Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
151Trip End Ongoing
Well, we are up early and take the bus to the train station. I wish we would have known that buses were included in our Rhineland Pfalz ticket. It was sure nice to start the day without discovering yet another route to the banhof.
We find the correct train again, and are actually beginn ing to give the illusion of being quite knowledgable about train travel. Residents and tourists alike were asking us for information. Oh, if only they had known what trouble that could cause them. tHowever, after we began to speak we were typically revealed as not experts, but maybe advanced beginners.
Today we are using another Rhineland Pfalz ticket, allowing unlimited train travel all day. We were told to go to Koblenz, switch trains and head to Braubach, the home of the Marksburg Castle. From there we go to Rudeshiem, then Wiesbaden to switch trains again to head back to Mainz.
We arrive in Braubach without a hitch. We exit the train station without a clue what to do next. We see a Ti sign, for Tourist Information and head straight for it Well, we follow theI arrow and come to a corner and don't see the office. We turn right and walk a couple meters and see another Ti sign, pointing in the direction we just came from. We turn around and head back, round the corner again and don't see the office. we come to the original sign pointing us back again. By now we have figured it out that we must be very, very close. Perhaps it was the BIG DOOR directly in front of our faces with POSTERS on it advertising hotels and tours? We take a gamble and see if this door opens. Voila! It does, and we find we chose wisely grasshopper
Well, help might be an overstatement of the service the tourist person offered us. We picked up a couple brochures, found one on Marksburg and asked the lady how to get to the castle. We found there were three ways. Take the cute little tram/train thingie from the town center up to the castle. However, it will only make the trip when there are 5 or more people wanting to take the ride. The town looked deserted, for we passed no people on our back and forsth search for the tourist office. You can drive, but since we had no car, this was not an option. The last choice was to walk. Looking back on these choices, we should have either paid for 5 passengers on the tram/train thingie, or rented a car for a couple of hours. Here comes the story of our trek to Castle Marksburg!
We were armed with a map and set out. It seems that I am fairly good with a map for the first 10 feet, then promptly get lost, at least in Marksburg. As soon as we get to the first intersection and have a choice, lhe map provides no help, at least for me. This is the first clue that this map is an evil map
We went another hundred or so feet and found ourselves in the midst of a little town street. The map said to take a side street, but the only thing we saw was an alley with cute little houses, not wide enough to drive a car on. So, rather than walking any further in what might be the wrong direction, I want to ask someone. I spy my victim in a butcher shop. He looks like he is leaving. He sees me with my map staring at him. He turns around and doesn't come tout the door. Finally he gives up and exits and I snatch him. I ask how to get to the castle and he points to the little alley. We thank him and as we head down the alley I hear him laughing.
We walk a bit but see this big wall at the end of the alley. Luckily another person is walking toward us. We ask about the way to the castle. They point to the left, then say "go up the stairs". We thank them and head towards the stairs
So, we turn the corner and see the stairs... hundreds of them.. so many you can't see the end of them. Well we have come to far to let a set of stairs stop us, so we start to climb. As we climb, this set of stairs seems to grow. It is steep, and the stairs are actually carved into the rocks. We climb, rest, climb, rest. Finally, when we can see the roofs of the entire town, all the way to the Rhine, the stairs end. YIPPEE! Well, we think.
There is now a steep path in front of us. We walk, round a bend and see a sign. The sign has a map of the trail to the castle. We see a dot that says "you are here". Unfortunately, there are 4 more dots on this map, each one representing about the same distance as we have already climbed.
We walk, rest, walk, rest, walk, rest... you get the picture. We pass signs with dots 2 through 5. I swear it has been hours.. not sure, but it makes the story better.
All of a sudden, Judy says "I JUST SAW A CAR"! My first reaction is "I wonder how much we could have paid that person to drive us up here". Next, we were excited to think that we may be very close to the castle. We break through the woods to a parking lot. CIVILIZATION! At last... However, we don't see a castle.
We see MORE STAIRS! We also see that damn train we could have ridden up on. I think I would have paid $50 to htave been able to ride that thing up the mountain.
Anyway, we see stairs, and another road that looks like it winds around but ends up where the stairs end. So, we take the road. After walking what seems like another 20 miles, at least... (not really) we finally look up and see THE CASTLE!
We round another bend and are walking right next to the castle. I can't believe we made it.
More on castle later, I am tired just writing about this and reliving it again!