My Childhood Dream Castle12/5/2010
Growing up as a young kid, one of my favorite hobbies was building 3-D puzzles. I loved the angles, curves, and shapes that each puzzle piece displayed. I built all kinds of 3-D puzzles, Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, The Taj Mahal, and my favorite The Neuschwanstein Castle.
I have very fond memories of my grandma (who has since passed on) and friends wasting the hot summer days away building our masterpieces, one small puzzle piece at a time. On average we would work on these puzzles about 2 – 3 hours a day. After completion, they would stand tall, strategically around my parents house.
I got into puzzle building by accident, literally!
My first, and favorite puzzle, was The Neuschwanstein Castle. I received this puzzle as a birthday gift when I was about 10. For years the puzzle sat underneath my bed, unopened collecting dust.
At 13 I had the accident that would change my life.
I experienced an accident in Hawaii where I broke both of my legs at the same time, might I mention again that this took place in Hawaii! I spent the rest of the summer and first half of 8th grade in a wheelchair.
Life was hard to say the least. My grandma helped ease the burden by staying with me while my parents went to work during the day.
One day, I woke up to find grandma attempting to understand the concept of building a 3-D puzzle. I’m not sure if she opened the box that day to cheer me up or if it peeked her own curiosity. Nevertheless, I decided to help her out in figuring out the challenge in front of us.
We built that stubborn puzzle. Completed it in about a month.
When we finished, we purchased another puzzle, and another, and another, and another…. We built those puzzles until we ran out of puzzles to build.
I recruited my friends to help out and together we spent the time laughing, analyzing, organizing, and building 3-D puzzles.
Those are some of the best memories of my grandma and friends growing up.
During those 3 hours a day I forgot about my temporary situation. I no longer yearned to walk, swim, and do all the normal things kids my age did in the Texas heat.
Arriving in Munich, Germany on the 10th of March this year, I had the opportunity to visit the real Neuschwanstein Castle.
The castle was so majestic, yet familiar to me. I dreamed about visiting the palace high up in the mountains ever since I completed my 3-D version of the Neuschwanstein Castle.
I signed up for a day trip to visit Neuschwanstein in the village of Hohenschwangau, Germany.
That day my dreams became reality.
The castle was built by the lavish King Ludwig II on the side of a mountain. To reach the palace entrance I had to trek about a mile uphill. The whole process took about 30 minutes.
I kept an almost live feed in my Golden Book to capture my emotions and feelings as I reached closer and closer to my goal. Some things are meant to be kept private, but I can tell you I was in a state of euphoria when I finally reached The Neuschwanstein Castle.
Instant memories of grandma and friends resurfaced as well as memories of overcoming the most difficult physical challenge I’ve ever experienced.
The castle was everything I imagined and more. The walls were decked out with some of Germany’s most expensive and priceless works of art. The interior was decorated with the best carpets, clocks, statues, chandeliers, and furniture that I’ve ever seen.
A truly remarkable experience that I will never forget.
I learned on the tour that the Neuschwanstein Castle remains unfinished to this day. King Ludwig II ran out of money building his dream castle. I finished my dream castle as a 13 year old, that I am sure of!