Day Nine: Storming the Castle

Yesterday we got a chance to really spend some time with Evelyn and Gunter. The day was planned around dinner at Evelyn’s mother house in the evening, but before that, we had a leisurely morning at the hotel while waiting for Gunter to finish up with a meeting. Once done, we picked him up and headed to an area with three mountains, of about the same height, each part of a fortress complex. One held the fortress itself, the other a rock formation and the third had the prison where captives were kept.

The fortress was set high on a hill, but we were able to drive up most of the way. After parking the car, it was a twenty minute hike up to the fortress, where the views were expansive. From our vantage point, you could see the mountains of the Black Forest in Germany, to the hints of mountains in France.

(The trail leading up to the fortress.)

(View from the first lookout point, overlooking a town and a vineyard.)

(Entering the fortress.)

After doing the hike, the fortress continued upwards through a series of staircases dispersed throughout. At many points there were ledges to step onto to look at the view and windows to peer out of. Inside we were able to see the chapel as well as replicas of the crown and swords.

(Me, Mom, Evelyn and Gunter.)

We continued to make our way to the very top, where the views were definitely worth the trek up there!

There are many more photos that I could put up to show you, but it would likely take forever to post and load on other computers, so I’ll save some for when I’ve got the entire album up and ready to go, however in the above two you can get a sense of the view.

Once done with the fortress, we walked back down (which I actually like less than walking up – walking down bothers my knees too much), and sat and had a small snack of currywurst and pretzels before making our way to the town Evelyn grew up in.

We arrived at Evelyn’s mom’s house, where an amazing feast was prepared.  There was turkey, chicken, dumplings, salad and more!  Everything was delicious, and I was quickly too full – but was, of course, instructed to save room for dessert.  We ate dinner in the garden, a nice breeze blowing through the air, breaking up the heatwave Germany has been experiencing during our stay here.

Once we were done with dinner, we took a walk through the gardens and made our way through the town, ending up at one of Evelyn’s aunts houses.  We had met Sigi and Freidl at the wedding and they were very hospitable, serving drinks and cookies before we had to head back to Karlsruhe (mom had to see Lilo, a healer, to check out this weird rash she got on her leg in Paris; turned out it was an allergic reaction to sand fleas from all the walking we did – I thankfully did not get bothered by these gross sounding creatures).

Before we headed back to the hotel for the night, Gunter drove us up to a peak where we could look out over the city of Karlsruhe.  The sun was setting, the moon was up, and it was all very peaceful, and a nice way to end the day.

Today is actually our final day here in Germany, and tomorrow we head home.  I’ve had a wonderful time and am so grateful for the opportunity to spend a lengthy amount of time in Europe.  It will sure be nice to get home to my own bed tomorrow evening though!

Today’s plan is to head to Baden-Baden and then have a barbeque at Gunter and Evelyn’s house.  If I am able to update this evening I will, otherwise I’ll post about our final day when I can get all the pictures up in a gallery.

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