I’m finally back in the drawing and painting mode.
Saturday was a beautiful day so I hiked to Frankenstein Castle. It’s an easy, but all uphill walk to the castle (burg in German). It’s worth the walk. There are not many 12th century castles one can walk around, on, and into without a guide or admission. There are two trailheads, but I have only explored one so far, the main one by the church in the center of town (see my photo in the previous post). The painting is the view you see as the main trail comes upon the castle.
First view of Castle Frankenstein from the trail (watercolor & pen, 7x5in.)
To get there if you are in the area: There is a small parking lot on the main road (hauptstrasse) through the town of Frankenstein. It’s by the church at the base of the castle hill. It’s easy to miss if you drive into town from Kaiserslautern. If you reach the end of the town, just turn around, drive back, and you will see it. There is limited street parking across the street, too. Parking is free. Do not drive under the train tracks. It’s a dead end and parking there is for residents only.
The trail more or less begins at the parking lot. You walk on the road under the train tracks and continue straight ahead. Walk between the big church, on the right, and the little church and cemetary, on the left. There is a small arrow-shaped sign on the foundation wall on the right that says “Zum burg” (to castle). The big church has a small, cool cemetary above the trail/road. There are a few old and very weathered gravemarkers and a memorial monument to the Frankenstein men who died in World War I. There were quite a few names considering that Frankenstein is a very small town, even today. There is a goat farm behind the big church. It’s fence comes close to the trail in a few places, and it’s electric!
Once you get past the cemetary on the left, the road ends and the castle trail turns left. There is a sign at the turn that says “Bitte nicht füttern die Ziegen” (Please do not feed the goats). For the next 200meters there are signs, in German, in front of most of the trees and shrubs, The signs give the common name, latin name, and a brief description of the plant. It’s a nice touch. There is also a large sign that shows a map of the trail. The trail is wide, clear, and easily followed. I walked slowly, stopped, and still made it to the castle in about 10 minutes.