Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Could this be (could this be) the most beautiful place in the world?

I like to think I've been a lot of places in my life. A lot of beautiful ones, even. But as far as edifice + setting goes, the most beautiful place I've ever been is Hohenschwangau (and Neuschwanstein). You probably know Neuschwanstein as the Sleeping Beauty castle. Of all days, my camera was running out of batteries on that day (last Wednesday), so I don't have many pictures. Just Google it if you want an image unsullied by the faces of my children.

This is at Hohenschwangau Castle. Behind the girls, you can see Neuschwanstein in the distance. We went inside Hohenschwangau but not Neuschwanstein, which I've heard is prettier from the outside, anyway. (Can you imagine an interior more beautiful than that exterior?)

This is the lake near the castles, with actual swans swimming in it (a few are in the background).

We hiked uphill for 40 minutes and then waited 10 minutes in a heaving, sweating line of tourists to see this view from a narrow bridge over a gorge. Totally worth it.

The actual most beautiful sights, I wasn't allowed to take pictures of since they were viewed from inside Hohenschwangau Castle (you can't use your camera there). It was breathtaking.

I know that my cultural background and upbringing have conditioned me to view this place as my most beautiful, but I was still caught off guard by how amazing it was to be standing in an honest-to-goodness castle (Hohenschwangau), in the original, untouched, unrestored writing room of a king, looking out a window onto a swan pond surrounded by green grass and the dramatic inclines of forested mountains.

What is your most beautiful place?

August 15th, outsourced

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