With jet lag on its knees and pummelled to the canvas we begin our next adventure. Superb breakfast dining selections here at the Ibis Hotel are a lovely surprise.
Therin has used some of her ‘jet lag awake’ time to compose a wonderful adventure to an ancient castle involving a car ride, a hike in the woods and an exploration of local towns along the way. After breakfast we head down the street to Europcar and soon drive away with a fancy Fiat.
Stopping in a few small towns along the way to our castle nets some interesting interactions with locals. Cathy is the most adept person I have ever met at interacting with strangers and creating a memorable moment where everyone leaves with a smile on their face. This lady was delighted to tell us about her local town with lots of charades and a mix of French and English.
Our next stop revealed a Gnome workshop. As Gnomes are known to do, as soon as we approached they all stopped work and appeared to be cast in stone.
They had however been very busy creating an extensive collection of gnome memorabilia.
We asked among the gnomes but none of them would explain the bizarre collection of large as life plastic animals invading their compound.
We did find a farm across the road where the gnomes housed their food supply.
Some other images caught my eye as we wandered the streets of this town. I love old doors and their hardware and signs that mean nothing.
The odd spot of rain turns into a steady drizzle as we reach the start of our hike to the castle. We decide to stop driving as we reach a mud puddle that warns us not to bring a rented car into its midst.
None of us had envisioned just how beautiful and invigorating hiking in these woods would be. The rain and overcast skies created a magical atmosphere quite appropriate for exploring an ancient ruin with many stories hanging in the mists of time.
Fluorescent green moss and newly minted leaves on the shrubs were a feast for the eyes.
The trail started branching in many places releasing an explosion of girl guide instincts to make signs directing us onto the proper trail upon our return.
This photo was taken just after a number of witches had vanished from the spot. A plague on a post warned us this may happen.
We were surprised to see a couple of mountain bikers as we approached a stone tower rising from the mist and fog. They soon vanished in the mist as they bounced and maneuvered around rocks and roots as they raced down the hill at breakneck speed.
After hiking around many corners we were delighted to see rising from the mist the ancient castle we had set out to explore.
It was difficult to get the full explanation of the historical significance of this ancient place. I found this on Wikipedia- “Although its origins are fairly obscure, the historians attribute generally its construction, by 1273, to Conrad de Lichtenberg“. The view on a clear day is reported to be spectacular. However rain drops and mist provided their own beauty. Here is a selection of photos from the ruins.
Therin navigated us back to the rental place in Strasbourg where we cleaned and warmed up and went for supper at a superb restaurant close to our hotel.