29.07.2010 - 30.08.2010
Somewhere in Scott’s far, far distant past, he is related to a group of reportedly bloodthirsty rulers by the name of Fleckenstein. My children, and especially my daughter, have always been fascinated by this tiny thread of royalty that runs through their veins and so we agree that for today, we will backtrack to France and see if we can hunt down the ruins of what was once their castle.
Let me first say that the Alsace region of France is breathtakingly gorgeous. I use that adverb correctly because I keep hearing one of us gasp as we round the next curve. It is primarily farmland but it is dotted about every eight kilometers by a tiny village, some of which are so picturesque that we briefly (and seriously) contemplate selling everything and moving.
Fleckenstein castle dates back to the 12th century and very little of the original structure exists. But over the centuries, it has been commandeered and added on to so that there is the barest outline of a castle still in existence.
The Fleckenstein coat of arms can still be seen on some of the stonework and it is fun to imagine what it might have felt like to have been Baroness Fleckenstein looking out over the valley and awaiting guests to the castle.
I can tell that Analiese is involved in that fantasy as well as she skips through the castle and makes her way up the crumbling turrets. A painting of a Fleckenstein sits in the entrance and Analiese agrees to pose so we can compare. She is worried that she will acquire the chin but we assure her that the resemblance is faint at best.
It has started to pour and we are caught standing under 12th century eaves with other tourists waiting for a break in the weather so we can make our way down the hill. Finally, our desire to go to the bathroom overcomes our fear of getting soaked and we make our way down the path and end up at the Fleckenstein cafe where we relish in delicious beers and cups of hot chocolate. We want to relax after that long wet hike, but Scott is starting the Autobahn itch again so we head back to our Fiesta and start our journey to Munich.