Happy to bid, “Auf Wiedersehen” to Somber Town, we pointed the carriage the following morning first toward Alsfeld and the home of Little Red Riding Hood.
Oohs and Aaahs poured forth as we wandered the little village of half-timbered buildings, advertised as the “prettiest little village along the Fairy Tale Route.” We found Red’s house easily; Tony and Clayton Theodore were happy to chill on a park bench while Anna Grace and I took a brief look inside. But, no! A large group of tourists were filling every nook and cranny of the small building; their rude tour guide attempted to shoo us out with, “Dies ist eine Privat Tour!” and seemed shocked when Princess Anna retorted, “Das Museum its für alle geöffnet!” The guide then closed the main door on us, and we decided to let it pass. Ultimately we had the last laugh, for we were able to enjoy a small wander through the village and plenty of photo taking before tucking into a restaurant for lunch, watching a cloudburst soak the tour group.
Little Red Riding Hood’s house.
Alsfeld. No, the photos are not crooked. The houses are, though!
Alsfeld was not a fairy tale village for everyone, once upon a time.
Leaving Alsfeld we drove through Schwalmstadt and its forest, through where of course Red traipsed on her way to Grandma’s. Seriously, the colors were spectacular, even with a light gray sky background, and it took much longer than expected to reach Bergfreiheit, home of Snow White for all the photo-op stopping. In Schwalmstadt we came upon an abandoned church that was simply beautiful.
Snow’s house sits on a quiet street and is so unremarkable (that is, it is as charming as all of the other houses on the street) that we almost passed it! During the summer the house is open frequently, and visitors can meet “Snow White” and the “Seven Dwarfs” (little boys dressed as dwarves). None of us were distressed at having missed that opportunity.
On the nearby hilltop sits Schloss Friedrichstein, gloriously buttery in color and full-on Baroque. The palace belonged to the Waldeck Family, whose daughter Margaretha inspired the Snow White of the Grimm’s tale. The building now houses a museum collection of armor and hunting equipment, which didn’t really interest any of us, but the grounds offered the Squire a chance to stretch his legs and for me to snap away.
With late afternoon approaching we made our way near to Kassel, and our apart-hotel for the next two nights. The lodging offered a “real” kitchen (in fabulously renovated vintage style!) so we took the opportunity to enjoy dinner in, and retreat to personal spaces for the evening.