Rapunzel (2013 Edition)
From the Forest to the Enchanted Castle on a shoestring
Mesmerising, delightful and impossibly unpredictable – with its ancient traditions, supernatural fauna and innumerable castles, Rapunzel’s Forest is all this and more. Once the exclusive playground of wealthy heirs and hapless heroines, the Forest has relaxed its restrictive narrative conventions in recent years, attracting travelling royals and assertive maidens of all persuasions. The real adventure however, lies in the Enchanted Castle and, of course, its most famous resident, Rapunzel.
While the journey to the Enchanted Castle isn’t cheap – you’ll still need a resplendent suit of armour and gallant steed – with some careful planning and, on occasion, a little luck, you’ll discover an exciting world of sorcery, easy-to-digest morals and romance without having to slay a single dragon.
Ready to ride?
Day 1 – The Village
Most Everyday Princes tend to skip the peasant village, preferring to take the alternative, more scenic path through the Forest. Do this and you’ll miss out on the famous hut-turned-museum, where the ravishing Rapunzel was born. Be sure to check out the rustic living room, with its views out onto the inimitable lettuce patch that started it all. Once you’ve had your fill of history, take a relaxing trot through the village’s lush countryside as you head toward the Forest; here you’ll see the ever-smiling serfs at play, slaving in the fields, oppressing their nieces and nephews, and avoiding the wroth of local magicians.
Day 2 – The Forest
Take some time to explore the winding paths, mushroom houses and red apple trees before catching Rapunzel’s captivating a capella performance. Her song has soothed the ear of many a weary traveller, and will lead you past all the Forest’s highlights, right up to the Enchanted Castle’s main tower. Despite efforts from conservation groups to preserve the tower’s crumbling walls, tradition still dictates that you try to scale the facade at least once before you utter those famous words to gain entrance. When you do become sick of falling on your rump, simply shout out loud and clear the words, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”, and before you know it, a ladder woven from long, fair hair will unravel to the ground.
Update: we’ve heard some reports of visitors being attacked by the witch prior to making it into Rapunzel’s chambers, or even during the climb up! Although these occurrences are rare, it’s best to be alert before ascending. Ensure that the golden ladder is in fact attached to the fair maiden’s head before you take your first step!
Day 3 – The Enchanted Castle
It’s impossible to describe just how beautiful Rapunzel is. Seldom do visitors come away without offering at least one marriage proposal. Princes fortunate enough to receive the damsel’s favour will have to contend with the jealous and wily witch, who’ll provide an endless source of physical challenges and wacky curses to defy most expectations. Lovers of adventure holidays won’t find her defensive tactics too arduous, but if you shrink at the thought of great heights, or falls from great heights, or thorn-induced blindness, you may wish to take out personal injury insurance before you leave.
At a glance
Climate: perennially mild with the odd snow storm
Population: 10 million (includes witches, wizards, dwarves, dragons, flying monkeys, royals and peasants)
Currency: gold (magic beans are accepted in some regions)
Primary industries: farming, monarchism, wizardry