29 January 2009

Filzmoos - castles

We spent Friday driving around looking at castles. There are a ton of them around Salzburg. The first one we went to was Hohenwerfen, which was actually closed on the inside, so we just took some pics of the castle from various random roads Chris chose to drive on to find a good view... and then we hiked up to the bottom part of the castle. We did go inside the main gate, which was left open by the caretaker had left open, but since we weren't sure we were really allowed to be there, we just snapped a couple pics and left.

The best part is that the caretaker actually lives there and gets to drive up the hill, park his car inside the castle, and lives in one of the old fortress sections of the castle with his dog. How would that be? "Oh, I would love to have you over for dinner, just drive up to my castle around six."

While driving we went through this crazy huge long tunnel. See the mountain above the entrance? We drove underneath it. Yes, the whole way underneath a mountain. It took forever, but at least we could be amused by Elora quoting Green Eggs and Ham. "Would you could you in the dark? Would you could you on a train? Not in the dark, not on a train, not in a tunnel..."

Here is how the kids amuse themselves while driving. I love watching Elora read books. She read Dumbo for probably a good 45 minutes, only stopping occasionally to ask me a question about one of the pictures in the book.

Now, Oliver is not so used to riding in cars since he doesn't do it often, so we just have to shove him food, toys, ANYTHING to keep that kid happy while in the car. The pringles can worked for about ten minutes, not sure if he was licking out the salt, or just enjoying that potatoey smell.

We went on to the Mauterndorf, which was a really old castle dating back to the 1200s.

Here we are outside the castle. It was a wee bit cold, as you can probably guess, and they don't really heat the inside of these castles for visitors...

Okay, check out the graffiti from 1765 and 1847, written in the nice gothic writing. It is behind glass now, so who knows if that is when it was really written?

I love the little door inside the big huge door. Do you think they ever bothered with the little door though? Usually I would think people would have horses and the main road actually ran through the main gate of the castle, so I would assume the big door was usually open...

This was a neat castle to visit, because it was a more interactive tour where you could walk around and try on costumes, and see weapons and armor displayed. We would have liked it if the tour included more history about the castle though, it seems like there must have been some interesting stories... the one I did learn on the tour is that the castle was never besieged, but was attacked, and the constable's daughter Anna successfully led the defense in her father's absence.

Chris enjoyed playing dress up. Elora wanted to try on the chain mail, but alas, it was too heavy! So she let me and Chris enjoy the costume room.

I think the people must have been shorter when this castle was built. The beds were all really short, but I learned from the tour that this was not because the people were that small, it was because they slept sitting up, propped by lots of pillows. Interesting.

Elora said, "what is in there mama?" That kid is really interested in cannons for some reason. This was an early cannon, and didn't look like any cannon I have ever seen. Did they use rocks, or just really small cannonballs? There was also a crossbow that had to be cocked using a handcrank. It was nice being in a castle where we could wander around, and Elora could touch things. We took her to the art museum the other day, and was not happy when we told her to stop touching the statues...

Also, the chapel has the original fresco on the walls which was painted in 1450. Very neat. You weren't allowed to walk inside the chapel, so I captured it as best I could through the glass... There were more castles in the area, but the kids were getting tired and a little cold, so we headed back to the hotel for one more night of swimming... to which Elora replied, "I am so excited! I love swimming!"

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is so cool...I now have all the places you have posted about on my list of where to go before we return to Oz! We haven't been away for ages and need a weekend somewhere soon.

    Will talk to you tomorrow about ice skating next week at the Rathaus. Charlie has the week off school.


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