Shuttle bus from carpark to top of Hohenzollern Mountain, in time for 10am guided tour of this fairytale castle (sadly didn't start until 10.30; sadly not in English). Through Eagles Gate, up cobblestoned spiral ramp, and past ornate cannon. Third reconstruction of castle, Gothic Revival, dates from mid 1800s.
Splendour throughout interior, we had to wear giant felt slippers over our shoes on marble floors (cheap polishers!) Heraldic entrance foyer with calligraphic genealogy painted on walls and inset miniature portraits. Enamel fireplace in one corner a larger version of one we'd seen in the English couple’s van two days ago. Gold Eagle patterned wallpaper in blue parlour. Hand-painted, beautiful narrow protruding bay windows with inset seats and tables- would catch light longest in afternoons. Armour displays (guide relented against "no photos" rule just this once) (and suddenly, miraculously, spoke English for first time!), uniforms, dresses, medals, silver and glassware and delicate hand painted china.
|Photo of tickets in lieu of photos!|
Tour over, had look at Catholic St Michael's chapel with its statue of St George slaying the fire-breathing monster. This popular theme was repeated in bas-relief in corded-off section up front, but this time it was Archangel Michael slaying dragon. Then looked at all the gilt in Protestant Christ's Chapel.
Walked up to top of Gate Tower to see photo exhibition of King’s children - toddler sooking against Mum, one scowling with arms folded, brother choking little sister by neck - good to see they were same as everyone else's children! Walked around periphery of castle walls with its various photopoints or views of Prussian Border, Zellorhorn and Stuttgart, and circuit of imposing statues all named Fredreich....
Nice stretching walk back down mountain trail and stairs to carpark. Lunched on prawn salad rolls, conferred over itinerary and off north through Stuttgart.
Off towards the Cistercian Maulbronn UNESCO monastery, founded 1147. The monastery is the best surviving example of water management based on reservoirs and channels, but we only had time for a self-guided tour before closing time, so didn’t see all: infirmary, cellar, lavatorium (!!), auditorium, refectories, cloister, hall, forge, inn, cooperage, mill, chapel...
|Part of indoor waterworks|
|Imagine the sound of chanting in this cavernous gallery|
Apparently Hermann Hesse attended before fleeing in 1891 after his suicide attempt, and their failed attempt to save him from his own “personal religious crisis”. Ducked into the gift shop and picked up Monastery labelled wine for this evening. Saw curious blue resin sheep, apparently a life-size art installation touring prominent sites promoting tolerance and solidarity ("all equal - all important"). Had an ale at nearby medieval bar, before wandering back through village to free camp.
Sat outside on a pleasant evening cooking dinner. Drank Monastery's (pretty good!) red wine, ceremoniously gave Boomers their thousand year old ice from icebergs in Iceland.