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Last fall, when Bill and I were househunting, we happened to visit a home in a place called Lorstein, which is very close to the cute little town of Eppstein.  As we were passing Eppstein, I noticed castle ruins that looked beautifully preserved and inviting.  For months, I’ve been wanting to go back and check out the ruins.  Well, today we’ve had beautiful weather.  The sun is out.  The temperatures are agreeable.  I suggested visiting another nude spa, but Bill was quite happy to go along with my alternate suggestion of visiting Burg Eppstein, castle ruins that have some fame for being the place where ABBA’s video for “Waterloo” was filmed in 1974.

Burg Eppstein!

Not the whole song or the whole video, but now having been to Eppstein, I can see where they were.

 

Eppstein is easily reached from where we live.  It’s maybe fifteen or twenty minutes away via country road, but since it’s in the Taunus hills, it has a totally different landscape.  I was sorry we didn’t find a suitable house in the Eppstein area because it’s very charming.  They even have half timbered houses up there.  We easily found free parking and had no problem finding the town’s big draw, its castle ruins.  Here are some photos from our visit!

We parked next to an old “Friedhof”– cemetery.  Then it was a short walk to the Burg.

 

Walking down the cobblestone road to the ruins..

 

Right in front of the somewhat gentle slope up the hill to the Burg.  On Saturdays, the museum doesn’t open until 2:00pm, but you can still walk around the grounds and climb the tower.  It’s 4 euros per adult to enter, 2,50 for kids.

 

Information… 

 

View on the way up the path.

Don’t be put off by the closed door.  It’s unlocked.  Just open it and and pay the lady who takes admission fees.

 

A little maze, where kids were playing.  There is also a playground near the castle ruins.

 

The playground.  We had no reason to approach it, but if you come with children, maybe they’ll enjoy it.

Beware of the dog!

 
 

The climb is worth it.  There are nice views at the ruins, which date from 1122.

 

It appeared that some kind of play rehearsal was going on today.  We saw many people dressed in medieval costume, including several adorable kids and one guy who bore a striking resemblance to Sting.  They seemed to be rehearsing lines for some kind of production while we visited.  I almost ran into a pint sized guard, who wore a helmet and carried a sword.

Old style cooking?

Rehearsal time.

“Hark!  Who goes there?”

Several dogs were up there, too.  One Labrador Retriever was snoozing happily in the sun.

 

A little vineyard and more medieval stuff… but we couldn’t get any closer.

 

No thoroughfare.

 

 

But you can read all about it.  All of the stations have explanations in German and English.  You can also get an audioguide if you want one.  We didn’t bother.  We also didn’t go into the museum because we’d seen the whole grounds in about 40 minutes and didn’t want to wait for the museum to open at 2:00pm.  We were hungry and it was almost time for the dreaded restaurant pause… dreaded only for hungry people, right?

An herbal and tree garden.

A toilet hole.  This was fenced off, but I managed to put my camera through the bars to get this shot.

Another shot of the vineyard.

 

Yep… another narrow, winding, spiral staircase.  We climbed up the tower to get some nice views of Eppstein.  This wasn’t nearly as exhausting as climbing the tower at the Frankfurt cathedral was.  I did lose my breath, though.

A good excuse to rest for a minute before climbing the last bit.  The stairs weren’t as scary as the ones at the Mandelburg Ruins near Freudenstadt were, either.

An example of how the tower was defended back in the day.

And a flag at the top of the tower.

 
 

Someone’s little dog joined us at the top.  He was very cute and friendly.

I zoomed in on this… I noticed it during our fall trip to Eppstein, too.  Will have to find out what it is.

Nice views!  Worth losing my breath!

 

I think this is my favorite shot!

 

Once we were finished visiting the Burg, we stopped by a local hotel for lunch.  Since the weather was so fine, we ate outside.

We found good food and a warm welcome here

 

This was our view from where we were sitting.

I can’t post without a shot of Bill.

 

I had the Salmon Mediterranean, which came with a salad and two sides.  This was a nice salad– I shared it with Bill.  I liked how it was artfully accented with balsamic vinegar.

My salmon came with noodles and a mustard sauce.  The noodles had a different sauce that had the slightest essence of horseradish.  The mustard sauce on the salmon was mild and comforting.  I probably wouldn’t opt to use so much sauce left to my own devices, but I liked the way this fish was cooked.  It was perfect.

Bill had the housemade tagliatelle with spinach and gorgonzola cheese.  He really enjoyed it.

Bill waited for me to finish my beer, then we settled up with the waiter.  It was about 41 euros before the “Trinkgeld”.  Bill gave the guy a good tip, which made him beam and use the word “Ihn”.  I don’t know the significance of that, though Bill has studied German and said it was kind of cool.

We didn’t spend a lot of time in Eppstein today.  It was a bit rolled up, even for a Saturday.  I didn’t see any businesses open or other open restaurants other than the hotel.  There was another place that opened at 5:30pm.  I still really enjoyed our visit today.  It’s hard to believe this little town is so close to where we live, yet has such a different landscape.  It kind of reminds me of Nagold vs. Unterjettingen.  They are only a few kilometers apart, but they look so different.

Anyway… I’m glad we made the time to see this well-preserved ruin.  Now that the weather has finally improved, we will have to get busy seeing other sites up here.  Monday, we are headed for Cologne for the first time since May 2012– however, we’re going there to see The Eagles.  Should be fun, anyway!

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