Saturday, June 18, 2011

We stayed in a castle, but not in Kassel

Sorry we are so behind on the blog. We have only been able to get on for a few minutes at a time. But we will try to catch everyone up as fast as possible.

After leaving Steinau, we drove a leisurely hour absorbing the beautiful German countryside towards our castle hotel, Schloss Romrod. We were very pleasantly surprised by how medievel yet modern it was. What a beautiful place to rest our head for the night! We enjoyed a light dinner in the courtyard of the Cuban restaurant at the castle. Oddly enough, we ate Cuban food two nights in a row in Germany. I cannot say that I have ever eaten Cuban food before, either. We wish we could have stayed longer, but we woke up the next morning, and the road was beckoning (after a breakfast buffet which luckily included croissants and nutella).

Our French mid-sized car hugged the narrow winding roads for a leisurely hour until we reached the town of Kassel. Once we reached Kassel the easy going driving was over, and there were trolley trackes, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, people, and more people everywhere! Driving there was not fun. Kassel is the town in which the Brothers Grimm compiled and edited their fairy tales and where they spent a good portion of their lives. It is the home of the Brothers Grimm Museum, which we had found out was closed online. We decided we would still stop by, take some pictures, and maybe convince someone to let us in since we did travel thousands of miles to see it.... We were pleasantly surprised to find a sign (in English!) directing us to a temporary Brothers Grimm exhibit, four blocks down the road. We trodded back up the street and were happy to find an excellent museum space, that had been set up with wonderful samples and information, and much of it was in English. We spent over an hour walking from one artifact to another. There were first editions of their fairy tale books in German and English, photographs and pictures, notes written by the brothers, and articles about them. One of my favorite parts though were big blow ups of recently taken photographs of fairy tales. There was a picture for Rumplestiltskin, Princess and the Frog, Sleeping Beauty, etc, but they were very modern and aritistic. We were able to purchase some excellent postcards and books from the museum, and the woman who worked there even gave us postcards of the modern fairy tale art pieces for free! Next we headed out to take pictures of the small Brothers Grimm statue outside of the exhibit.

I was ready to leave Kassel, but Eva convinced me that we needed to see Hercules. The thing to do in Kassel is to climb Hercules, which is a statue on top of a monument which is at the very top of a hill (or was it a mountain because that is what it felt like). We stopped at a restaurant and ordered some lunch to get the energy we would need for this strenuous task. We walked two minutes past the restaurant, and standing below it and gazing upwards at the small statue of Hercules all the way up that mountain, I got a crick in my neck, and I thought, "No way." I told Eva to have fun, and she could find me back at the restaurant when she was was done, but the next thing I know, I am huffing and puffing up the 49 flights (estimate) of stairs right along side her. We stopped after every two or three flights to take pictures (and catch our breath). Eva made it to the top, and I stopped right before the top once I looked at all the stairs I was going to be climbing DOWN for every step I went up.

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