October 24, 2013

The Broken Castle

Hubs and I are so excited to explore Europe whilst being stationed here. We’re starting this adventure by learning as much as we can about our local area first.

This past weekend, we hiked around Velburg with several of our neighbors. The weather is fantastic and the views are beautiful.  We even have our very own “broken” castle (as my precocious little neighbor told me). Though there are castles all around Europe, I wanted to explore here first, in the place where we will live. Castle Velberg is easily visible on the hillside, and one of the first sights I noticed driving in to town, so I was very excited to see it.

I was also worried I'd miss the fall foliage this year, but... I didn't! Check out the views from our hikes: 

The path near our home, and a shortcut through the woods

We started our weekend with an easy local hike, accompanied by our sponsor and his family. I'll be talking more about sponsors soon, in my coming OCONUS PCS posts. But I'll tell you a secret... we already copped the best one. So you might have to settle for second best, haha. We traveled off the beaten path for a bit (translation: we shlepped it through the woods), but that's where all the best pictures are!

Sunlight through the trees

On Sunday morning, the beautiful weather tempted us outside again. So off we went! This time, toward the broken castle with another of our neighbors. Have I mentioned how fantastic and friendly everyone is here in Germany?

I know the sky is a little grey in the picture below, but I've noticed something about our local weather. In the morning, there are clouds, but often they move off in the afternoon. But by evening, it could be raining again, so you gotta catch the sun while you can. Or, you can just adopt the German way, and be outside regardless of a little rain. This is going to be my approach. When you've been stationed in the desert so long, you really learn to appreciate various weather moods. Besides, what's a little rain? Toss on a slicker and some wellies, and you're good to go.

Velberg Church
The Hubs and I walked through town first, toward the trailhead, though we could have easily taken any number of paths. This is one of my favorite things so far about Germany. There are sidewalks and trails and paths everywhere. I already know I will sorely miss those things when we're stationed stateside someday. 

Trailhead to the "broken" castle 

The climb isn't too steep, at least the direction we took. Luckily, we had a new friend to help guide us on our way and point out the spectacular viewpoints. And, he didn't even mind my stopping every few feet to take more photos.

The hike is a nice weekend morning trek, only a mile or so from the trailhead. At the top, the ruins of Castle Velberg await.

Ruins of Castle Velberg 

We spent some time looking over the view, which was AMAZING. We also climbed the stairway to the topmost point of the castle. I get butterflies in my stomach when I'm high enough in the air, especially if it's open air. But the butterflies were totally worth it.

One of many views from the top 

On the way down, I decided to try my hand at a little HDR photography. I haven't practiced much, but this seemed like a great place for a little experiment. What do you think of it?

Please be gentle.

Castle door (HDR)

As the day wore on, I knew we'd have to leave sometime. The hike to the bottom was just as beautiful. I love the color change in the trees. This particular spot left me breathless. The men moved on whilst I spent a good 10 minutes here with my camera. I think next fall, I'll take a picnic right to this spot and just absorb the atmosphere for a few hours.

As evening fell, the rain came with it. Luckily, we were already done with our hike and had proceeded onward to the last adventure of the weekend... gelato!

So, so good.

Like, practically a religious experience.

The shop is actually closing for the season, so I'm glad we could taste it before then. But now I'm going to dream about it for the rest of the winter! Guess what I ordered...

Spaghetti Eis.

Doesn't sound like ice cream, does it? Sounds like dinner. But it's not! It really is gelato, I promise. However, I'm going to leave you wondering exactly what Spaghetti Eis is until our next meeting.

Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! (yes, this is my evil villain laugh)

Happy guessing, my friends! I'll be back soon with pictures and an explanation of exactly what Spaghetti Eis is. If you're desperate, you could always try Google, but that kind of takes the fun out of it. Ciao!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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  1. As always amazing photos but I think germany adventures might have a need for a video blog too!!

    1. I will take that under advisement, lol. Perhaps there will be some video-blogging coming soon :)

  2. Hey Allison!

    Breathtaking pictures!! I can just see you smiling while seeing all of the beautiful scenery around you!!

    1. Thanks!! We really love it. Miss hanging out with you all though! I hope everything is going well for you :)

  3. This is such a beautiful place you're exploring. the colors and textures are so vivid, and the photos really capture that. Thank you for taking us on this German tour!
    Paul has been to the broken castle.
    HDR looks great! I set the castle door as the wallpaper for my phone :

  4. Amazing photographs! You have so much talent.