Driving to the Eltz Castle, in Germany, my brother missed the turn that would have taken us to to the parking lot for the castle, and we were about to turn around when we noticed another sign that would lead us to our destination. We turned into the town of Mozelkern, and followed the signs on the road that ended at a Hotel and Restaurant where we noticed yet another sign that pointed to a path that would take us to the castle.
At first it was a wide, gravel path on a flat surface, but barely five minutes into our walk we came to some steps that lead to the path we would have to take.
A muddy start.
It was spring, and it had been quite a wet start to the season, and neither of us had come with our walking shoes as when I had read that the path, the one we were initially going to take, was mainly a paved path, (I was wearing Cons!).
We gingerly climbed the few steps, having reasoned we’d take our chances on this path rather than turning back and trying to find the other route.
It was a good decision as it turned out, the path soon became considerably less mucky, (with some exceptions), but, we easily managed this much more narrow path, although a bit more slowly than we normally would. There were also a few trees, no doubt knocked over during one of the recent storms, that we had to either step over or duck under.
It’s a beautiful walk, despite the mud, and at times it becomes a very narrow pathway, that somehow always occurred by a sharp drop on one side. There were other offshoot paths that seemed to disappear into the trees, and we couldn’t help but wonder if that is what would happen to anyone who strayed off the main path. We passed by a few small caves, and it didn’t take us long before we could imagine ourselves having entered into a tale told by the Brothers Grimm, and then hope we hadn’t.
The path wound around through the trees and eventually we began to notice the trees grew more sparse, and turning around another corner we saw our first sighting of the castle.
From where we stood the castle looked massive, and from that position we couldn’t see the modern additions to the castle which further enhanced our imagination that we had somehow fallen into another world, or another time.
It’s a bit intimidating, having walked through this forest, having seen nothing but trees, hearing birds, the occasional rustle through the undergrowth and then suddenly looking up and seeing this castle looming high over us, and I’ll admit I was unusually awestruck at this sight. I’ve been to many impressive castles, and at the time thought myself a bit jaded by them all, but this one awoke my enjoyment of them.
We then crossed over a small bridge that was half a recent build in that it was partly built of concrete slabs with metal railings that lay atop older rocks, misshapen by weather and time, along with a very worn set of steps that were unfortunately blocked off by the railings.
From here we followed another path that led to steps up to the road that lay before the Eltz Castle.
The road to the castle is the one from the parking lot, the one we had intended to take, intending that is because we believed it was the only way to there. To be honest, had we taken this route we probably would not have been as impressed as we were taking the one we wound up on.
There were far less people with us on the path, had we taken the road we would have had to shared the route with many other tourists, and while the paved road it would have been a more easier and cleaner route, it would have been a significantly less exciting approach.