August 12, 2009

Today was suhgood and lazy. I stretched out of bed at about eight forty-five, and after a quick shower toddled off to the bakery with the fam to pick up some pastries. By the time Eowyn had finished pulling apart and eating her nut-filled pocket of flaky and buttery goodness, we had to leave for Illesheim to meet up with Michael over his lunch break. We were allowed on the military base after showing our passports and having our car searched.

We ate sandwiches from Frau Fischer’s bakery in Illesheim in Michael’s office on base. See fig. 1.

Illesheim and Colmberg 001

Michael’s patient didn’t show up, so he got to show up around the dental clinic and the base at large. I felt American when the smell of pizza and the sight of Subway in the base food court made me think “home.”

Back in Marktbergel, I read The Name of the Wind for a while. Have finally got myself entirely stuck in the story, and I don’t doubt I will be finished with the book soon.

Went for a bike ride through Marktbergel and out into the cornfields. I took my camera and meant to take pictures. Marktbergel is settled in a valley, and thickly forested hills sprawl above and past the cornfields and harvested wheat fields. Drop dead gorgeous. Also: yellow-painted stucco house in Marktbergel with flowers all over the balcony and walls and porch and courtyard and fence. Will try to take pictures of both next time I go biking.

We went to Colmberg for dessert after our dinner at the apartment with Patty (neighbor and army wife with two kids, Amelia and Delilah). Colmberg is about fifteen minutes away and has a fantastic medieval castle overlooking it from a hill. The castle is now family-owned and serves as a restaurant and hotel. We walked on cobblestones past buttressed, fifteen-foot tall stone walls. The tower keep could be seen ever-present above the walls, and we had dessert in the upper courtyard just feet away from it (and from the playground … Eowyn was restless).

The inside of the castle was my fav. The floor and ceiling were of old, dark wood panels, and the decorations included stuffed falcons and piles of deer racks and bear-skin rugs. There were open rooms with tables, dim lights, wooden pillars, and long rafters. Upstairs, there was also a small chapel with mullioned windows and a creaky floor, and another room piled with seemingly forgotten furniture. A couple of massive wardrobes with carved lion heads for handles, painted boxes, a stuffed peacock with a full tail of feathers, old wooden benches and chairs. Steve and I wandered down some of the hotel hallways and found fantastic little alcoves with couches, tables, bookshelves stuffed with green and brown book collections, painted ceramic stoves, and fur-covered stools. It was dark when we went outside, and I almost died when we leaned over the castle wall and looked down on lamp-lit Colmberg.

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The tower keep.

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Colmberg from the castle wall.

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Another shot of the castle. More of the inhabitable parts.

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In the lodge-like hall.

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In the chapel.

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The more fantastic wardrobe.

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Some freaking awesome creaky stairs that led to the hotel hallways.

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A base of pitted cherries and cherry liquor under vanilla and chocolate ice cream, topped with unsweetened whipped cream and a cookie.

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The fam at table.

I already want to go back.

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