I Left My Tour Midway, Took A 45-Minute Detour Alone In Munich!
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
I was in Munich with a tour guide and when we reached the Neuschwanstein Palace in Munich, the rest of the people chose to head to the palace. I didn't want to and so I left my guide & took a detour 5 kms inside a thick forest. This was one of my best decisions. Here's why!
Where Was I?
Germany is indeed one of the most beautiful countries I've been to. I was touring 3 cities - Munich, Wurzburg and Frankfurt. This was a solo trip; all I was given was the itinerary by the Germany Tourism Board, and following that, I had to meticulously plan my travels from place to place. The tours were booked for and the intercity travels were booked for. However getting from one place to another was something I had to figure out myself.
It was a different, rather tedious, but quite a learning experience.
On a city tour of Munich, on a sunny day we head out to visit some of the most iconic spots of the city. The landmark palaces and castles being one. I was excited about this day as it mentioned visiting all the places I'd read about in fairytales and seen in story books. By the way that brings me to asking you, did you know that Germany was one of the key places where a number of most popular fairy tales like The Hansel & Gretel, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs and many more originated? The landscapes were an inspiration for the authors to draw a storyline for these fairy tales. Infact, the palace I am about to tell you about, is also an inspiration for Disney's Cinderella castle. Yep, the one that you see in the Disney logo!
I Headed To The Neuschwanstein Castle
After a tour of the iconic Linderhof castle, some of the beer gardens and little town sides, we arrived at the Neuschwanstein Palace that looked so majestic just as we see in books! However, it is perched highhh up on a hill and I had no intentions of trekking all the way up. So I decided to tell my tour guide to go ahead with the rest of the people and I'd stop by at a cafe at the foothill to grab some lunch until they were back.
After almost 30 minutes of waiting in the queue I managed to place my order for a spicy hot dog and some fries. This is the only good cafe you'll find here - Hotel Muller Cafe, so it's worth the wait and the hotdogs are to die for!
Here's How It All Began
After spending an hour here, slowly enjoying my meal and also using the hour to charge my phone as much as I could, I was out of the cafe and wondering what to do next. I literally had 2 hours on hand! Yes 3 hours is the tour duration if you choose to trek all the way to the palace.
I opened up Google and started looking for things to do in the vicinity. I could find about 4 to 5 great places to go to, but all seemed about an hour away from where I was. Finally, I found a place that said 'waterfall' that showed about 45 minutes away, if I walked it. With nothing else to do and a lot of time on hand, I decided to head here. The pictures of the stream and waterfall were beyond magical to say a no.
As I began walking, my Google Maps led me from tiny lanes and alleys to something that started seeming like a thick forest. It was sunny and cool and I was enjoying my walk. As the forest began getting thicker, I realised there was no one ahead of or behind me. I was solely walking with my Google Maps showing me 30 minutes to destination. I started getting a little wary, but I chose to ignore my fear and kept walking as I sang along the way. After what seemed like eternity, there came a route full of mud and rumble and the only way to pass was walk over it. I chose to walk and continue my expedition. I began feeling a strange sense of accomplishment already as I knew I was taking this detour, slightly risky a lot exciting and hopefully, the correct route!
When I looked down into my phone, I realised my phone battery was on a 12% alert! Now I began panicking a bit. My only options were, head back to the starting point that would be fresh in my mind as I had just walked it out, or, keep moving ahead towards the 'apparent' waterfall. I asked myself what would be the worst case scenario incase my battery would die, I'd have to find someone to help me get out and back to the starting point and all of my walking so far would have been a waste if I went back. I got up from the log of wood I was sitting on for a small break, and began walking faster.
Where I Took The Detour
When my map showed about 6 to 7 minutes left to reach, I began hearing the bubbling sound of water. It made me so happy and excited, I almost forgot about how tired my legs were from walking all the way. I had walked for almost 40 minutes now, and I generally HATE walking. As I heard this sound, I turned off my maps, put my phone on airplane mode and followed the sound. It became louder and louder and finally, there I was standing across a stream of water gushing through boulders, what seemed like a scenery right out of a desktop wallpaper!
I smiled and exhaled in happiness and sat down on the rocks to enjoy this beauty and the solace. It was pin drop silence, just the sound of the bubbling water and some birds around the area. There wasn't a single soul here, just me with my dying phone, tired feet, a happy heart and a big smile.
I took my phone, quickly got some pictures and videos to mark this place in my travel diaries and always remember this story of my most favourite detour!
I sat here for a long long time just lying on the boulders with my eyes shut, listening to the bubbling water. This walk was totally worth it. I checked the time, and I realised I had to begin my walk back to the starting point if I had to be back in time along with the rest of the group. My phone navigated me for about 10 minutes and then it died. I luckily remembered the route back as it was fresh in my mind as it didn't involve many turns or so. it was a straight walk.
I walked back, right in time and sat in bus. The others arrived soon after from their trek up the palace. A few of them showed me pictures from the palace and told me about how tiring it was to go all the way up and back down again. A few also mentioned, it was an experience that could be given a miss.
I think it depends from person to person. If you a sucker for art, history and ancient artifacts, then a visit to the Neuschwanstein palace is a must. But for those of you like me, seeking more of an adventure and for the love of finding new places, well, take that step, walk that extra mile, get lost if you have to, but make the effort worth it! When the time comes to decide whether to head back or move ahead, remember my story and always choose to walk ahead. You'll never regret it!