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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): A Little Piece of Heaven at Burg Hohenzollern

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Little Piece of Heaven at Burg Hohenzollern

Today we dusted off the cobwebs from our hiking boots. We had a little slice of heaven today at Burg Hohenzollern! It's a fortress, perched high up on a hill in the Schwaebische Alb, near the Black Forest. We had weather in the 60s, and the leaves were changing into their bright colors of fiery red, burnt orange and bright yellow. I knew if we didn't go this weekend, we would miss these wonders of nature...and coming from Florida, believe it or not, where it got boring seeing the same thing...day in and day out....all throughout the year, this was a very welcome treat!

If you are going to make the trip....start out early in the day. We arrived around 10am, and there was already a line of about 70 people to get inside the fortress. Of course, you have to either walk up from one of the parking areas....2 Euros please to park.....or ride one of the buses that bullies its way around the hairpin turns, leaving you a little green around the gills at the top, as well as a pocketbook a few Euros lighter. We chose to ride up and walk down...which gives you the best of both worlds...a quick trip to the top to get in before the crowds...and a nice invigorating walk, albeit downhill, but still refreshing enough to get somewhat of a workout and to enjoy the magnificant views.

If you are interested in the history of the castle, please look here. We did go ahead and get the 3 Euro booklet that not only gives the history but gives a good overview of the tour of the inside. We realized....later...that there are only two English-speaking tours a day...ours was at 2pm, and we accidentally stood in lines of two German-speaking tours, so inquire where and when, so you don't waste any time.


Also, bring your own snacks, drinks and some water. There is a little imbiss stand up there, but the choices are pretty much limited to a wurst w/roll or a portion of french fries, or pommes. There is a restaurant inside, but i didn't even want to look and see what those prices would be. The gift shop also has standard fare, so bring along some of those little knights and horses for the kids, or anything related to castles and knights to keep the little ones engaged. They did have some interesting little kids' costumes, with real leather and very nicely made, but at 79 Euros...no thank-you...I didn't care my son suddenly wanted to be a knight for Halloween. We settled on a wooden sword for 5 Euro and a pencil sharpener in the shape of a knight...I guess they make pencil sharpeners out of anything.

I think the tour through the inside was well worth it. There were only about eight rooms or so to see, and surprisingly enough, in this particular fortress, the longest anyone actually lived in it...the current model that was completed in the mid-1800s...was five months. Does that remind you of another castle down South? I say the tour was worth it, because of the very last room...the former kitchen that now houses the Treasury. We saw lots of swords, armor, jewels and things from the royal household, including the Prussian crown and the dress worn by Queen Louisa when she went to beg Napoleon to spare her people...it didn't work unfortunately. This was the highlight of the kids' trip. They in particular liked looking at the King's uniform with the bullet hole through the chest. Why didn't he die? Cause the snuff box in his pocket saved his life....all on display for us to see. The kids also got a kick out of the story of the thief who came in and caused a real ruckus in the 1950s...how dare he smash the snuffboxes to smithereens, thinking if he smashed all those jewels up, no one would recognize them when he tried to pawn them on...well, they did.

Oh, and if you have a doggie, they can come along too. They just won't be able to go into the guided interior rooms tour. There is actually a doggie hitching post area with some water bowls, and they encourage well behaved doggies to have a rest while their owners go on the tour..how's that for dog lovers?

All in all, a wonderful and fun day. Definitely a five star visit for our family:-)) What trips have you recently enjoyed?

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Anonymous Jenny said...

We went to Hohenzollern in April and actually walked up the very steep path. It was quite a workout! You have to be part mountain goat to make it up there. For Columbus Day weekend, we went to Heidelberg and Schwetzingen and checked out the castles there. If you haven't been to that area, I highly recommend it. It's not even that far from Stuttgart!

October 14, 2008 at 12:01 PM  

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