A moving in post with pictures is coming. I promise. It’s been a long haul so far. We are moved in and almost 95% unpacked. I have made several trips to IKEA and bought thousands of dollars worth of furniture I had to put together myself. BUT! This post first!
The Shaun is visiting! As we may recall from a previous post, Shaun is the Thelma to my Louise, and being such only fun and chaos can ensue. Shaun is also a historian and therefore likes old awesome places. And, as well all know, Europe is old and full of awesome places. We all gathered around a map and found these old castle ruins. The Ruine de Landskorn.
It also required us to invade France. There is a little tiny bit of France that peeks into Switzerland. It’s so tiny the Swiss Tram has a stop in it and it’s still considered “Swiss-esque” so no passport necessary.
Like many castle ruins in Europe, Landskorn is found in a cow field and you can climb all over it. I was impressed by the actual safety fencing all around. And the stairs actually looked sturdy. A miracle. And perhaps a sign we were in France and not Switzerland.
The castle was built in the 1290s, expanded in the 1500s, and used to house the mentally insane and political prisoners in the 1660s until the early 1800s. Napoleon, being Napoleon, tried to use the castle during the war between the French and the Austrian and Bavarian armies in 1813. Unsurprisingly, the Austrian and Bavarian fusiliers shot at the castle with canons and blew up the tower will all the gun powder in it leaving a big hole.
But it is being kept up and it is being improved. It is a popular picnicking spot for locals with several campfire areas and it has at least three hiking trails leading from various spots at the foot of the mountain up to the castle grounds.
The kids were incredibly excited about climbing around the ruins. The walls were 4 meters thick in some areas and 7 meters thick in others (to hold the cannon they fortified the roof with).
The view from the top of the main tower is incredible. You can see Basel over the top of H’s head. You can almost see Germany!
To re-cap: A 2 mile hike up some slopes and through some small towns; climbing around on an old, cool castle; a tasty picnic lunch, a death-defying descent that would have only gone better if we had had skis; and delicious ice cream and frosty beverages in the town below. All-in-all a fun day!