The trees are changing later and later in DFW (case in point: they were still in their full summer splendor when we arrived back from Europe at the end of October last year), so I was thrilled to pieces, naturally, to experience the full array of Fall colors in Germany and Switzerland.

These are a few of my favorite pics that Will took during our morning at Neuschwanstein Castle. While it served as the future inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, Neuschwanstein was also the lavish (and that’s putting it mildly) retreat for a reclusive king named Ludwig.

Interestingly enough, the place where Ludwig sought refuge was immediately opened to the public following his death in 1886 and is one of Europe’s most popular photo ops. Apparently, 1.4 people visit the “Castle of the Fairy Tale King” every year, a fact that I’m sure would’ve basically sent his anxiety into overdrive.

While I enjoyed learning the history of Neuschwanstein and its King (and like so much European history, the stories definitely didn’t disappoint) and walking through one extravagantly appointed room after another (editing was clearly not part of the design aesthetic, for the record), I think I loved the long walk to the castle nearly as much as the castle itself. There was a chill in the air and so much natural beauty to take in. The colors were truly out of the world.

Our lunch after the tour didn’t disappoint either as we enjoyed another take on the region’s famed Schnitzel and Strudel (and perhaps in an attempt to make us feel at home, there were also French fries…mmmm!).