The first thought that crossed my mind upon learning we were headed to Germany was all the traveling we would be able to do, the sights we would see, the history we would experience. Our trip to Burg Eltz was everything and more.
I had been to a few castles in England back in 2006, but I quickly realized that each country does theirs a bit different. Where something like Bodium Castle makes you think of motes and attacks on the castle wall, Burg Eltz was like a fairy tale. Towered spiraling toward the sky, cobblestone paths, and the Mosel River flowing past made the setting quite picturesque.
We drove from our northwest area of Germany south, down through vineyards and little villages in the hillside. It was about a 3 hour trip to Münstermaifeld, the small village nearest the castle. There we parked our big American Charger and took a shuttle over the winding road and to the castle. At first there is nothing but forest, then suddenly the road drops down and perched on the hillside is Burg Eltz. It is breathtaking.
We walked through the massive entry doors and on to the path leading to the castle and all service buildings. You could hear language after language as July is the height of tourist season. We got tickets to the next English your and wandered in awe waiting for it to begin.
The oldest portions of the castle dates back to 1472, and just oozes history. The current family owners have had the castle back to the 12th century, over 33 generations ago. On display inside are some original tapestries, stoves, beds, chapels, and furniture. The views alone from the upper floors are spectacular.
After the tour we made our way down a beaten path to the Mosel River where the boys got their feet wet and skipped rocks. Looking up you could see even more ruins perched amongst the trees, and you could fully take in the massiveness of Burg Eltz as it towered above.
Before hitting the road we stopped at the little café near the souvenir shop, dining al fresco of course, and thoroughly enjoyed the most mouthwatering bratwurst yet. Even the ice-less Pepsi seemed to taste better than ever.
The trip was amazing and a perfect “first German castle experience.” Followed by a perfect American experience….we just had to stop at Spangdahlem AB, and enjoy some good old Taco Bell on the way home. Gotta get it where you can right?
As we got back into the car, bellies full, we were blessed with perfect timing. The sun was getting lower, the sky turning a beautiful yellow and peach. We took a slightly different road north, one that took us through eastern portions of Belgium and back into Germany. It was the perfect ending to the day, and made me think once again how lucky we are to be able to experience Europe.