Personally, I have never been really interested in residential exploration. I like anything that's made of huge amounts of steel or concrete much more than, say, a living- or a bedroom. Especially when half a forum goes crazy about yet another Chateau, I'm always left a bit bewildered.
For our second day in Thüringen however, we were going to visit such a chateau. We had a date with the lovely Lady Rapunzel. We had met her on the Internet and immediately fallen in love. After a lengthy and winding drive, we could spot bits and pieces of her through the forest, and what we saw looked very promising.
But what was that? We were welcomed by a friendly albeit quiet German fellow.
»Mumble mumble interested mumble tour mumble Schlosspark?«
A tour? Through the park?
Bummer. The Lady from the Internet turned out not to be a Lady at all. Fortunately, we knew an Online Dating Expert with whom we consulted via text messages. He explained that while situations like the one at hand were understandably big turn offs, they didn't have to be show stoppers. With a little bit of creativity and outside of the box thinking we could still get what we wanted.
It didn't take us long to figure out what he was trying to say and what we had to search for. It didn't take us long to find it either.
Rapunzel had a rear entrance! While it was a bit tight, we all did fit through, one after the other. Once inside, the fun began.
However, nothing is on until it's really on so the real fun began when everybody was whispering »Ssshhhhhhh« to everybody else. The Schlosspark Tour had arrived outside.
Since the enemy might now be listening, we really had to be silent. Which was a nice contrast to the herd of Dutch/German/English babbling elephants we normally are inside places like this. I had to make every footstep very consciously, because the old planks under my feet were answering every slight change of pressure with agonized squeaking and groaning. And the outside walls were not really insulated against anything.
I could hear the tour guide explaining this and that to his followers who seemed genuinely interested in looking at everything he was pointing at — on the outside of the castle. Nobody of them had the slightest idea that right behind the wall they were looking at, a radically different type of tourism was under way. Literally a parallel world that they couldn't enter, just because of their own narrow-mindedness. Standing on the right side of the wall was kind of an exhilarating experience.
With the tour still wandering around in the park that surrounded the castle (luckily for us they really didn't go inside), getting away from here was the next obstacle. We knew that the tour always started at the top of the hour so all we had to do was wait until it ended and then hope that there would be enough time left to sneak out before the next tour started.
As we exited the park on one side, we could see the next tour entering it on the other. They didn't know we had been there. They didn't know what was inside of that castle they would spend the next hour looking at. And thanks to us leaving only footprints and taking only pictures, they'd never find out.
Check out the rest of the pictures in the gallery: