Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bonn Day 2 (Part 2) - Credit Card should be good enough, right?

Well, lo and behold, it came upon the right location. It showed off an old tram that it used (#9 & 10), as well as, some donkeys, for what looks to be about 11.15 an hour. Yeah, not riding a donkey, not sure where I would place my legs anyway. :-) And well, the train ride itself was 7 euros up and 9 euros back! Ouch! My Bonn "WelcomeCard" only gave a 20 cent reduction, but I wasn't going to pay THAT much when I could just walk it.

WORD OF WARNING: For those that have heart conditions, trouble walking, or just don't feel like taking a hike (no pun intended), I would HIGHLY recommend the train. :-)

Why you ask? Well, I hiked (#13), hiked (#14), hiked (#15), and yes, hiked even more (#16) and that was just a quarter of the way up. Got to a reptile house by that point (#17 & 18), so I continued walking on up. Saw some rustic houses (turned restaurants, #19), some activities for the kids (#20 & 21), and some just off the wall. (#22 & 23) But finally folks I made it (#24)... to the halfway point!

Basically, its the castle/mansion that you can see in picture #32 fairly well. I'll be coming back to that, because I haven't gotten to Drachenfel yet. So I continue following the path leading up into basically a nature reserve. Hmmm... Didn't get a picture of that sign, but oh well. Don't really need it I guess. Oh, as I was traveling up the hillside, I was trying to get a drink with my credit card, but the small shops that I stopped off at didn't except credit cards. I pulled out what change I had to get a drink, but I didn't have enough for two, so the trip down would be a little interesting.

Well, as I continued on up, the path would come to little clearings that was on the edge of the hillside, which offered GREAT views of the countryside. You can see what I mean with (#30 - 34, 36, 37, 41 - 45, 59). I saw some curious sights when I was heading up the hillside, such as #35. I was thinking that those were actually gun placements put in during WWII, but I'm not sure. There was nothing that I could see that would say otherwise. There was also #38 & 39, which I didn't think was part of Drachenfel itself, but it was still pretty to see. Saw #40 put into the side of the hill at one point. If I remember correctly, it was RIGHT after I passed #39. Well, I finally get to the top of the hill where Drachenfel is, and there was a restaurant RIGHT there, with a GREAT view of the countryside (#59). Well, when I got there I snapped off 41 - 45, as well as, #46 & 47. Not sure of the historical significance of #47, figured I'd at least take a picture of the writings on the side of the spire. I'll have to translate them later.

Well, I pass by the restaurant when I start hearing some sounds coming from around the side of the restaurant, I was heading it that general direction anyway. So I come around the corner and I see a few adults and several children standing around where the sounds were coming from. Well, the sounds, come to find, was actually speech, German, to be precise. And it eventually ended, to where I could get a better view of what they were standing around looking at. And I saw #48. "Vorsicht!!! Sprechender Drache" basically means... ummm... ah man, can't believe I forgot it. Hold on... Okay, it means "Caution!!! Speaking(??? Translation guide didn't have the full translation) Dragon". Well, it had a motion sensor built in where if anyone got close to it, it would make snoring noises as though the Dragon itself was asleep. It was priceless. :-)

Well, I continued a little bit more of a climb to get to Drachenfel proper, #49 and 50. Well, I get to another smaller spire #52 with the plate on #51. Once again, unable to translate at this time. But I get to the Castle Drachenfel, or at least, what was left of it. #53 through 56 showed the damage that the castle suffered, not sure if it was by direct result of artillery shelling from allies, or it just burnt down? As you can see on #56, the castle got a little blackened. I would like to know if what I saw in #35, was linked in some way to the castle itself. But I'm not sure. I'll have to see if I can find some history about Drachenfel at some point. Well, after climbing around the ruins of Drachenfel, I started my way back down (#57), taking another route down to the restaurant. Found a sign (#58) that contains the history of Drachenfel (I would assume), but I haven't been able to translate it yet, plus the overgrowth is blocking a bit of it. I tried to do what I could.

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