Day 4 Morning: Marksburg Castle, Germany
(another UNESCO World Heritage Site)
This description from Wikipedia says it all:
The romantic Middle Rhine is a river valley straight out of a picture book, with precipitous cliffs, steep vineyards, a castle perched on virtually every hilltop and pretty villages lining the river banks on either side. The scenery is the stuff of dreams and villages and towns like Bacharach, Boppard, St. Goar and Linz epitomize the charm of this remarkable area with its rich cultural heritage. UNESCO has recognized the importance of the region by designating the Upper Middle Rhine Valley a World Heritage area.
Another rainy, dreary day couldn't diminish the wonder of the view from the Marksburg castle on the Rhine. A short bus ride up to the castle took us back to around the 12th century into the lives of the upper crust nobility.
Slits between the wall were meant to keep an eye on the enemy.
A pigeon decides to enjoy the view.
Notice how thick the walls are!!
Larger openings are, of course, for cannons.
Apparently, they were very rarely used since it was obvious who would win the battle.
The tour guide thought we might skip the garden tour due to rain but a lone voice cried out "No, please let us see the garden!" (me) and I am so glad we did. Most of the vegetation is planted to be used as food or flavoring.
This flower was absolutely stunning.
With help from Facebook friends, I now believe we have identified it as a artichoke.
So wonderful when something so beautiful can also be edible!
The photos themselves look like paintings.
What a pleasure to learn the name of this flower: "Love lies bleeding."(also known as pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quilete.). Turns out, it is edible as well and highly nutritious.
Interesting antiquities. On the right is the one and only toilet, only for the lords and ladies of the house. A little bit daunting, I'd say.
My 87 year old mother was worried about us being gone for two weeks so I emailed a photo every day. Tried to make them a little interesting like this one with one of the soldiers in the castle. She really enjoyed the pics and it laid her fears to rest.