A bit more on Neuschwanstein Castle? OK then – I’ll do all the travelling. You just put your feet up.
Maxine tells us to have our barcodes ready as we mill about in the courtyard among a hundred other tourists. Ludwig II’s death rather halted construction of this castle -and therefore much of the building’s interior remains unfinished. The tour itself, then, is staggeringly brief and prohibits photography.
Now, I don’t mind prohibiting flash photography, but no photographs at all? To me, that rather smacks of stinging the destitute traveller in the souvenir shop - one is forced to spend one’s hard-earned cash on postcards. Or you can simply photograph the postcards, which I might, or might not, have done. Or, if you find ‘verboten’ (forbidden) is like a red rag to a bull, there is the odd opportunity to take sneaky pictures once the tour guide has exited each room. I mention it simply as an observation.
Maxine gestures towards the sign that reads: ‘Danger. No Trespassing’, indicating the route to the lookout and Mary’s bridge, which offers a fantastic view of the castle’s scaffolding. The danger notices, apparently, are only to avail the authorities of any responsibility, should you slip on the snowy, ungritted path. They leave the signs up all winter.
Ironically, the actual path is clear and safe; the really dangerous part – potentially resulting in castration – is climbing over the notices warning of danger. Oh, I’m sick to death of health and safety; I’m seriously considering living in the tropics where you can hang out of train doors till your heart’s content.
Anyway, genitalia still more or less intact, Maxine shepherds us back to Munich, where we all go our separate ways: some to Denver, some to Venice, an Indian to Marseilles, and I’m off to Switzerland, with it’s renowned hatred of trucks. What a busy world we live in, eh?
So, today we leave the EU once more. The Swiss border involves paperwork, and a declaration of mileage. When we exit Switzerland again, we will show them how many kilometres we’ve travelled, and will be taxed accordingly. Trucking companies are not best pleased, therefore, if drivers get lost and clock up unnecessary distance.
The man with the rubber stamp chats happily to Little Dick about the length of Angus Young’s guitar solos nowadays, and processes forms speedily. ‘You must get there,’ he says. ‘I am coming to the AC/DC concert.’ His colleagues, however, are less keen to ease our passage. Little Dick’s kilometre reading is checked, and Namibian is admonished for declaring an incorrect gross permissible trailer weight. It was a badly worded question on a computer screen, though, to be honest.
Oh, and amid the uproar, I forget to change up any Swiss shitters – or francs, as some like to call them. Honestly, you’d think after eleven years, I’d have got the hang of this job..