|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…
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?