After a much-appreciated breakfast on our schedule in the apartment, the “Princess” highlights of the Fairy Tale Route beckoned. Squire CTF was all too happy to let us wander whilst he snoozed upon the sofa, and so we set off into the misty hills first toward Trendelburg, Rapunzel’s castle and tower.
Once again our itinerary went awry, with Tony having to stop the carriage every kilometer or so because, “Oh!,” “So Pretty!,” and, “Cows!” but he is more than accustomed to this no matter where we are. Tony knows to simply pull the carriage aside and hit the emergency flashers, because I am likely hopping out to get closer to my photo target. On one occasion, though, Anna Grace and I were also hopping quickly back into the car, as one of the cows started moving rapidly toward us and we were pretty certain the rope fence would not hold her back!
Other country creatures were more cooperative.
Rounding a curve, Rapunzel’s hilltop castle revealed itself through the misty surroundings. Carmina Burana’s, “O Fortuna” had just begun to play in the carriage (Anna Grace had made a “dark” classical music playlist for the season)—we could not have scripted that moment if we had tried! Tony pulled to the side and we just stared ahead for a few moments.
Soon thereafter we reached the castle; and to be honest, it was one of our favorites, if not the favorite. On a hilltop, brooding, with remnants of a moat and grand scenery in every direction, we all thought Rapunzel may have rather enjoyed her digs, contrary to what Grimm and Disney wrote.
Through Maleficent’s Forest we traversed next, rather pretty at first…
…but soon darkened the closer we came to Sababurg, Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Even our GPS at one point suggested we, “Make a U-Turn if Possible!”
Just past the forest Sababurg appeared. We all agreed that Germany has done a better job marketing Neuschwanstein. The castle is a hotel, and yes, the ruined parts made for more fabulous photo snaps. But, really, Briar Rose belongs in Bavaria.
Oh, look! A Handsome Prince !
From Sababurg Tony steered the carriage toward Hannoversch Münden, our favorite half-timbered village of the holiday (sorry, Alsfeld). Though the richly decorated Rathaus was covered in scaffolding, it did not distract from the rest of the scenery, and we were rather pleased with this lunchtime-destination detour.
We departed Hannoversch Münden happy, and not even the drizzle that had begun to fall was a concern when we arrived in Kassel; specifically, at GrimmWelt, the epicenter of The Brothers Grimm. The museum delighted us; having researched ahead, there was concern that expectations might not be met for gaining a full appreciation for the Brothers Grimm and their works, including the creation of a German dictionary that took more than 120 years to complete, but that did not come to pass.
The Brothers Grimm Tales translated into dozens of languages.
Jacob Grimm’s original manuscript, complete with notes.
From the museum the plan had been to tour the Wilhelmshöhe and Kassel’s castle, but not only had the drizzle intensified, we had run the day later than expected and needed to tend to the Squire. Plus, neither attraction was an “official” Fairy Tale Route attraction. Looking over the photos that evening, we all agreed that some of them should be sent to the Deutsche Märchen Straße tourism folks for use in their promotional materials, the countryside was that remarkable.