July 2012
Rheinfels Castle
Rheinfels Castle would be just another ruin except for the amazing way you explore it. We are sold a flashlight along with our tickets and sent on our way with a map to wander high up on the battlements and down into interior rooms and courtyards connected through narrow and often steep passageways. Sometimes you are in total darkness except for the flashlight or any other form of illumination you happened to have with you.
In the museum you can see models of the history
of the castle and representations of
the battles that occurred here.
The experience became more memorable when a sudden storm came up, complete with thunder and lightning.
After that we were careful to avoid the high battlements and all metal railings, relying on the protection of the thick stone walls, arches and ceilings
With the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning, we could imagine being occupants of this castle while a battle raged around us.
And so we continued, checking the weather and the map from our protected stonework.
We even stayed quite dry by dashing from arch to arch
which came to be known as our "archway relay"
Still smiling!
Now that's a great attitude in unexpected conditions.
In most cases our descent into dark passageways lasted only a short time with David holding our flashlight and leading the way
A short time, that is, until we entered the GREAT MINE!
I used my camera to light my path ahead - so this is my version of the "Blair Witch Project"
Safe and sound, back on the surface, but let's see what's down here.
All is well back in the world, and the storm is just about over,
but all the other tourists seem to have gone. We're all alone.
But still more to see
and map reading to do
to see the sites outside
Look, there's still someone else here!
It's Peter, our guide, waiting for us.
One more time into the darkness
To see the Great Hall
and then we were done!