Saturday, May 23, 2009

Königstein - a day trip from Dresden

Königstein is a beautiful weekend getaway about 20-30 minutes by train outside of Dresden. Some German friends of ours invited us to stay with them and their Sport Club for a weekend. This was an actual part of the conversation.

Me: Anything special I should bring?
German Friend J: Hausshuhe (slippers) and mustard, if you have a preference
Me: Mustard? We are pretty flexible about our mustard.

There is so much to do there including hiking, rock climbing, bicycling, and of course, a GIANT FORTRESS ON A ROCK!

The fortress is on the big rock behind the kids.

More about the fortress later.

We spent the first day in a house on the River Elbe almost getting run over by bikes anytime we went near the road. (big bicycling country here).

Since we don't mountain climb, (we're flatlanders folks) we decided to go hiking up Mt. Pfaffenstein.

When we got to the top, we discovered....
A BIERGARTEN!
bier for us...

Ice Cream for the little 'uns! Germans sure know how to hike!
As we continued on our hike, we found all sorts of cute nooks and crannies.

Suck it in to pass through here!
The ultimate goal of the trip was to see the "Woman that turned into a Rock" from an old myth - Barbarine. (only in German)

This used to be a woman?
The hike was not very strenuous and also short ~3km. The roads were well paved and the signs were well marked...well, maybe not.

At night, we sat by the campfire with the other members of the Sport Club (all German). One member happily brought out his guitar and played....American Music?!?! Egads...There were no marshmallows being roasted but it was an interesting observation of culture for me. We brought some wine from Baumblütenfest. One of the men there declared that since we are in Sachsen, we only should drink beer. I don't think fruit wines went over well.

We also brought some twizzlers to share since we had recently gotten a care package. I am not a big fan but the Scientist loves them. We discovered Germans are also not big fans. They also don't burn well. (Don't ask)

We also visited Festung Königstein while we were there. The Festung was built in the 13th century andwas considered so secure, royal families retreated there for safety with their treasures anytime they felt threatened.

To get to the castle, you can take 1 of 2 elevators. The first smaller elevator is shown here. The other larger elevator can fit a car! TIP: The larger elevator is usally less crowded but also not as good of a view.

The smaller elevator
The castle has some stunning views. The yellow fields in the background are Raps or rapeseed fields. Rapeseed is used to make canola oil. Canola = Canadian Oil, low acid

This is defintely a fortress.

One can wander around the fortress grounds and see different castle rooms such as the most important one, giant wine barrels! The temperature difference from outside (hot ~28 C) to in the wine cellar cold (10 C) was amazing!

This cannon was not a replica. The sign told us that it was museum quality so no sitting!
It was so relaxing. This is what I woke up too every morning...

If you go, say hi to my Schnecke for me!

1 comment:

C N Heidelberg said...

Snail photo, hooray! :)