I was in Dusseldorf for quite a long time. In my initial days, I didn't try driving in Germany that much, so had quite a lot of dependency on public transport. There is a reason why I start the trip to the beautiful Eltz Castle in this fashion. No, it's not because it was within 200 kilometres from Dusseldorf nor because it was one of the most beautifully located castles of the Deutschland but because this was one of the craziest trips I ever did.
It was one of those fine weekends. I took as Flixbus in the morning from Dusseldorf and again from Koblenz took a train to Hatzenport. From Hatzenport, a bus(which comes every 1 hour) took me to this beautiful German castle.
It was nestled with the dense forest in between Wierschem and Moselkern and had beautiful stories about three families who used to reside within the castle. Interestingly descendants of one of the families still stay there and only the rest of the part is open to the tourist in the form of a museum.
After taking a guided tour inside the castle and entertained by the interesting stories of the castle I had some beer and food in the castle restaurant. You must be wondering the way I started this section, there is still nothing crazy or unique I have described. Let's move deeper into the day. I hiked up an adjacent hill to enjoy the last light on the castle and trust me that was exciting enough since the trail I took was quite deep into the jungle and through the jungle, I had found an open space from which I can have an uninterrupted view of the beautiful castle.
Hiking up or walking in the forest is something many have done many times and I know this is not enough to do justice to the exaggerated introduction.
It was a clear day so what struck me is that the stars will be visibly dense and worth gazing at night. But for that, I had to stay the whole night in front of a closed castle in the middle of the dark dark forest. Initially at around 9 pm when the sun has already set quite a while ago, the thought that I would have to stay more 9 hours at least, all alone in this darkness was scaring the hell out of me. In Germany usually it is safe, I mean people are usually not that harmful but here it was an unknown jungle with no sign of human being. Although I had rested myself just in front of the castle in a bench, again I had no idea if any wild creature decides to take a stroll out of the nearby bushes to say hello to me. At around 10:30 pm another local guy, a photographer was there. Chatting with him about his experiences and his belief that no wild animals are expected in this forest gave me a sense of relief and confidence.
After a couple of hours the guy had left. By that time, we had captured some Astro and some beautiful time-lapse videos. After he was gone I kept staring at the stars for quite a long time before I started to feel a bit tired physically. I decided to take a short nap on the bench but it was quite cold and impossible to have a comfortable nap. I was foolish not to carry a sleeping bag and underestimating the temperature drop at night after the pleasant, warm and sunny day but on the other hand, was wise enough to carry a quarter of Jägermeister to fight the cold. With periodic naps and waking up to see a blanket of stars fading with time was an amazing experience.
At the end of the last nap, the stars had disappeared quite a lot; No! not because the sun had started to peep from beneath the horizon but the moon suddenly started to appear from nowhere behind the castle. At the advent of the dawn, a few photographers had started to flock and had taken respective positions to capture the first light on the castle.
I know, it was bit of madness but since I was dependent on public transport, I had no other option except wait for the morning train. Anyways this night would be in my memories with all possible details for quite a long time or maybe till my memory lasts.
In the morning I again had to walk a couple of kilometres to reach the Moselkern Bahnhof, from where my tired body didn't allow me wasting any moment and head to Dusseldorf for some rest.