Once again our incredibly kind landlady, Frau de Matos, decided that we're her favorite tenants and took us on a day trip to a tiny village called Stadt Blankenberg. Unlike Ahrweiler, (where we went on our previous trip with Frau de Matos) Blankenberg is quiet, secluded, and uncommercialized. Here are a few shots from the 10-minute walk from the parking area to the city wall.
The Blankenberg city wall was constructed in the 12th century, with several repairs and renovations along the way. Sometimes I wonder why the villages and cities are located where they are--for this one there's no question. Look at the view from their little hill.
The wandering river is an especially nice touch. It's the Sieg, by the way, which is a female river (die Sieg), as opposed to the male Rhine (der Rhein). Here is the city wall and one of the towers:
And then the houses. Sara and I were absolutely smitten with these houses. We've seen plenty of half-timbered houses already, but these ones have bright red wooden nails in them, just to amp up the cuteness. Also notice the doors intricate doors and overflowing window-boxes. We love how *all* of the cities here (especially the small ones) are ridiculously cute.
Is this picture crooked? No, that's the house. The renovations people have done in the village are very impressive--everything made neat and sturdy, without sacrificing the original warped beams.
For your viewing pleasure, a picture of the two of us--together--standing in front of a house with grapes growing over the windows.
After walking around the whole city (which took approximately 10 minutes), Frau de Matos treated us both to pie and ice cream. On the way back to the car, Sara noticed a sign indicating some old ruins a few minutes' walk away. We followed it to find what may be the best view I've seen yet.
It's a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but there are tiny villages--just clusters of houses, really--scattered around among these hills. Sara in particular was struck by how those tiny clusters of houses a couple of hours' walk away probably used to be the Blankenbergers' main contact with the world outside their walls. I think it sounds fantastic, but then again, I have a toy that, according to Wikipedia, only showed up in the early 19th century.
We walked for just a few minutes inside the castle/tower and found this great window with a view--the photo is from the perspective of someone sitting in the window seats. They were for the kids, I'm certain.
Thus endeth our time in Bonn. This week we're *trying* to move to Aachen (hopefully the stress I'm currently feeling in anticipation will abate or make an excellent blog post in about a week or two), so we won't be doing more day trips around Bonn. We've loved it here and are looking forward to our new home. And to Frau de Matos, vielen Dank! If you ever see this blog post, we've loved living as neighbors!