Summer

castled out

eventually after living in a new place for awhile, what was once a novelty can become downright tiresome. and friends, i am almost ashamed to admit, that after touring castle upon castle upon castle, i am officially castle’d out.
i realized this as i was planning our little easter getaway to somewhere in the czech republic, which was one of the most frustrating trip planning experiences i’ve had to date. i was trying to plan a jaunt across south-central czech republic stopping at many lovely small towns with great historic value. but i just didn’t feel interested. and why shouldn’t i? these cities are beautiful! some were UNESCO world heritage sites! what’s wrong with me? and then i realized…. i cannot take ONE MORE DANG CASTLE.

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i know this is going to come across as a major “first world problem”, and i have a few friends back home who L-O-V-E castles. but as for czech castles, i’m all done for. (except for this one, particularly hard to get to by public transport, that i’m hoping to visit this summer) in the czech republic, castles are built differently than the ones i’ve always grown up with imagining, like the famous walt disney castle. case in point: a year and a half ago while we were living in prague, i climbed castle hill (hradcanska), and sort of just looked around and said, “so, where is the castle?” doh! prague castle, like most of the others in this country are actually built as a complex– a giant fortress enclosing essentially a mini-town with the iconic st. vitus cathedral (above) in the center.

to remember all of the great castles i’ve visited in past travels, here are the most memorable…

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eilean donan, near dornie, scotland (2012)

the ultimate what-you-think-of-when-you-think-of-castles castle nestled on a tiny island on a loch: perhaps, the most beautiful of settings, in my opinion. featured in highlander and the world is not enough. the history behind it is fascinating and the interior is definitely worth a gander.

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burg eltz, near koblenz, germany (2007)

the perfect grimms’ fairy tale castle– you have to walk on a winding path near brooks, streams, and wildflowers to get here… i expected faeries and gnomes to pop out behind the rocks at any moment.

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rheinfels castle ruins in st. goar, germany (2007)

one of the first castles i visited that really stood out to me, although it’s nothing but decently well-preserved ruins. the views over the rhine river are stunning. bring a bottle of riesling from the nearby karl heydrich winery and make everyone else jealous.

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vyserhrad, prague. (2012)

the other prague castle, south of the city center along the vltava river that is worth a look if you’re going to spend more than a couple days in prague. the famous composer antonin dvořák and artist alfons mucha, both prague denizens, are buried in the cemetery here.

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hluboka nad vlatavou, near české budějovice. (2013, 2014)

this castle, built in the english windsor style is only a thirty minute bus ride from my house… and it looks straight outta disney. one of the famous and prettiest castles in the czech republic.

these are all beautiful…. but at this point, just give me a buddhist temple.

what’s your favorite castle? sending you all the good castle vibes for you not to become castle’d out like me.

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