Hochburg Castle Ruins
We’ve experienced unusually warm temps this winter in Germany. And by warm, I mean warm for people who are from cold places. For us Florida folk, it’s still flippin’ freezin’. But, it doesn’t keep us from going outside in search of adventure.
All sorts of exciting make believe can be found among castle ruins. Don’t believe me? Take along two boys under the age of six and suddenly you’re slinging arrows, fending off foes with sturdy stick-swords, and cooking up concoctions that put Stone Soup to shame.
I think I’m teaching my boys about history and culture, but really they’re schooling me. Seriously, how could I have missed that Spiderman lived in medieval times?
If you want to take your own little critters to this particular castle ruin known as Hochburg, it can be found just outside the village of Emmendingen. Head in the direction of Windenreute, and follow the brown signs. The castle can be seen at the top of the hill. We took the car this time, but I noticed a bus stop at the trail head for those using public transportation. Parking is adjacent to the road, free, and happens to be in the vicinity of some very smelly cows. Moo.
Here’s a look at our hike.
Okay, I called this a hike, but it’s less than 1km from the parking lot to the castle. And most of it is paved. It’s certainly doable to push a pram up the hill.
On the way, we caught a lovely view of the village of Emmendingen.
Since we expected a much longer trek up to the castle, we decided to be properly German and go wandering about the forest.
The boys pretended to be street sweepers, pushing all the leaves away. But Doc Sci had something more manly in mind. When we discovered a tree that had fallen across the path, he told the boys that someone was setting a trap for us and we had to defeat them. All together, we brandished our big sticks, counted to five, and yelled, “CHARGE!” running full speed ahead up the hill for a all of 3 seconds. If this does not sound fun to you, please do not have boys.
Unfortunately, nothing sounds fun to this kid. Depressed is the best look I can get from Big Foot whenever we go on adventures. Please excuse the snot rivers. I wiped them after the photo. I promise.
We randomly discovered this little hut which can be rented. Maybe if I spoke German, I could figure out how. And why anyone would want to rent a little hut in the middle of the forest.
When I asked T-Rex the next day what his favorite part of the hike just happened to be, he could remember only two things: the insane amount of mud we trudged through, and the copious amounts of horse poop that littered the trail. Such sophisticated knowledge my children are absorbing through these experiences.
After we’d had enough of the mud and poo, we hightailed it back to the castle along a path strewn with firewood and timber.
Poor baby had fallen asleep by then, burying his face in boogers no doubt. Isn’t this fluffy bear suit ridiculous?
The hill surrounding the castle is crawling with grape vines. I’m gonna go out on a limb here, and guess those haven’t been there for centuries. Thirsty plunderers wouldn’t have stood for it.
The views are nothing short of idyllic… if you can enjoy them with shrieking children in the background.
Should you fancy a picnic on the castle grounds, note that there are proper tables and benches surrounding the fortress.
Or, you can go rogue and munch atop the old kitchen stove.
The ruins at Hochburg are roomy enough for romping around, but cozy enough for keeping an eye on rambunctious youngsters.
If you need a loo after lunch, only slightly medieval bathrooms are located near the entrance. Well, unless you happen to visit sometime November through March in which case you’ll have to hold it since the water is not turned on in the winter.
We’ve come to the conclusion that everyone in our little family relishes a good ruin. (Well, except for grumpy boy #3, but he’ll come around..) So, here’s to it – several down, only 23,971 more (in Germany) to go!
Do you love a good castle ruin? Check out our adventures in Staufen and Chateau de St. Ulrich.