The next day was an almost equally late morning, followed by another extremely tasty breakfast, which set us up perfectly for our walk around the local area.
That's one thing that I really like about where Bobby and Erica live - a very short walk away and you're in wooded glens, with castles, remote chapels and the odd folly. And being early spring (despite still feeling a bit like winter) the colours were clear and crisp.
Here's our route for people who are curious. . .
I was also pleased (and not totally unsurprised) to see that the Germans have very clear markings for all their trails in a very similar way to what we had gotten used to in Israel.
Trail markings on a tree. And see what I mean by those colours? Vibrant green!
Our first stop was the nearby castle, Nanstein. Mostly ruined it is clearly more of a fortified affair rather than anything fanciful, but it did have some wonderful views over the town and valley - imagine that!
Still quite well cared for
View over the town
We didn't go into the castle itself, instead continuing our walk back into the woods. Not too far from the castle we came across some really quirky and quite intricate wood carvings. They seemed to be some kind of celebration of local craftsmanship.
Old Man in the Tree
The name of the state we were in
And of course walking through the forest, in addition to the green, some trees were attempting to flower.
Not too much further on and we came to a small chapel dedicated to Mary and again overlooking the town. Unfortunately, it was closed and my German wasn't quite good enough to tell me when it might be open. Considering how well kept it was, it wouldn't surprise me if there weren't services in it from time to time.
Looking out over town
Up over and around another ridge we came to a local Bismark Tower. I sat admiring the view (and resting my legs a little) while the other 3 went up to the top. Yet again it afforded us lovely views out over the town. I think we might be developing a theme. . .
Rheinland-Pfalz's Bismark Tower
Another pretty view
and a giant snail! Bigger than my thumb!
After marvelling at the view and the giant snails, it was time to wind our way back into town, passing by the two rival churches, the town square.
The Catholic Church.
And over the road was. . .
The Protestant one.
Playing in the fountains in the city square.
By this point we all realised that we'd missed lunch, but it wasn't quite late enough for dinner. Fortunately, Bobby and Erica knew of this charming little local Thai place that was open through the afternoon (unusual in Germany on a Sunday). So we stopped there for "linner" and super tasty it was! I don't recall everything we had, but it was definitely enough for a feast and they were doing a brisk business not only with the tables in the small dining room, but a steady flow of take-away orders too. Know we know why!
Very sated and extremely happy it was time for us to say good-bye and head off to the airport. Always too short, still it was good to see our dear friends and explore a little of the place they've made home for the past few years. The nature of their expatriacy means that it is limited, perhaps only until the end of the year. So we really must make the most of it while we can!
originally posted on 14 August 2013, backdated to the time of the original trip. As usual, the photos above are only a selection. To see all the photos from the weekend, head over to my flickr set