Two days ago, I decided that it will be a day for me. Just me and nobody else. So here is what I did. I took the bike and ride it through the forest path next to Rhein and reached the castle of Haldenstein – a village that is super close to Chur, basically part of it.
I went there, parked the bike and went in! And there it was – the most beautiful garden I have seen recently. All these fountains and trees – just a fairy tale! And since it was a sunny day, the whole garden was sparkling with sun rays. I had the feeling that I have entered a completely new world.
But anyways, I decided to continue my journey and took the bike to where the road ended and a trail began. I parked the bike again and set the GPS on to track where I am going and more importantly to put a sign to where my bike was, so I can find it afterwards. 🙂
So I found a bench nearby, sat on it and didn’t even look up. I was trying to see the screen on my phone, which from the sun was a bit impossible. In the next second I looked up and there it was – I could see the whole valley. Amazing! So small and yet so gigantic! And there was not a single cloud in the sky – just perfect!
So I just stood there for a while, enjoying… Until my GPS tracks system said – Oh I know now where you are! Where do you want to go from here? Simple choice – there is a path called Haldenstein Castles and Ruins, so the app displayed it and I just pressed record. In no time I saw three ruins and experience the feeling of witnessing the remains of something that has been there for a while now and is still standing strong … Well, remains, right?! 😀
Everyone calls this ruin “The Cat Castle”, because the facade, which is all that’s left of it, looks like a cat. It is situated on the top of a rock range that starts at the very bottom of the mountain and continues to the top. I get the idea, why this was build there – you can see the whole valley from there. You know – potential threat and so on – very strategic place, to be honest. And it is kind of hidden… It looks like part of the rock underneath it, unless you really carefully, you might actually miss it. So here I was, right on the other side and saw the sign – Rne. Lichtenstein. We all know what that means – the country Liechtenstein, right? Wrong! Licht means light from German, for those of you who don’t speak that crazy language. 😉 And I kinda figured out why it is called that way.
I found myself at the beginning of this field – on my left there was the path that continued upwards, on my right there was a forest, and in the middle this very narrow field. Really nice. The arrow of the sign was pointing towards the forest. So I took the path and let me tell you about the forest. You have seen it for sure – well maybe not here, but somewhere else. You know how if there is no one to take care of the forest it just kinda grows and if there are no signs anywhere, you won’t even know that there is a path. So in order to find the path, you literally need to remove branches from your sight and then you enter a completely new world of darkness and trees, no grass, just soft soil under your feet. It was quite steep, but not a problem for me and my tennis shoes. 🙂
I was going upwards and suddenly the sun was in my eyes. Just a ray of light, nothing more. There were trees, so I didn’t immediately see the ruin. And then I saw what was left of the wall opposite to the facade that was still there. A wall, that was not more than a 1 m tall and the path lead right next to it. From where I was standing the sun rays were just merely coming through … It was light in the darkness. The path lead around the ruin and to this “cliff”, if you can call it that way, but yeah, there was nothing but rock underneath an the fantastic view of the valley again. Then I went right behind the facade, which was basically a wall with windows and this amazing view. Took couple of pictures of that view, so if you are eager – just check the Gallery. The ruin didn’t look anything like a cat from this side, but it was still really nice.
I decided that it is time for some fruits that I brought with me. So I went back to the small narrow field and sat on the bench. There was only the sound of birds chirping nearby, bees and flies flying around and the wind crossing the field. It is that kind of “silence” that takes me to the world of thinking and admiration. So I was sitting there and thinking about those ruins and the fact that they are still standing there, years after years, and it seems like nothing can knock them down, even time. Of course, in my mind that is the absolute truth, however I know it doesn’t usually go that way… I was thinking that whatever tried to destroy those ruins, it didn’t succeed just yet. Perhaps in another decade those ruins will be completely destroyed, but we have to wait and see.
So, what I am saying is that if you want to experience this journey through history in nature – hurry up! You never know when will be the next earthquake! 🙂
After seeing the third ruin. I got back to my bike and went back home. It was a sunny day with a beautiful walk, that made me realise how incredible it is to have seen this monument of the past.
See you soon for the story of my adventures!