Sunday, July 12, 2015

Burg Eltz + Beilstein

When Garrick and I first started to plan our move to Germany, it was all very overwhelming. There were so many big milestones along the way: my last day of work, moving out of our flat, Garrick's thesis defense, our drive from Scotland to Germany, setting up our flat, the birth of Eloise, Garrick's graduation, and learning a new language. When I pictured us at the end of this marathon, I imagined driving through the German countryside on a sunny Saturday as a family of three, off to explore new places. Well, yesterday, my dream came true!


This is Burg (Castle) Eltz! It's about a two hour drive from Wuppertal and sits in the hills of the Moselle Valley. It's been owned by the same family since the 12th century. Garrick carried Eloise in the Ergo, and we set off on the 15 minute treed hike from the car park. It felt so good to be in the woods, out of the city. Finally, we turned a corner and saw this dramatic castle in the distance.


We joined a tour and got to see the furnished interior of the castle. No photos were allowed. We enjoyed the original artwork, painted walls, tapestries, huge beer steins, and even a hunting room featuring a moose head from Alaska! At the end, we sat in the shade and enjoyed a local beer. Eloise attracted every elderly woman at the castle. She is a people magnet. It's really special to take her to all these places with us!


After a feed and diaper change  in the car (Garrick may have been pooped on), we were off to Beilstein, a village thirty minutes away. We drove along the Moselle River and took in the stunning views of German wine country. There were several idyllic towns along the way, and castles dotted the hills. Wuppertal is not particularly beautiful, so it was so refreshing to get out and see such amazing places!


We sat at an outdoor cafe for dinner and sampled a local Riesling. I will be looking to purchase some very soon! After eating and taking in the views, we went for short walk around the town and finally ended our trip with ice cream before the drive home. We hope to do a day trip every other Saturday and are so thankful for such a sweet baby to take with us!