In June 1995 I took David to see Manderscheid Castle NW of the city of Wittlich, Germany, in the Eifel.
Manderscheid Castle is really two castles – an upper and a lower castle – and both are ruins today.
Here David stands in the ruins of the lower castle, in front of the upper castle a short distance away.
The amazing thing about the Eifel to me is that despite having many towns and villages – and having been populated for many centuries – in between villages it is like being in the middle of a vast unexplored wilderness.
I like to imagine what life was like when these castles were first built – but I wouldn’t want to live in those times – only think of knights on horseback with armor glistening in the sunlight.
For David this visit to Manderscheid Castle was an opportunity to explore the grounds and pretend that he was defending the walls from invaders.
Although a ruin now, Manderscheid Castle has been beautifully preserved – but not restored – and doesn’t feel like a tourist destination at all because only a simple sign seemed to be available for visitors.
Once we had explored the lower Manderscheid Castle, David and I followed the trail to explore the upper castle – here David stands at a scenic overlook along the way.
Once we arrived at the upper Manderscheid Castle, we had the opportunity to gaze down on the lower castle and the entire valley below – which had a scenic river running through it.
What I love about much of Europe, is the fact that in historic areas – and much of village life as well – you don’t see many visible signs of modern life.
Stone, timber, plaster, cobblestones, slate, brick and mortar all represent natural materials, and when traveling through Europe in many areas you don’t see neon lights, plastic and artificial materials used very much.
This applies mostly to the well preserved “Old World” historical centers of many towns and cities, but it is also representative of much of Europe’s mentality and way of life.
It is nice to see such a natural landscape with forested hills and preserved antiquities – and not a tourist billboard or blight on the landscape at all – which only feels right to the eyes and in harmony with the land.
If you get the opportunity and chance to visit Manderscheid Castle as well, you may be the only ones there and have it all to yourself – enjoy!
David takes my picture from an overlook with the upper Manderscheid Castle in the background – on a fun day in the Eifel with David.