This morning, after breakfast with the family, I headed out with Jan and another neighbor named Nina. It was nice to have another 20-something to hang out with.
Nina and I had never been where we were headed so Jan played tour guide. We drove about an hour South to a little village near Bonn, the former capital of West Germany, called Königswinter. Here there is a “mountain range” and one particular mountain called Drachenfels. It is here where a popular folktale and song about a knight and a dragon is based. Because of this tale they have a reptile zoo and museum about halfway up the hill.
There are two main sited on Drachenfels, the Schloss Drachenburg, and the ruins of a medieval castle. The Schloss here is what the Germans would consider a “fake castle” because it was basically built by some rich guy as a place of residence back in the late 1800’s. Nevertheless, it was very impressive. You can even rent it out for weddings.
Further up the mountain is a cottage type building with a restaurant, and just above that the ruins. The view was amazing. It was very cloudy and foggy today though. Jan says that on a clear day you can even see the Cathedral in Cologne.
On our way back home we decided to stop in Bruhl and see a royal palace they have there called Schloss Augustusburg. It was HUGE and reminded me of The Palace of Versailles in France. The entire estate was like a fairytale.
We also went into the old part of town because we were hungry and Jan mentioned there being a very good Pommes Frites stand. Jan and Nina got the “special” which was a medium order of fries with the “special sauce”. I stuck with just a small order of fries because I am not much of a French fry person. The season salt on mine was delicious and they tasted much like Red Robin steak fries.
I did try a bite of the special and they were actually quite good. I know one of the sauces was Mayo (they eat mayo with fries like no other in this part of Europe), and the other sauce tasted like a very sweet BBQ sauce. The two sauces were then topped with diced onions. I learned that you eat these fries with a fork. I can understand that with all that sauce on them. My fork was a mini fork with a knife on one edge of the prongs. That was a first and seemed kinda dangerous to me.
Oh speaking of danger, did I mention we drove on the Autobahn? Now I speed quite often back home, not going to lie, but that was a bit scary to be honest. I’m sure I will get used to it though.
Today is Halloween of course, and even though they do celebrate it here, it is not as heavily celebrated as it is in The States. We had about 3 groups of children knock on the door for candy, but that was it.
Tomorrow the plan is to go hiking with the family about 30 minutes south of here in a region called “The Eifel”. I have heard much about it from people the past week or so, and the weather is supposed to be perfect tomorrow so I am excited to see what it is all about. I am always up for a hike.