|Spring is sprung here in Hessen.|
This weekend and last weekend, it stopped raining long enough that Sasha and I thought we could play a few rounds of "find a castle" without risking hypothermia while poking around in the woods. We are 3 for 3 for March so far, and the castles ran the range of ruinedness.
Last weekend, we picked a ruined castle symbol on the map near towns called Friedensdorf and Buchenwald. The ruin even had a name on the map, so that seemed promising. Although the name was "Hohenfels" which translates more or less as "high rocks", so perhaps I should have expected what we eventually found...
We took roads and then the bike path for a while before we had to cut in on a hiking/mountain biking trail. I suppose now would be a good point to mention that we had road tires on our bikes and it had rained a good amount the previous week and there was major logging going on on said hiking trail. Oh well. We'd had the foresight to take running shoes too, so we were prepared for this:
|Perhaps mountain bike tires would be more appropriate|
|At least we are allowed to climb around unsupervised when the ruins are unexciting.|
|If you want to read about which Landgrafs and which Konrads and Heinrichs are responsible for this castle, here you go.|
|Indisputably human made.|
|And look at those walls!|
Now, Dad, if you are reading this, I am sure you are shaking your head about your crazy daughter's castle obsession. But answer me this: wouldn't you like to go on a several hour bike ride through fields and forests, and isn't it nice having an excuse to go some new direction to explore some new woods? And if such a journey goes by an award winning bakery that serves raspberry cake AND hot cocoa, would you still protest against castle journeys, or would you perhaps join in our enthusiasm?
|I like cake!|
The first castle was in Friedelhausen and was quite nice, and more of a manor house than a stereotypical castle. It was very private, unfortunately, but at least the fence/hedge was low, so we could get good views.
|Look, there is skin showing on my arms!! (yes, that's skin, not pasty white arm warmers)|
|the hotel part of the castle|
|Ruined tower with a nice view|
From Staufenberg, we rode back down to the bike path along the Lahn, and rode the rest of the way into Giessen and caught a train home. Since Sasha likes birds, you will be pleased to note we saw a few birds, although nothing incredibly worth noting from a birders perspective. However, as further proof that spring is upon us in this Deutscher Land, there were baby geese!!! Yay for spring and cute balls of fluff! And warmth! and sun! May such things reach your corner of the globe soon if you don't have them yet.
|Mom or Dad. In case you are curious, these are Egyptian geese, which have been introduced here, but are now quite common in our part of Hessen.|