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.
When you’re in a city, pay attention to the outside walls of the older buildings because you might be lucky to catch sight of a ghost sign. Before the billboards, before the neon signs, and before the videos, if you wanted to advertise your business you had someone paint it on the side of a wall. Often, not long after you had your advertisement painted, someone else came by and painted over your ad with someone else’s.
I adore these signs because even with the most basic and plain of these advertisements there’s some skill involved, something that seems to be missing in our current society.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of technology, but I also love the artistry of a hand written word. Perhaps, like these ghost signs I have a foot each in both worlds.
Hello again, it’s been awhile since I last posted, about eight months I think, and there’s been many reasons why I’ve fallen off the blog wagon.
2016 has been a fairly horrible year, an old friend of mine, (we’ve been friends for about 30 something years), passed away in May, then there was the passing of my most favourite artists, and over the year I’ve been dealing with a feeling of being lost, of just “going through the motions.” I’ve been so uninspired, and tired, and then just last week I was laid off from work, (did get a package so no hurry to find work just yet…hey, I just found a silver lining!).
And on a trivial note, my laptop finally gave up after seven long, and abusive years, (ok the glass of wine that my cat knocked onto it was what that finally did it…and yes, I know it was all my fault, and what a cliche!).
So now, I’ve got a new MacBook, a lot of free time, and I’ve got to look at this now as a new start. New starts are never easy, so I feel I’m being a bit lazy with this post, but in my defence I’ve been re-watching the Harry Potter films today and these photo’s are what came to mind first when I thought about the prompt.
The figures under the water are of course not Inferi, they are in fact sculptures that do lie under the water, by a bridge in in Copenhagen. They are ‘Agnete and the Mermen,’ and they are in one of the many fairy tales found in Danish folklore. As for the luggage trolly half embedded in the wall? What rock have you been hiding under for the past, nearly twenty years?
Christchurch, New Zealand, nearly five years after a massive earthquake that brought down many buildings, (already damaged by an even greater earthquake just six months prior), in the city centre. Many buildings had to be demolished but there are some still standing, if only just half way.
Not sure how the mini remained on the wall though.
It’s been just over a month since I was last in Hobbiton, but it feels much longer, and I miss this place.
It may sound a bit daft, talking about this place as if it’s an actual place, and there are Hobbits, but if you been there you’ll know just what a remarkable job they’ve done here. It really feels like you’ve stepped into another world and that any moment one of those doors will open, (and some actually do, and some you can go into), and a Hobbit will walk out and wonder what we’re doing there.
While the group I was with were standing outside No. 3 Bagshot Row, the door to the Hobbit hole next to it suddenly opened from the inside, the entire group fell silent, and waited, (even our guide, despite having lead hundreds of these tours), and watched to see who was about to walk out. There was a bit of a sad sigh as one of the groundskeepers/gardeners, just a human, appeared, and looked back at us all in confusion. No doubt he was wondering why all these people where staring at him with a look of disappointment.
Its a fantastic place, and if you’re lucky to visit the beautiful country of New Zealand, you should make a stop in Hobbiton, but you may not want to leave.