Germany: Hohenzollern Castle

This stunning fairy tale castle almost seems surreal and is most definitely the German response to the French Mont St Michel. The castle stands magnificently on a 234m (768ft) bluff, rising high above the surrounding flat countryside. The fortification on top of the hill was first built in the early 10th century and then became the ancestral home for the Hohenzollern dynasty – basically all German and Prussian kings came from here. The castle is still in private hands and is meticulously restored. It takes a drive up, a hike up, and then a stairclimb up to rich the top of the castle where you can walk around the entire fortress and gaze up the vertical towers and out into the wideopen. Simply amazing, Disney-like experience (not that I ever liked Disney).