Seeing one castle in one day just wasn’t enough. We decided to see another one, albeit a ruins, quite close to Neuschwanstein Castle. Daniel had read about Falkenstein Castle being the highest castle ruins in Germany and we all thought that would be pretty cool to see. Unlike Neuschwanstein (which you could see across the valley in the distance from Falkenstein’s mountaintop perch), it is much, much older. It was built somewhere around 1270–1280.
We weren’t sure what to expect, but upon driving up through the little village at its base, we found it much less touristy. Perfect, since there are times when there are simply too many people to try to dodge when seeing things you want to see!
The road narrowed as we slowly drove up, and we realized it was a one-lane, hair-pin, curve road up to the castle. There was a slightly confusing sign in German, explaining various times for driving up, along with a stop light. But it seemed to be stuck on red, and we weren’t sure how long to wait for green. After a while, a van came down a side road, then went right up the road with a stop light. So after the car in front of us boldly ignored the red light, we cautiously followed. It was very steep. And very curvy. And very one-lane-road-ish. From his experience in Bolivia, Daniel honked as we approached curves, and we happily made our way to the top without meeting any other vehicles.
After a short, but very steep climb up some steps, we reached the castle remains. The views from were outstanding, from every side. The air was fresh and clean, and we could hear cowbells from the cows below in the valley.
Our curious little girl is rather obsessed with colors. She thinks in colors and since she also loves castles and princesses, and the following is one of the conversations we had at Falkenstein:
“Is this a real castle?”
“Did a princess live in it?”
“What was the color of her dress?”
“Maybe pink or purple or blue!”
Natasha: “Why is it stone?”
“Because that’s what they built castles from a long time ago.”
“What was the color of the floor?”
“Um…I really have no idea. I wasn’t here when they built it.”
“Why weren’t you here?”
And, so on and so forth it continues!
We all decided we like Falkenstein better than Neuschwanstein! Hardly anyone was there, and you could go inside the ruins without paying. The sign at the bottom of the curvy road might have said something about paying, but no one stopped us and demanded payment, and it wasn’t exactly clear. Perhaps we came at a slow time of day? When it was time to head down again, we did wait at the red light since there were about 3 cars in front of us also waiting. We figured they might know more than us, and according to the clock on the sign, the light would turn green at the top of the hour. Fortunately it wasn’t too long of a wait and it indeed turned green. So we all went merrily on our way down. :)