This afternoon my friend Dani (a fellow AF spouse visiting from Guam while her hubs is serving our country) and I decided to make the most out of the few remaining hours of daylight. This is her first time in Germany and I want to show her all the greatest sights in our beautiful area. Even though our part of Germany is not a bustling city with all the famous attractions that you read about, there are so many sublime places to see around here — it’s so simple and serene in our region. It has to be that way. All these grapes need a tranquil environment to grow in so they can be squished into the best wine ever. 😉
Anyway, with all there is to see and do, we have to be savvy with our time as the days are getting shorter around here. And Dani and I are both pathological picture takers, so…yeah, you know..daylight is substantial. She wasn’t even surprised that I keep a tripod in my trunk…who doesn’t??
We decided to take the long way home rather than the usual route on the Autobahn. That never fails to be worth every cent spent on gas to push the car up the giant hill or wear out the brakes for the unexpected hairpin curve.
Fortunately, the weather has been fantastic (sunny, mid 60s) and this is very rare for Germany this time of the year. I believe that Dani brought sunshine from Guam with her. But seriously, the day after she leaves, there is a chance for snow. I’m excited, but I’m sure I’m alone. Not the less, I’m very appreciative of the sun. I am one of those humans who needs their daily dose of vitamin D. See the specs in the picture below? Those are little bugs. They like the vitamin D, too.
So there we were with a full tank of gas and all of picturesque Rheinland-Pfalz before us. I picked a direction and started driving. It’s reassuring to have a GPS to get you home when you deliberately get lost. Guess what we found?
This colossal tree (I thought it was a cool picture of a random tree) and…
Two castles. NBD.
I knew they were in the area, but I wasn’t sure exactly where, so I was happy when we came around a curve and bam! there they were. We found this little side road to pull off onto to snap a few pictures and enjoy the view. With the fall colors in all their glory, it was incredible.
The Mandersheid Burgs have a very fascinating history (what castle doesn’t?) Let me break it down for you history buffs out there. The rest of you can just look at the pictures.
The castles are situated between two cliffs and the panoramic view is considered one of the most impressive sights of German medieval military architecture. They represent the power struggle between two regions, Trier and Luxembourg.
It began with this little guy. The upper castle was already documented in 973 as a donation from the archbishop of Trier. It is one of the oldest castles in the Eifel region. At this time, Trier ruled the area. The castle was destroyed by French troops and by the 18th century, the French were in charge. In the 19th century it was ruled by the King of Prussia. (Prussia is such a fun word to say.)
The lower castle was built in the second half of the 12th century. The steep rock on which the castle was built upon was the stronghold, as you can imagine. This castle was later destroyed by French troops during the 18th century ending the aristocratic rule in the region.
Back when the castles were separately ruled by Trier and Luxembourg, the guards of the large towers eyed each other distrustfully, and rightfully so. The medieval ages were a scary time — knights and swords? Not for me, thanks. I’m thankful I live in the era I do.
We found this menacing animal at the overlook…
On the way home, I just about left rubber on the road when I saw this little chapel. It pleaded to be photographed, so I kindly obliged. So quaint. So simple.
We swung by the Abtei Himmerod on our way home. I was hoping the cafe and shop were still open so we could find some food and take some of the excellent monk brewed bier home with us. It was closed, but we were able to enjoy a moment of silence in the church. It was just as stunning as the last time I was there. Just us and Jesus.
The wild beast that we found at the castle overlook somehow managed to follow us home. It is currently attacking a hair tie in my living room.
Look at those crazy eyes. Yikes.
Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!