One of Germany’s most famous landmarks is Schloss Neuschwanstein, a Bavarian castle originally commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria in honor of Richard Wagner. Its Romanesque Revival-style architecture juts out from the surrounding mountainsides with spectacular white towers like a prickly icicle that has thrust itself up from the ground and crystallized into a tremendous cream-colored rock. It’s instantly recognizable as the most famous castle in Germany.
I was lucky enough to see the castle on a beautiful summer day. Beneath the castle, the tourists centers buzzed and throbbed with pedestrian traffic, ice cream shops, and horse-drawn carriages that plodded all the way up the mountain bearing the luckier tourists. I remember noticing the Ben & Jerry’s shop right next to the bus station. What on earth was B&J doing in Bavaria?
Then I realized that I didn’t hear anyone speaking German. Almost every single conversation I overheard was in an Asian tongue…
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