Hirschhorn is described as "The Pearl of the Neckar Valley," (their words, not mine) and is nestled in the crook of misty, green rolling hills.
The castle on the hill (built in 1250) dominates the view and is the main attraction in town. Matt and I hiked up to it.
The castle, which has a modern addition that functions as a hotel and restaurant, is surrounded by ancient crumbling walls.
As I walk around all the ancient ruins across Europe that we have seen, I am always left to wonder... Who lived here? Was this a happy place? Did anyone ever joust for someone's hand in marriage perhaps?
This is the gate house. Right next to this, there were some goats that were bleating at us as we walked by. "Meeyyyya-a-a-a!" Is that a goat bleat with a German accent I ask you?
I could live up in that little room up there. In my own castle, with goats in the yard, and servants (of course!) to do all my bidding.
I would climb to this tower and pretend to be a princess, no maybe a queen. And in my German-castle-fantasy, I would rule my land with a just and rightful hand. If people did what I want.
And when I wanted to escape the drudgery of court-life and protocol, I would take this trail behind the castle into the woods and ponder what it meant to be royalty. And then I would come back to a scrumptious feast prepared by all my happy and willing servants.
After walking around the hills and the castle for awhile we snuck back down to the village to have lunch among the common folk. It is proper for a queen to disguise herself as a villager and mingle to see what her subjects are saying about her.
In town we discovered that everything was closed for lunch. As in much of Europe, this town takes a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:30 where everything locks up tight and the common folk retire to their own homes for a little beer and bratwurst.
Upon seeing how lazy my pretend subjects of my pretend kingdom were, I abdicated immediately. No village of mine would be closed for lunch!
We walked out to the river to bid a proper Auf Widersehen.
And so we said good-bye to Hirschhorn.
But I must leave them with a little advice. Instead of being "The Pearl of the Neckar Valley," you should change your slogan to "The-Pearl-of-the-Neckar-Valley-that-is-open-only-from-9:00-to-noon-and-then-1:30-to-4:00."
Just so there is no confusion.
Queen Kelly*, Former ruler of Hirschhorn
*I am always on the lookout for new kingdoms. If you know of any up for grabs, tell me! Thanks in advance.