Bavaria & the Swiss Alps
It’s that time of year when the heat can be brutal, and we are all thankful for air conditioning. Naturally, as a self-professed warm weather lover, I’m thinking of Jungfraujoch, Switzerland. Yesterday it reached a high of 41 degrees Fahrenheit in Jungfraujoch. No need for air conditioning!
Are you thinking, “Why in the world would anyone visit such a cold place?” The answer is simple; the view will take your breath away. On one side you’ll see the Swiss Mittelland towards the Vosges, on the other, the Aletsch Glacier, lined with four thousand-meter peaks. Standing on the Jungfraujoch 3,454 meters above sea level, you can feel it with your first step: you’re in a different world. It’s one you have to experience. Throughout the year, the train makes its way up to the heart of the UNESCO heritage site “Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch.”
Approximately 4-hours from Jungfraujoch you can live out a fairytale. Visit the breathtaking place that inspired Cinderella’s Castle. In southwest Bavaria, you’ll find the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle. You’ll want to head over to Queen Mary’s bridge for a perfect photo vantage point. This is a footbridge constructed in 1866 and usually crowded with tourists. Be prepared to queue (unless very lucky) as capacity is strictly controlled. Little wonder as the bridge spans a n extremely deep gorge. It is well-maintained though and sports many original features. If you’re not a fan of heights, you may want to pass on Queen Mary’s bridge!
Don’t forget to see the romantic castle of Hohenschwangau nearby which was the childhood home of Ludwig II, the “mad” king who built Neuschwanstein castle. Not too far removed are two other castles associated with this monarch and well worth seeing: Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee.
If you are ready to escape the crowds, head over to the town of Füssen, Bavaria, located at the foot of the Alps. Here you’ll find stunning views and gentle hiking trails. Füssen was historically an important point on the route from Italy to Augsburg and is about 700 years old. Today it is the southern point on the “Romantic Road” which starts 350 kilometers away in Würzberg and this route encompasses an array of quaint towns and picturesgue castles (including those mentioned) as it winds its way through Bavaria and Baden-Württemburg. In the the town of Füssen is the Hohes Schloss or High Castle , once the summer residence of the bishop-princes of Augsburg. It is open to visitors as are the other castles previously mentioned. Below the castle is the former Monastery of St. Mang founded in the 9th century.
Brightly Colored Buildings of Füssen
If Switzerland and Bavaria are on your list of places to see, visit towards the end of June through the beginning of September. There will be more people, but when visiting the Alps, you want to go when the roads are less likely to close due to snow.
Now that you know what I’m thinking about on these 100-degree days, where do you want to travel next?
High Castle with a glimpse of the Monastery of St Mang below.
Things to Do
Paragliding near the Observatory in Jungfraujoch
Hiking the trails of Bavaria near Füssen. (Image: Bigstock)
Touring Neuschwanstein Castle, the Singer’s Hall.
All images courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Header and feature images are of the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland.