Burg Eltz and Cologne

Hank and I enjoyed a quick train trip from Switzerland to Cologne, Germany. Once in the city we decided to explore a little and find some food. A couple minutes later I was enjoying a beer behind a castle built in the 13th century.

The next day we decided to head to Burg Eltz (Eltz Castle). We climbed aboard the 27th car of the train and began ripping through the hills of Germany at close to 300 km/h. We began to see castle after castle as we neared the train station close to Burg Eltz. German trains are a modern marvel- efficient and quite comfortable.

We got off the train in a tiny village of Moselkern. Once we got into town we followed signs to the trail head of Burg Eltz. The entire route followed a tranquil creek that eventually lead to the castle.

The size and scale of a castle this large to be hidden in the middle of the forest was unbelievable. After 90 minutes of hiking we were on the bridge crossing into the entrance of Burg Eltz.

Once we found where to buy tickets we had to hustle to the English tour that was starting in a few moments. The inside of the castle included original flooring, original artwork and many artifacts from its beginnings over 800 years ago. The Burg Eltz is unique because it has never been destroyed, so many of the parts of the castle are not replicas or recreations.

The Burg Eltz was shared by three powerful
families. My favorite part of the castle was the democracy room that they met in to discuss political and family matters. In the democracy room of the castle a fools head is hung above the main beam. The family believed that the only a fool could tell only the truth and not a lie. In this room only the truth would be told. Over the exit door a rose hung. The rose represented silence. Not telling others about what happened or was talked about in the democracy room.

After our day trip to Burg Eltz we stayed in Cologne to explore the cathedral and a Roman Museum. The Roman Museum was built around an ancient Roman mosaic floor that was found when building a bomb shelter.

After visiting the Roman Museum we visited a burger restaurant we had seen earlier that looked packed. We luckily timed a late lunch and the place was empty. The burger was one of the best I’ve ever had!

Cologne was a great introduction to Germany, especially with Burg Eltz so close. Hank and I are parting ways today with him heading back to Boise. I am a little anxious to travel solo, but I feel confident I can handle it.