Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wewelsburg Castle

Except for my spending two glorious days at a spa with my girlfriends getting massages & salt scrubs, Eric having a small procedure that kept him home and off his feet for a few days, and Isabelle dropping a large mason jar on top of her toe that resulted in an ER visit where the doctor had to drill a hole into her toenail to relieve the pressure that was making it difficult for her to walk normally, we've been pretty lazy since our big trip to Iceland

It was beyond time to get out of the house, charge my camera battery, and go somewhere!  So I booked a day trip through USO to the Wewelsburg Castle, having no idea where it was, or what was so great about it.  I figured knowing next to nothing would make for a nice little adventure... or something.






Isabelle did not go with us to the castle.  I am totally, unabashedly obsessed with my daughter.  I adore her and get extremely anxious when she isn't with me, so I want her near me all the time, even when she's whiny & pouty and I'm either yelling at her or talking through my teeth to get her to stop her whining and just enjoy the gosh damn moment!  But man, that kid has had an attitude problem lately, and this was just not a trip that a hormonal, moody, attitude-filled, soon-to-be-teenager who gets car sick suuuper easily, and then makes it very obvious when she isn't having any fun needed to go on.  

Obsessed or not... mama had her own hormones to deal with, and could do without the frickin' attitude for one afternoon.  Sorry, not sorry.  




Babe found a map!  His favorite part of any museum are maps- and then he excitedly tries to explain them to me and I have no idea what he's talking about but I smile like I do.  Secrets out.





Wewelsburg Castle (German W's are pronounced as our V's.  Wewelsburg rhymes with "evil" but with a V, so it sounded like it was pronounced vee-vils-burg) was used by Heinrich Himmler during the Nazi era.  Himmler was a leading member of the Nazi Party and wanted a castle for himself as far away from Berlin as he could get but still be within reach if needed.  Himmler designed and controlled many of the concentration & extermination camps throughout Germany and was a purely evil man.... which makes the pronunciation of Wewelsburg ironically fitting.

The castle was supposed to be "the center of the world" after they won the war and was filled with ridiculous pagan ideology that probably wouldn't make sense even to a pagan.  The smallest concentration camp ever built was just outside the castle, where there was a small pond of water that was used to torment the prisoners who were dying of dehydration, starvation, and illnesses.  Almost nothing of the camp exists today, but the pond was still there (but I didn't take a picture of it because it was raining).  
We spent the morning touring the museum which was actually pretty interesting- my favorite part was the interviews given by the survivors- but the castle itself wasn't all that great.  Himmler was an idiot, and the castle he chose to be "the center of the world" was dumb.

We went to lunch at the castle's restaurant which was so good, and then spent the rest of our time there walking around the village.  The weather was crappy, so Eric and I tried to make the best of it.... we made a lap around the village and then went back inside the restaurant and ordered a glass of wine until it was time to leave. 




A horsey!  He looked right at me and I swear he smiled!  I didn't want to get any closer because I didn't want to trespass on someone's property, but he was so handsome! 

I LOVED these houses! 


I can't tell you that this was our favorite trip, actually, it wasn't even a favorite at all, but it was another piece of Germany that we got to explore!  We've toured a lot of Nazi history museums, documentation centers, and concentration camps and I haven't walked out of a single one understanding the mentality of Nazi Germany.  Nothing about that part of our world's history will ever make sense to me!  But, I'm thankful I get to see it with my own eyes and it forces me to dig into the empathetic part of my heart... which I think is good for the soul.  So even though I wouldn't recommend this particular trip for fun or entertaining reasons, I would recommend it for that.

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