Schloß Drachenburg, Königswinter, Germany
Since my childhood, I have always been fascinated by the mystery of castles; I even did a primary school project on the subject. I used to love racing against my younger brother to see who could get to the top of the turret first at Dudley Castle – naturally I won, with a bit of cheating. We also ventured into the dungeons of Warwick Castle and scared each other so much we ran out screaming, only to be calmed by a humungous ice cream with a chocolate flake stuck in the top.

Many stories have been inspired by castles and even Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle was inspired partly by the Schloß Neuschwanstein which sits majestically on a rugged hilltop in Bavaria, Germany. I managed to visit that castle last year and it truly is an inspirational sight.

Last weekend my husband and I visited the town of Königswinter on the banks of the River Rhine, about an hour’s drive from where we live. We took a hillside train, known as the Drachenfels, which trundled up the steep incline to the ruins of a castle. The views from the top should have been glorious but unfortunately heavy cloud intervened. I will have to take Lord Byron’s word for it and revisit his Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a poem where he celebrates the experience of the view. Nevertheless on our hike back down the hillside, we stumbled upon another castle - Schloß Drachenburg. We were taken aback at its splendour and have decided that this will be our second home: someday…

Future home?

Castles always send me into a state of reflectiveness and reverie. Do you have a particular childhood fascination that has stayed with you throughout your life?

Comments

  1. Castles are cool. I've always wanted to live on a boat.

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    1. That sounds interesting, Mac. I could only do that if the boat was docked on dry land :) Thanks for popping over to comment!

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  2. I love castles too, Nicola, and when I was in junior school, I did a project on Schloß Neuschwanstein and the interesting and rather unfortunate Ludwig II of Bavaria who commissioned it. I think the project mostly consisted of cutting out pictures and messily gluing them on paper. I would love to visit it one day. Schloß Drachenburg also looks magical. What a lovely day out. x

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    1. It was a lovely day, Joanna. Both places are well worth a visit and would lend themselves well to a novel setting :) Germany is such a huge country - so many fascinating and beautiful places to visit. Mind you, I also love to visit the wonderful places in the UK too. I feel lucky to be able to make the most of both 'home' countries. Thank you for commenting. Wishing you all the very best.

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  3. Not many castles have happy histories and some I can't venture into. I have always had a fascination for big houses. It began when, as a child, I would accompany a neighbour when she house-sat at the vicarage. There was a locked room there and I could see a spinning wheel through the keyhole. I knew it was the room Sleeping Beauty had been in when she pricked her finger. Magical days!

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    1. Sounds magical, Lynne. Just look at what C.S.Lewis did with a warddrobe locked away in a room of a large house. I wish I could unlock that part of my creative brain. What an adventure that would be. Thank you for popping by to comment.

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  4. I love castles and was going to ask if you could save me a little turret when you get your second home. Then I remembered that I absolutely hate the winding staircases to get to the turrets as I'm claustrophobic and hate heights, so maybe not!

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    1. :) don't worry, Wendy, I plan on having a lift installed :) So one turret saved! Thanks for popping by to comment.

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  5. I like visiting castles but wouldn't want to live in one of the historic ones - too cold and draughty!
    My daughter has a thing for castles. We lived in Wales when she was a child and visited lots of castles there. When she was about 8 she declared she was going to get married in a castle - something that just wasn't possible in those days. But last year she did get married in a castle - in Scotland. And it was very magical!

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    1. That sounds wonderful, Linda. Many belated congratulations to your daughter and her prince. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  6. Castles seem to have become the luxury of the rich in America lately. We had one built here in my town (outside of Nashville) by a guy who owns a chain of barbecue restaurants. There's also one in Lexington, Kentucky that was built a while ago...it's now an inn. We stayed there for our anniversary a couple of years ago. We were there during the week in March, so we were the only people there...we had a whole castle to ourselves!

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  7. A whole castle to yourselves? Wow! I'm not sure I would want to be the only person staying in one of the UK's historic castles though.... scary!! Thank you for commenting, Stephanie.

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  8. I went to Warwick Castle when I was a child and lived in Warwick. Then I moved to London for 25 years, and now I'm back in the area and I teach just across the road from the castle. This picture shows you Eastgate and the buildings to the right are the school at which I work. Believe it or not, when I first worked at the school, the English department office was in the Eastgate tower itself - those windows were my windows. It's a holiday home now, so you could come and stay any time and do the Warwick Castle experience all over again! http://www.oldstratforduponavon.com/images/warwickeastgate_d_.jpg

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  9. I love Stratford! Had many memorable days out there. What a super place to work. I'll definitely have to come and visit. Thank you for sharing and commenting, Fran. Lovely to 'see' you and thanks for making me giggle first thing this morning. Your post has spurred me on for the day :)

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