Today was the first day of our holidays. The kids are free from school, I am free from work, my wife still has to work a few days. The summer holidays of 2019 started in the same manner and I took the opportunity to make it a day for me and my boys as men among themselves. Last year we went to the archaeological Park Xanten, some 70 kilometers across the border in Germany. This park features a number of restorated Roman buildings and some newly built in Roman style. Together they give an impression of how Xanten looked like in Roman times. My kids like history in general and everything Roman in particular, and the fact that we were abroad in Germany added to the joy. And you know how it is with kids, something can be a 'tradition' after just one time doing it. And they actually expected we were going to do something similar this year.
So we went to Bad Bentheim and its medieval castle. It is not known how old the castle actually is, however since it is first mentioned in documents from around 1040 you can say that it is at least a 1000 years old. Which is quite impressive. The castle is build on a hill of sandstone. This hill is the only elevation in the surrounding flat landscape, so the castle offers an magnificent view of the surroundings.
Being from the Netherlands a rocky hill immediately signifies 'abroad' to us. It is fascinating that this castle is only a few kilometers from the Dutch-German border. Just a one and a half hour drive from where we live and we really feel abroad.
From the parking lot it is a nice walk up and around the hill to reach the front side of the castle.
When you enter through the main gate you get you first view of the castle ground and the beautifull sandstone buildings
From the parapet you get a beautiful view of the village of Bad Bentheim below the castle.
Normally you can get a guided tour in the castle to learn about the castle and it's history. Because of Corona however, guided tours are not available at the moment. You can walk around enjoying the scenery and can enter the building provided you're wearing mouth and nose protection. Luckily we brought them with us from the Netherlands. It was actually the first time we wore one of these. And it was not a fun thing to do. It feels stuffy and my glasses fogged continuously. I hope wearing them does not become obligatory in the Netherlands (outside the public transport, that is, where they are already obligatory).
The highlight of the visit was climbing the main tower of the castle and enjoying the view of the surroundings. As the castle is build on the only hill for kilometers around, you can see really far.
It was an enjoyable daytrip and I am rapidly growing fond of this 'tradition' myself. I'm already looking forward to next year's trip...
(All image were made by me today)