In May (Really? Only May? This trip seems ages ago.) we took a road trip over the Ascension holiday to Neuschwanstein and the Playmobil FunPark.
Neuschwanstein was fun to see, though it did rain the whole time we were there.
It was also one of the most touristy places we have visited. The courtyard was packed and there were tours going through at very regular intervals. In fact, I don't think there could have been more than five minutes between tours because Rowan and I stopped for a couple of minutes to linger over the "cave", and in that short time the next tour caught up to us and we'd lost our tour group.
Anyway, in preparation for our visit Rowan and Niamh (mostly Rowan) watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and read King Ludwig's Castle, The King and his Castle, and Stephen Biesty's Castles. I recommend The King and his Castle and Stephen Biesty's Castles, but was not so impressed with King Ludwig's Castle. But I'm afraid that not having looked at them in a while, as well as not having them on hand, I can't get more detailed on the books than that! One or more of the books mention the King Ludwig loved the story of St. George and the Dragon, and at least one of them had a picture of the wall in the castle on which a mural of St. George is painted. So knowing that story definitely helped keep Ro interested while touring the castle. But even with all our preparation, I'm afraid that the children's favorite part was probably not seeing the castle, but riding in a carriage up to the castle.
In fact, poor Neuschwanstein was not even the 2nd star of the show, because everyone's favorite part of the weekend was the Playmobil FunPark. Though the kids haven't been exposed to much Playmobil yet, Pat has very fond Playmobil memories, and was quite interested in going. It is a three hour drive from Neuschwanstein, and five hours from Morges. Because of the amount of driving involved we'd decided not to go, until my friend Laurie visited. Before coming to Switzerland, she and her children had stopped at the FunPark, and she couldn't stop raving about how wonderful it was for young children. When she pointed out that it was also the only one in the entire world (none of the other parks have the outside play areas, which is really what made it all worthwile), we were convinced.
I took a lot of photos at the park, but in looking back over them, I feel that I did not do a good job at all of capturing the park as a whole. It was huge, and there was just so much for the kids to do. There are no rides like at Disneyland, it was instead more like a giant playground, Playmobil-style. I wish we could have stayed for one more day. Thanks Laurie, for talking us into it!
More photos from our trip can be found, as always, on flickr.