Schloss Lichtenstein

A few photos can be seen here.

hiking up

A group of the Russians were heading off to the Lichtenstein Castle above Honau on Saturday, so myself and a couple others decided to join up for the trip. The castle sits atop a hill by the small town of Honau, which was just a 20min bus ride from Reutlingen. We decided to sleep late and take the bus at 12:30.

still hiking up

This had all been planned several days before, and it wasn’t till Friday that we found out there might be a bit of snow. It wasn’t till Saturday that we saw a good few inches of snow on the ground and a steady, light snow fall which continued throughout the day. The buses were still running so we decided to go. It’s the first time I’ve been in proper snow since I was about 9 and quite a few of the other international students had never experienced snow.

We got to Honau and had to hike about 2km up the hill to get to the castle. It was a lovely walk through a forest, with snow everywhere. We got to the top and did a short tour through the castle. The castle’s quite small, especially compared to previous ones we’ve seen. Also the lovely views which are normally present were completely clouded over. This along with snow falling the whole time meant we didn’t spend much time there and headed straight for the restaurant next door.

what we expected to see vs what we did see

A lovely meal at the restaurant alongside a wood fire and we had to make the descent back to Honau. We took a slightly shorter route, through an extra few inches of snow getting down pretty quickly with half an hour to spare waiting for the bus.

I took considerably less photos on this trip than on any previous trip, mainly due to the snow. There was very little cover to stand under and take photos on the trip. The snow was never ending and seems to get everywhere. Once again we weren’t allowed to take photos within the castle.

I only realised on the day, that the castle is spelt Lich-, as opposed to the country which is spelt Liech-. The same pronunciation did confuse some people when I mentioned where we were going for the day. The castle was apparently named after the rock it was built on which was very bright and easy to see. Lich being German for light, which was an old synonym for bright.

view from town during a slight cloud break

This week Thursday is a public holiday and quite a few people don’t have class on Friday. There’s a group hoping to get to Prague that I’d like to join, but at the moment transport seems to be a bit of an issue, but we will see what happens, else I’m sure we’ll find something else to get up to.

Sigmaringen

A couple photos I uploaded can be seen here.

Reutlingen university has a ‘students4students’ initiative where they link up local students to help out exchange students. One of the students4students, Jens (also linked with┬á Erasmus) organised a trip for us to Sigmaringen. We took a tour of the castle and then a 5km walk along the Danube River and back.

We caught the train just before 9am arriving in Sigmaringen shortly after 10, a group of about 45. We walked straight to the castle to start a tour through the public area. The castle is privately owned and the owner still lives in a large section of the castle. This was unfortunately as it meant we were only allowed through the guided tour section of the castle, but weren’t allowed to explore any further or roam the grounds.

The tour itself was very nice. A very knowledgeable guide took us through many rooms. All beautifully decorated and including many ornaments, paintings and tapestries that were hundreds of years old. Unfortunately because of all these valuable ornaments and heirlooms, no photography was allowed in the building, we assume for fear of someone doing a re-con to break-in at a later stage.

A walk through the town and a small market led us to a hill overlooking the town. Down the other side and through a bit more of the town and we came out by the Danube River. The Danube River is Europe’s second biggest river after the Volga. Sigmaringen however is very near the source of the river and as such the river isn’t particularly impressive, gaining size from many tributaries along its way to the Black Sea.

The weather was absolutely stunning, and we did a 5km walk upstream all along the river. There’s a nice path which was being used by lots of other people including cyclists. We had taken our time walking out of town, and stopped quite a few times. Also crossed a bridge called the Teufelsbr├╝cke and went to a viewing point over some farmlands and the river.

But on the way back we had to get back to Sigmaringen in time for our train so a brisk walk back along the river and through town got us to the station with 10min to spare. A peaceful trip back to Reutlingen and a nice supper at a restaurant called deja vu was all needed to complete the day.

Photo: Jens

Without any other plans at the moment, I’ll have to decide what to do next. A weekend in Reutlingen to get some work done on my thesis may be what’s required.

Heidelberg

A few more photos can be seen here.Today we had a group excursion to Heidelberg planned, the main attraction being a tour of die Schloss (Castle) Heidelberg. We took a bus at 08:00 through to Heidelberg where we had a bit of time to roam the streets before our tour started.

There was a short climb up to the castle where we were given guided tours. The castle is fairly expansive, although much of it has been damaged. I went to a couple castles in Scotland when I was there a few years ago, and although I’d say some of them compete in size, the ones here are more beautiful.

Bubble blower!

The Scottish ones were plain grey stone, like a typical King Arthur castle. The Heidelberg Castle was from a redder stone, and the design was far more intricate, with lots of sculpting taking place with the main faces been covered in patterns.

so many bikes parked outside the shops

After the tour we grabbed some lunch and walked round the town a bit. Crossing the Neckar river at one stage. A lovely wide river with a bunch of sailing boats out at one point.

The day started off overcast and it threatened to rain at one stage, but the sun and blue sky eventually came out in the afternoon.

Some stitched photos, nothing spectacular: