So David woke me up the next morning, all smiling and says “It’s time to get up!! Time to go see the Castles!!!” and I said, “%&*$, don’t you know it’s like middle of the night for me still? even though i’ve slept for 8 hours?” But I dragged my butt in to the shower anyways…
We had breakfast at the hotel, and it was AWESOME! The Germans like cold cuts in the AM so I got to try some of their local meats and smoke salmon with this “Krauter” sauce. It is quite good! Now I gotta go find it online!!! If you know what I’m talking about, let me know too! Because I would love to make that at home!
Another thing worth mention about the Germans – when asking for water, if you are expecting our Poland Springs sport bottle water here, ask for “Natural Water” or “Baby Water”. Otherwise, they bring mineral water, which is not like evian either – it’s got bubbles and taste very interesting… I guess kinda like the tonic water here, but that’s what they are used to, nothe flat tap water type.
After breakfast, we set out for our castle advanture. I got to B42, and all of the sudden, there are castles EVERYWHERE! I got the pictures to prove it:
The used to be castle are now part of a business school
A Toll castle in the middle of the Rhine
Hotel!!! Only 140 euro for a double room!!!
Another Toll castle that we actually toured!
Yet another one!
View of the Rhine from castle above
The view of another castle from the above castle
This one is huge!
So while we saw soooooooo many castles, we came upon this sign:
You are probably thinking… what the? Well, you see, David’s mom’s family name is Reichenberg!!! Needless to say, we had to go check out the town!! When we got there, it’s actually a very small town, I would say in the size of a village, but because it’s Germany, it’s got yet, another castle:
We were very excited and trying to get in to see, but when we got to the gate, it was obvious to us that it is now a private residence. So much for seeing the castle…
The last castle we stopped, key word, stopped, because we saw many many more after this one, was called the Marksburg. “Burial grounds indicate that this area has been inhabited since about 500BC. It was first mentioned in the 13th century.” The castle itself was built since the 12th century. The location of the Marksburg made it hard to be attacked and many believes that’s the reason it is still standing, and it is the only castle that dates back to the knighthood days.
David and I in front of Marksburg
We pay for the tour and bought an english guide book about the Rhine region (yes, we know, we should have that from the beginning!) and off we went with the German tour guide. The castle really isn’t that big, at least not as big as I anticipated. It has a tower that can only enter through a 8 ft high “door”, it is the last resort before surrender to the enemies. On the first floor, there is a huge kitchen with two fireplaces, one of them is served as cooking area as well.
David in the big fireplace!
On the second floor was the ballroom, which isn’t that big either. Next to it was the bedroom. When we were in the ballroom, one of the little cove next to the dinning table, i saw this:
A spinning wheel! Do you really think I wasn’t gonna take a picture of this?!
When I went to the back room, I saw another spinning wheel, and a loom and some fiber hanging on the wall along with lots of bobbins and handspun yarn! David told me then, “Honey, we can’t take those home…” 😛
We went through the back and went down the stairs to the used to be stable. In that room, the German Castles Association (who Marksburg belong to since 1900) set up the “torture” room for the tourist to see. It has all the old torture instruments. I couldn’t take a picture of it… It was just too scary.
David and I saying goodbye to Marksburg
By the end of the tour, it was past 5pm and we decided to drive back up to Solingen so we don’t have to get up super early to make the drive. On the way there, we saw this:
We found out from our guide book that it’s called the Bridge of Remagen, or what’s left of it. There is an identical one across the road, but no bridge! The bridge apparently collapsed during WWII. The Germans tried to blow it up so the Allied troops couldn’t cross the Rhine, but with no success. The Allied troops cross the Rhine for the first time on March 7, 1945. However, exactly 10 days later, the bridge collapes in no apparent reason, and swept many Americans who were trying to repair the damage the Germans done into the river.
That is really the last thing I really pay attention to before I fell asleep, until we got to Köln. While we are waiting for the light, I took these pictures because I thought they were very interesting…
Red and Yellow?
So at least in Germany, they give you warning about the light turning green! It is quite handy! But I don’t think it’s gonna work in the US, because we are already rushing without the yellow light to warn about the green, if we got the yellow, I think we will have a lot more accidents than we already got!
Other things that we saw at Köln while we were driving around, wasting time and fuel:
A building with multi-color… Not doing it for me at all!
An interesting building – shaped like an egg!
And when we stopped and got fuel, David got me this at the gas station:
The HARIBO gummy bears I wanted!!!
We arrived at the hotel at Solingen around 9:00pm and we stopped at a Chinese restaurant and had dinner. Yes, a Chinese restaurant, because nothing else is open!!! But surprisingly, the food was excellent! Even in my standard! 🙂 We crashed around 10:30 to get me ready for the flying day.
We woke up around 7am to get me ready to go to the airport. David and I said goodbye so he can start his drive down to Black Forest to work. I was so early at the airport, everyone was asking me why I was there so early!!! There were a lot of securities at the airport. You have to go through two check gate before you actually get to the sitting area of your gate! They made me check my bag because it was “too heavy”! Too HEAVY! Dude, these people are just too skinny and no muscles! That’s what I think! Plus they smoke too much!
I got lucky again and no one was sitting next to me. When we took off, I was able to take this picture:
Bye bye Rhine River! and Germany
While I was waiting at the airport, I was working on Fetching. About an hour before we arrive to JFK, I successfully produced these:
Fetching with fingers!!! Along with my U.S. Custome paper
I was very excited and I can’t wait to wear it! Although, I really wish the summer is longer!
About 20 minutes before we touch down, I was able to take this picture, which I thought it was very very cool:
New Haven, CT from the sky
I arrived at JFK around 4:30pm. I got on the CT Limo bus around 5:30 and got home around 8:30pm. My trip is way too short, and I will definitely have to go back! There was so much too see, so little time!