau had introduced him to Richard Wagner’s musical universe, when he was only 13 years old, and it came to influence him for the rest of his life.
In 1860, Ludwig II saw Richard Wagner’s opera ‘Lohengrin’ live, and he was sold. In his childhood years in Hohenschwangau, he was surrounded by adventure in the form of romantic murals of German heroes and their deeds. He became so obsessed with the legendary figure Lohengrin, he began to compare himself with this romantic swan knight. He was such a hardcore fan of the composer Richard Wagner, he took the composer under his protective wings, which came to mean a leap ahead, for Richard Wagner’s life and career. Ludwig II was convinced that Richard Wagner was in touch with God, when he composed the music.
In 1864, just after Ludwig II became king, he sent a letter to his musical idol via his private secretary: “I have the honour of being King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s private secretary. The king has entrusted me, my dear master, to invite you to his palace, and ask that you must come without hesitation.”
Richard Wagner was reeling on his heels, and wrote back: “Beloved, most gracious liege! I’m sending you these tears of celestial motion to say that the miracle of poetry has finally come into my poor, loveless life as a divine truth.”
Richard Wagner went to the court in Munich, and met with Ludwig II for the first time. The 51-year-old composer was a close friend with the young king, through a short and stormy period, which had its hub in the summer castle Hohenschwangau. Richard Wagner composed, enjoyed life, and his new status in the castle. Ludwig II went to the bank and repaid Richard Wagner’s considerable debts, which made the composer uncannily creative and sharp. Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, was set up at Court Theatre in Munich on 10 June 1865, and was a resounding success.
In 1866, Ludwig II had a date of the serious kind. He met his future fiancée, Countess Sophie of Austria. Sophie was a music-happy girl, and they both loved Wagner’s music, but it was also the only thing they had in common. Sophie was his cousin, and sister of his good friend, the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Ludwig II cancelled his engagement to Sophie shortly before the two should be welded together. Love just wasn’t there.
Ludwig II was a pretty mysterious fellow, and the women flocked around him. It’s good to be king. Ludwig II had many female acquaintances, but no one grasped his deep interest, and, as years went by, gossip and intrigue as to his sexual orientation abounded. It was not appropriate back then. Shut in, he slept all day and was only awake at night. Love was just something that existed in the music.
Although Ludwig was no good as king by day, he could be, by night. He planned his own private kingdom, which would consist of castles all over Bavaria. Like so many other kings through the ages, he was also an entrepreneur. But he also had an incredibly romantic imagination, which brought him over the edge of the ordinary human mind. Only a year after he became king, he wrote to Richard Wagner: “I plan to rebuild the old castle ruins in the same style as the old German knight’s castles. I look forward to living there someday. There will be many rooms and the views are wonderful over Tyrol. The location is one of the loveliest, holiest and most difficult to find. Thus, a worthy temple for my divine friend, who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world.
His friend Richard Wagner liked young women, and he had chosen a mate after writing ‘Tristan and Isolde’. During the same period, where Ludwig II muddled up his own engagement, the composer had seduced his conductor’s wife. Although the conductor, Hans von Bülow, was a significant piece of Richard Wagner’s life, and a good supporter, Wagner was cold as a stone, he wanted his wife. Cosima, as the young woman was named, was at Wagner’s side until his death, and bore him a daughter Isolde, so it may well have been true love.
Cosima was 24 years younger than Richard Wagner, and so again, the gossip went around, and many believed it was a proper scandal. Wagner fell into disfavour among persons at court, they feared that he would bring ideas into the mind of the young king, which he previously had done. Ludwig II was forced to send Richard Wagner away from court. Ludwig II was so depressed, and was on the verge of collapse. He thought of abdicating, so that he could follow his friend in exile. He found it hard to live a life without Richard Wagner and his music, at his side. Wagner managed to talk some sense into the young king, who in turn had Wagner installed in Villa Triebschen, on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Now, Wagner could be really creative, and the young king went ahead with plans for the construction, which would celebrate the composer, and would later become his destiny.
In 1868, Wagner’s opera “Die Meistersinger of Nuremberg”, premiered in Munich, and same year Cosima divorced from Hans von Bülow. In 1870, Wagner and Cosima married. Ludwig II, who was only 23 years old during those events, now began to live out his fantasies and began to build castles. Drawings and sketches where created for the new palace, and they were not accepted until all details were in order. All modern building techniques should be used, and no expense would be spared. Neuschwanstein would be a direct homage to Richard Wagner. A great operatic backdrop.
The decor inside, consists of murals with scenes from Richard Wagner’s operas. ‘Parsifal’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Tristan and Isolde’. The old castle ruin, which was just opposite to Hohenschwangau, was the centrepiece of his imaginary royal kingdom. Richard Wagner was to be the musical bridge between God, king and the common people.
In 1869, the construction of Neuschwanstein started, and it would only be completed seventeen years later. When you are in close contact with the castle, one can hardly understand that it was possible to bring so much beauty into one building. Artists and architects must have stepped on each other’s toes in the creative process. In the seventeen years it took to build the castle, there was plenty of turmoil in Europe, while the Swan Knight King reigned quietly, without love, in his own fantasy realm.
He built for dear life, and spent more money than he had. He sat for days on end, and followed the construction by telescope. It was not just the new palace that had his interest, the king also built elsewhere in Bavaria. Richard Wagner tried to get Ludwig to take a little more interest in his country than just music, art and buildings. He failed, but Richard Wagner loved his young king: “This wonderful, unique, young man is deeply connected to me through the mystery and magic.”
Ludwig II was so much a fan of Richard Wagner, that he became addicted to the composer’s works. During the construction of Neuschwanstein, he became quite strange, and locked himself in his mother’s castle Hohenschwangau, with binoculars as the only window to the outside world. Ludwig II now assumed a really bad lifestyle, and as years went by, he fell more and more into disrepair. Teeth falling out, he got out of shape and became irritable, and slept all day. Sometimes he’d leave the palace at night to go for a ride in the dark, with all his other dark sides. In the years during construction of the dream palace, he banned visitors from come to Hohenschwangau, defending the construction of his dream castle. In 1883, Richard Wagner died without having seen the gigantic manifestation of his works. It was a real loss for Ludwig II.
In 1886, the dream castle was nearly completed, and Ludwig II moved into apartments in the new palace. He could now live in the palace, his imagination had fostered. But Ludwig’s days were literally numbered; he would only have 172 days in the castle. He was loved by the people and hated by the rulers. He now had some massive problems, with bad credit, and a debt of around 20 million Reichsmark. There was no chance that Bavaria could ever repay this debt, but Ludwig II didn’t care.
On June 10th of the same year, the castle invaded by a group of men forcing their way through the castle gates. They dragged Ludwig away, and he was deposed as king the same day, by both his own family, and the government. The official reason given to the people, was that he suffered from galloping insanity. He had spent too much money on his construction work across Bavaria, to complete his fantasy kingdom. The Swan Knight King was taken to Munich.
On June 12, the King was out taking a walk with his private physician, but the two never returned from that trip. Their bodies were found in the Starnberger See, and there were no witnesses to this drama. The official explanation was that Ludwig II had beaten his doctor to death, and then had killed himself, because he had lost his royal title. But how could this mad romantic soul who loved music, art and beauty, beat another man to death? How insane was Ludwig II anyway? One thing is for sure. He was a great financial burden for Bavaria, and this was probably why he was killed.
The last second before the swan knight king slipped into death, he may have heard Wagner’s music in his mind’s ear, and thought of a letter he sent the composer after a concert in Bayreuth: “Oh, now I recognize again the beautiful world that I’ve been away from, the sky opened up again for me, the angels rays of colour, spring reaches into my soul with thousands of sweet sounds. The true artist of God’s grace that has brought the sacred fire from heaven to earth to clean, to sanctify, to salvation. The God-Man cannot get lost and cannot fail “.
When you exit the castles and continue your trip, you can sit and think in the saddle of this mysterious tale. About all the architecture and furniture loaded into Neuschwanstein. About life at Hohenschwangau, and the wealth the king and his family surrounded themselves with. About the mad king, his debauchery and decadence. About how his food was raised up through the floors of Hohenschwangau, because he did not like servants, and how his lovers walked through the castle in secret passages. About how his servants stood on top of his bedroom, and shone lights into the room through coloured glass. About the room where Richard Wagner was asleep drunk, while he was wondering how he could seduce some young girls, not to forget the natural environment and location of the palaces, which were literally royal houses, fit for kings.
Ludwig II, in his brief and mysterious life, through the composer Richard Wagner’s music, his own wild imagination, and on the brink of romantic insanity, left us a marvel of a castle at the bottom of the A7 motorway. A romantic monument, perhaps to remind us that love and romance can be found in the real world. Perhaps the message from Ludwig II to the future of humanity is: “Find love while you live, and don’t end up like I did”?
Contributed Post by Valle V. Petersen