Finally on day 6 I got out to do some fun stuff out of the city. The job that I gave myself for the past month and a half and always managed to come up with a good excuse not to do was to plan this weekend. I don't find planning trips to be any fun. Some people get a kick out of thinking of all the possibilities of their vacation, I just want to go on that vacation. So I hadn't planned much of anything until the night before, and not much then either. Winging it is the best way to describe my intentions. In general I intended to head toward the somewhat mountainous region nearby and tool around and do a little hiking.
I went out to the airport to pick up a rental car and was off toward Bad Urach, which, by the way, has a very German sound to it, doesn't it? The sort of sound that you're likely to cough up some phlegm trying to pronounce. A quick check in at the hotel and off for a bite to eat.
These little mountain towns are pretty awesome if you ask me. Quaint, cozy, and plenty to do and see.
Wait, that's not quite right. Maybe this one is a little better:
Better. With some food, beer, and caffeine burning away in my internal engines I headed off to local park that I had seen a sign for that included something about waterfalls. I figured anywhere there are waterfalls there is sure to be hiking trails. There was also a really cool looking ancient fortress up on top of the hills somewhere in that region and I thought I might be able to find it.
Upon arrival I couldn't really tell where anything was anymore. That's just the way things go in the mountains; once you get close you can no longer see your target. There was a trail nearby and I simply chose one direction randomly and started walking. After not too terribly long there was a much smaller offshoot, and being the adventurous person I am, I took it, and started hiking more directly up the mountainside.
It only took maybe a quarter mile before the trail met up with a larger trail, probably the same one I had been on, with signs for something that sounded like it could be the fortress so I headed that way. Sure enough another quarter mile up the trail and I had arrived at the cool looking fortress that I had seen from the road. And it was just as cool looking up close, and probably moreso. Plenty of rooms to go into and check out, old staircases, dungeons, and all sorts of remnants of another world.
I wandered around in the fortress for a while marveling at how something this old could still be standing....sort of. After I had had enough I hiked out and headed back to home base for some soccer matches and more food and more beer. I won't bore you with any of that, but here are some more pictures I took at the castle:
medieval fire pit
Dungeon entry. Make sure no one locks you in!
Looking down from parapet.
The fortress in all its glory.
Cool stone spiral staircase.
View from bottom of spiral staircase.
Large open area behind main walls and up top.
Bad Urach down below. I bet I could hit it from here...
Cool looking red slug I saw on hike out.