Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
Trip End Sep 02, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Schillingsfurst is our first town this morning. It is small and the notable thing to see is their castle.  On the road up to the castle we see a lookout tower and stop to take some pictures.  Len says to me, listen!  It is another live band playing so we head towards it.  We are at a sports park and there is going to be a soccer tournament.  To get things going the band is playing and people are sitting with a coke or beer (it has to be 4 o'clock somewhere in the world).  There is a food booth and some kind of buy a ticket get a prize raffle.  We will be back here for lunch.

We drive down to the Castle of Schullingsfurst.  I thought we could walk, lucky we drove as it is a long way.  There is an entrance fee, 1-to see Falconries, 2-castle, or 3-both.  We had just wanted to see the outside of the castle, so we buy the ticket for the Falconries.  This is an incredible show, more that we expected or could imagine.  We sit on a bench in a round circle, there is a woman on the far side behind the people and a man behind us.  They let the birds fly across to each other, thus swooping over our heads.  They show falcons, eagles, hawks, and vultures.  Quite impressive to see how big some are up sooooo close.  Of course we all ducked as they flew by.  Afterwards we walked around and looked at the birds in their pens.  The hit of the show was the American Eagle, he is a big bird and so graceful.  They had 4 birds flying around at one time.

We walked up to have a look at the castle, we went in and seen the display on Falconry.  We were then asked to join the tour through the castle and given English books to read.  It was very interesting and quite impressive, but I think they need to spend a heap of money here to restore it and keep it looking good, getting shabby in some places.  The floors were beautiful, made of 10 different woods of this area.  We got to wear slippers over our shoes to protect the floors.

Back to the sportsplex for lunch.  We both had wieners of different kinds and French fries, all delicious.  The band had left and the kids were now playing their soccer games.  We bought 4 wrapped tickets for the draw but didn’t win anything. 

Being well fed we are off to the next town.  What a great day so far, so many different things to see and we got to experience the local flavours.

Feuchtwangen is our next town.  To get to all these places we drive through many pretty little towns, all are well kept with lots of flower boxes in bloom.  Not much noted to see in this town, just where it is and what happened in history.  But they do mention a casino near by so we stop in, have a look, make a deposit and then leave.  Great break, but could have been a little more rewarding.

Dinkelsbuhl here we come.  It is pushing just about 4 when we arrive in town.  We pull into a parking spot and see a reenactment of an old town.  We learn it is the Swedish soldiers camp of their invasion of Dinkelsbuyl during the 30 years war.  One day, it is told, a group of children went to the Swedish army commander and pleaded that he spare their town, which he did.  The festival THAT HAS BEEN ON ALL WEEK!!! And we missed it, ends today.  Oh, well, can’t be everywhere at the right time. 

The town is filled with people in costumes, there is a children’s band, the Swedish army and pipe and drum band, beggars, children’s dance troops and young adults dance troop.    It was so much fun just walking down the street, the atmosphere was happy and jolly.  We stopped in at one place, looked like  a pheasant gathering and they were cooking chickens.  Len asked how much for a chicken and so we bought half a one, with potato salad, salad, cucumbers and tomatoes and sat along with the group and ate.  It was so much fun, not that anyone paid too much attention to us.

We then went and bought our tickets to watch the young adults do their dance and the sword dance.  After it was over we stayed and watched their presentation to those leaving the group, we really didn’t understand all that was going on, but realized the 10 with the boxes of champagne were the ones leaving.  Then there was the water balloon throwing match to see!  Everyone was friendly to us and tried to tell us what is going on.  One chap shared his beer with us because it was different tasting.  They all sang songs and there was a chant going back and forth between the troop and those dressed as pheasants.

We then walked around the town, seen the fortress walls and old churches.  The closing ceremony program was a delight with everyone coming back to participate in it and all the young women of the dance troop carried lit torches.  It was enjoyable and moving.    What an incredible ending to the day! 

Now to find the campsite.  We spotted it coming in, so back we went.  The gates arms are down, I go to find someone to let us in.  There are a couple of men drinking beer and I ask if we can come in.  He says no!  The campground closes at 9 and you can’t come in.  I ask where am I to go and he says the next campground is 50 kms away!  Yeah, right buddy, like they are going to let me in at midnight.  I pleaded our case at being in town watching the closing ceremonies.  He had no sympathy at all.

We went back down the road where we had seen some big motorhomes parked.  You go in and pay 10 Euros to go out, it includes electricity and water, but no WC’s.  So in we go and set up.  We walk back out to find our own facilities in the bush and then to bed.  In the morning we have to walk to the campground that wouldn’t let us in and get a token to open the gate to get out.  Oh, well  We did use the electricity to boil water for the hot water bottle, oops, too hot, it melted the bottle, but just a little!  Laugh, we did.  We used the hair dryer to warm up the sheets and hope into a hot  bed.  Great day.

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