Sunday, May 24, 2009

Burg Eltz

My family and I ventured off yesterday with two other families to visit Burg Eltz. It is in the Mosel region of Germany and only a couple hour drive (very much worth it too). This castle has been in the same family for over 800 years and will be handed down to the 34th generation sometime in the future. It is surrounded on three sides by the river Eltz. The castle towers 70 meters above the river. The owners still live in a portion of the castle...can you imagine actually living in a real medieval castle??

We all crammed into 2 vehicles...3 adults and 12 kids (no husbands because they have not returned yet)! We were quite the sight as we were unloading in the parkplatz. There is about a 500 meter hike to reach the castle and is ALL on a very steep grade down the that means uphill the ENTIRE way back to the parkplatz.....a little bit of a workout to say the least!

The kids!

We were finally able to catch a glimpse of the castle about halfway down the trail. You get a birds eye view of the grounds and it is truly amazing.

We took the guided tour in English which lasted about 50 minutes. Unfortunately, We were not able to take pictures inside of the castle. The rooms included an entryway, dining room special dining room, adult bedroom, child's bedroom, and the only kitchen in the entire castle. The rooms were amazing! They still have the original paintings on the wall. In the special dining room there is a Jester carved into one of the walls which symbolized free speech for everyone. On the opposite wall, there is a rose carving which meant what is said in this room stays in this room. Each room included the original furnishings. The adult bedroom had a beautiful bed that could be enclosed with a curtain. It also was up on a pedestal about 3 steps high to keep rats out of the bed.....I guess everything served a purpose and was not just for looks!

This was taken in the courtyard while we were waiting for our tour to begin.

After the tour we visited the Treasure Vault. This area includes many more original pieces that are too valuable to keep in the general areas of the castle. There were collections of weapons, jewelry, fine china, and clothing to name a few.

We decided to walk down the many flights of stairs so the kids could play in the river Eltz. It was a warm day and looked mighty enticing. The first thing one of my daughters decided to announce was that there was a boy in his underwear....she had ran ahead of me. There was a boy about 12ish standing in his underwear. This is completely normal for Europeans and I would think they would be very used to this by now. I'm hoping he had no idea was she had said!

The water was more than was fa-ree-zing!!! Did that stop anyone from getting in????...of course not! They had a wonderful time playing and exploring the river and the surrounding woods.

Jacque and Logan spent a lot of time near the shore picking up rather large rocks and throwing them. We were laughing about how boys are just boys when we see this older man (60ish) rolling up his pant legs. What did he do....why throw rocks! This made us laugh even more because boys whether young or old can't resist the urge to throw things!!

The boys are checking out their rock throws. They would laugh and throw more to hopefully get the much anticipated big splash!

Colton and Sarah exploring the other side of the river.

Ian dipped his toes in too, but didn't last long. He didn't seem as content with the water temperature. Here he is on the shore. That green plant behind him is called Stinging Nettle. It is EVERYWHERE in Germany during the Spring and Summer. It actually feels like a bee sting if you touch it and causes welts everywhere it "stings" you. The stinging lasts for a little while. So....try to stay away from this stuff whenever possible!!! Several people were "stung" while we were there including me!

Here is Lauren holding some flowers she had picked when the kids had explored a grassy area on the other side of the river.

This slug found its way next to our stuff on the ground...glad it didn't crawl in!

We are leaving Burg Eltz after a wonderful day!

On our way home we found another castle that would be interesting to visit.

Another trip!


Jacque said...

Hey Babe this looks like a lot of fun. We'll have to go back when I come home. It's funny about the throwing of rocks because when we are bored we play with the rocks (a.k.a. throwing them). We will go to the other castle also! I love you! XOXOXO

Andrea said...

I'm feeling lazy and will just post your link on my blog......Ha! J/K or not.....

You definitely did your research! I learned just as much here as I did partially listening to the tour.

Proud Mom said...

Wow! I would have guessed there weren't any more castles like that -- your second shot is just breathtaking! Glad you had such a fun day, your descriptions are as beautiful as the photos!

Lisa said...

Wow what a beautiful castle!

Jacque said...

Wow it is hard to believe how big Jacque looks in the picture of all of you. I love you and I can't wait to get home.

The Mom said...

Wow, for some reason my screen is all blurry after I read the comments from your husband...

You guys are so lucky to have each other.