Sunday, September 4, 2022 @ 7:52 PM in 2022 Germany and France
The only thing on the agenda for today was visiting the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg and then doing a little walk in the woods around there. We left the Airbnb and grabbed some baguette sandwiches for lunch (one with tuna and lettuce and another with ham and cheese). We were cutting it really close timewise to make our 9:51 train and unfortunately didn't make it. With an extra hour to kill, we strolled to the train station and I figured I'd buy our bus ticket to get us from Sélestat to the Chateau. I was a little hesitant to buy the ticket since I couldn't find the exact one I wanted but I went ahead and bought the closest thing I could find.
We got on a busy train that took us the quick 21 minute trip down to Sélestat. We had ten minutes or so to get the bus and fortunately everything was on time and the station was extremely small. The bus was waiting outside the station and when we tried boarding, the guy said what I bought thinking was the bus ticket was actually a train ticket. I ended up having to buy the real tickets on the bus. They were only 10 euros round trip for both of us combined, but it still sucked to spend money when I didn't need to.
If anyone finds this and wants to take the Ligne 500 from Sélestat to the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, just have 5 euros on hand per person round trip and buy your ticket on the bus itself. The Ligne 500 is a tourist bus that hits a Stork amusement park, a monkey sanctuary, an eagle reserve and finally the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg. It only takes about 30 minutes to get to the Chateau and the bus runs every hour, timed to hit the Strasbourg / Colmar train line.
On the ride up, we passed through a little town called Kintzheim (really cool little town by the way) and there were a ton of people there for a bunch of ultra trail races. The race actually went all the way up (at least in part) to the Chateau, ran through it and then back down to town. While on the bus, Dakotah had another big accident so the first thing we did when we got to the Chateau was to find somewhere to change him. It was kinda tough finding somewhere since there were a ton of people everywhere. We finally found a shaded area with a stone wall that we could change him.
With a clean baby, we went up toward the ticket counter and saw that they actually had nice changing rooms in the restrooms. Oh well, you live and learn. We bought our tickets, ate our tuna baguette in a courtyard in the castle and then walked through the Chateau. It was restored to look as close to the original as they could and was really neat to walk through. The original castle was started around the year 1100. We walked through some "obstacle course" style defenses with draw bridges, heavy metal gates, turrets where archers would be and other ways to keep invaders out.
From there we went by the well and through the cellar and kitchens. After that was up to the living quarters of some of the wealthier residents and then around to some more defenses with cannons and other guns. There were some really cool views of the valley below, which makes sense because the Chateau was built to monitor and tax the salt trade.
When we finished the tour, we did a walk on some of the trails around the Chateau (and saw a ton more of the ultra runners). The trail took us by another ruined castle just a little farther west of the main Chateau we toured. It was really lush and green with a lot of moss everywhere but it was fortunately not humid today. The trails around there seemed like a huge network and you could actually cover a lot of ground on them. It would have been a cool place to spend some real time hiking if we had the proper gear and didn't have a baby to carry around.
We caught the bus back to the train station, then took the train back to Strasbourg. Back at the Airbnb we started to organize our stuff to pack for our trip to Nice tomorrow, finished up the local wine, started laundry and ate dinner (more of the couscous mix from the other day plus the rest of our mushrooms and some sausages). Our train to Nice leaves tomorrow around 9am so we'll make sure to leave here with plenty of time to get our giant checked bag down the three flights of stairs and over to the train station. We have about 6 hours on trains tomorrow so we'll eat our second baguette from today for lunch tomorrow.
Posted from: France