Brown Signs = Good Times

| April 3, 2013

I’ve always been a sucker for brown signs.  Ever since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania saw it fit to grant me a driver’s license, I’ve been veering off course to find out where they lead.  I was pleased to find that Germany also uses the brown sign method of directing folks to sites of historic and cultural significance.  I feel it is my duty to myself to follow brown signs when the opportunity presents itself.  Last week I was presented with such an opportunity.

As Sequoia and my visiting stepdaughter, Krystol, and I drove toward the beautiful town of Michelstadt, I noticed a few brown signs.  Two pointed toward Burgs.  One of those Burgs seemed quite promising, so we decided that on the way home, we would follow the signs for a bit in search of Burg Breuberg; and if we didn’t come upon it within a reasonable amount of time (TBD by yours truly), we’d turn back.  Fortunately, it was mere minutes before we came upon the town of Breuberg.  As we approached the town, atop a hill we could see a good-sized castle.  Excitement mounted.

We drove the switchback curves of the hill until arriving at the fortress, which is a much more well-preserved castle than some others in the area (e.g. Burg Frankenstein).  In fact, in addition to the museum (which was closed, unfortunately) and restaurant, the property had some small private offices and a youth hostel running out of parts of the castle.  Krystol was excited, as she was seeing her first castle since arriving, and it wasn’t too shabby.  Sequoia was impressed by its size and happy to get out of the car.

You could wander free on the grounds, which is exactly what we did–some of us with more abandon than others.

The views are expansive.  We had no trouble picturing soldiers shooting arrows out the narrow windows in the fortress walls.

The main tower is still intact, with a rickety wooden staircase you can climb for .50€.  From up top, you can look out on the Odenwald.  Krystol made it all the way up.  Sequoia is not a fan of staircases with gaps in between each plank, uneven lengths, etc., so we stopped about a third of the way up.  I took in those views while Sequoia periodically yelled, “Krystol” up the tower, growing worried when Krystol did not respond.  Krystol was outside enjoying the view.

And if all of that wasn’t fun enough, there was a random sliding board outside of the castle.  A serious slide.  I know.  I went down it.

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Brown isn’t really a color that screams of fun and adventure, but here’s the thing: This castle, which I had never heard of, sits 21 minutes from our house.  If not for brown signs, it would still be unknown to me.  Brown signs = good times.

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Category: Activities, Castles & Palaces, FAMILY, Family Travel, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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