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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Storming the Castle: just another summer's day

Be sure to scroll down for more photos and enlightenment








Burg Lichtenberg is a cozy little castle, high on a hill overlooking the city of Kusel.  Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it yet.  It’ been standing guard over the valley since 1200 and is not likely to disappear soon.

The neat thing about Lichtenberg is that it’s useful, which is more than you can say for most things built in 1200.  From spring through fall there are festivals.  Also a restaurant.  Also a youth hostel.  No end to the possibilities.

Last weekend was an herb fest, complete with garden ornaments, plants for sale, the obligatory beer and wurst, plus guided herb tours around the castle walls and an explanatory visit to the castle’s own herb garden.

I forget to mention the three-piece band, with middle aged musicians playing and singing John Denver favorites in German and English. Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. ( his real name) translates well, or at least the emotions do.  Everyone can understand the yearning to go home to West by-god Virginia, or Rocky Mountain High…speaking of herbs.

I learned a few things during the semi-walk around the castle walls.  Camille tea comes from little, white, daisy-like flowers, which I would have known had I paid more attention to the picture on the packaging.  Supposedly, you can also brew a strong batch and use it to heal skin ailments.  I recommend letting it cool first, but hey, you’re your own boss.

The lady who led us around was the college professor who knew too much for our own good.  Apparently, leaving any tidbit out would have been a sin against all of academia.  My mind started to drift when two herbs took the first thirty minutes.  I started to chew weeds and paw the ground. We’d traveled ten meters and it was a loooooog way around the castle walls.  I regretted my lackey hadn’t brought a tent and provisions.  Plus, the soliloquy was in German, so I could only catch every other word:  good, tea, good again, etc.  I yearned for the Cliff Notes.  Time to break ranks and sprint for beer.  Got to the beer stand and put the golden-coldie to my lips just in time.

Next weekend is a much bigger, Medieval Festival, with even more food booths, knights in armor, complete with squires and horses, sword fights, and winsome ladies in flowing gowns.  Beer.  Wurst.  Sunshine.

If you miss that one (and why on earth should you?), I’m sure there are others coming up.  But, if they offer a tour around the castle walls, drag a keg with you.














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