Sunday Snapshots: Changing Days

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Burgruine Neideck*, Upper Franconia 2012

Every fall, pictures of pumpkin patches and apple orchards flood the internet along with countless Instagrams of pumpkin-spiced beverages. But for me, one of the best things about the fall is the constantly changing light.

On this day, we hiked from one castle ruin to another, and flipping through the album I couldn’t believe that we had encountered so many seasons in just one day, and one valley at that. When we started in the morning there was snow on top of the hills, but the stones were sun-warmed by the late afternoon. Just shows that even when the days are short, there is no end to the variety.

*Look familiar?

Sunday Snapshots: Not Just Rocks

Two pictures today because I am indecisive. And I love castle ruins.

Another day with my parents on their last visit was spent in the Franconian Switzerland. One of my favorite spots in the area is this castle ruin, which sits on a hill (because most castles are on hills, sorry mom) over the Wiesent river valley (Wiesenttal). On the other side of the valley there is a second castle ruin, but there isn’t nearly as much of the structure left as at Neideck. I’m a big fan of ruins that you can climb around on, or bring a little picnic to. Just remember to take your garbage with you when you go, or the castle ghosts will haunt you, you littering jerk.

Mother’s Day in the Franconian Switzerland

Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, we took BV’s mom out for the afternoon. Sticking with her usual tradition, she opted to go up to the Franconian Switzerland. There was some initial confusion as to where she wanted to go, but we figured it out and set off. The walking route that she wanted to take started in the village Egloffstein, and ran along the river to a few old mills.

Before we started hiking walking, we stopped to get something to eat. There was a large Gasthof in town, and we should have known by the jammed parking lot that we were going to have problems. The restaurant couldn’t get us in until 3pm, and as it was only 12:30, we decided to move on. We drove to the next village where we found a very comfy little restaurant to have our lunch. While we ate the clouds whipped past the window, alternating between blue sky and torrential rain. At one point I looked out and it was hailing. We were a little concerned that our walk wasn’t going to happen, but by the time we finished the sky had cleared back up.

When we went back to the car, we noticed something that we had missed on our dash from the parking area to the restaurant…

I know that not everyone in in the Franconian Switzerland owns a horse, but it sure does seem like we run into a lot of them. I’m not arguing though, since that gives me the chance to feed them grass and rub their fuzzy noses.

Pink apple blossoms, blue sky, and horses. A solid start to the day.

So gorgeous.

After we had our fill of visiting with the horses, we drove back to Egloffstein. I think we have driven through here before, but this was our first time stopping (or at least, my first time stopping). The village sits around a hill, with a small castle at the top, and a little river running through the valley below.

 

We walked away from the castle and towards the next village where we hoped to find the first mill. We took a few pauses for photos along the way, of course.

We found the first mill quickly, although it didn’t have a waterwheel like we were hoping for. Instead we wandered through someone’s yard around some crumbling old Fachwerk houses, and across a bridge that most definitely did not have safety railings.

At this point we were under a bit of a time crunch, as BV’s mom needed to get back to town, but the next mill was supposed to be pretty close so we walked on. We found it pretty quickly, but it wasn’t the most photogenic mill I’ve ever seen. So instead, I give you a golden pretzel, and an old waterworks building.

We also encountered a very vocal dog, and we weren’t exactly sure if we were walking through someone’s driveway, or if it was a restaurant. There were signs but it didn’t look very well kept up, and the dog wasn’t really welcoming. As we walked around the house though, we heard a “mew mew mew,” and turned to see a little gray cat chasing us down. She “merred,” and circled our ankles, purring like a little tractor when I got down to pet her. She followed us as we went through the yard looking for an outlet, and seemed very disappointed when we had to go back.

Clouds were gathering so we hurried back to the car, but of course there were still stops for photos. I have to work out the new camera and all. 🙂

My favorite of the day.

Despite the lack of blue sky, that’s my favorite picture of the day. The sad thing is that I was so focused on the crumbling facade of the building that was exposing the old timberwork, that I didn’t even notice how dramatic the sky was! Thanks, camera.

Although it was a short day, it was another successful Sunday in the Fränkische Schweiz. When we got home, we got on Skype with my parents to wish my mom a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ as well as trying to figure out some more details of their upcoming visit. Not a bad Sunday.

How was your weekend?