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January 12, 2013

Le Château du Petit-Ribeaupierre, Ribeauvillé, Alsace, France

After our morning pastries in Colmar and a look around the town, we drove 20 minutes north to Ribeauvillé (I wish I knew if it is pronounced the way it looks or has some special local pronunciation-rule-bending, but I forgot to ask while we were there), because it features a hill with three ruined medieval castles: Petit-Ribeaupierre (or Giersberg or Girsbourg); Saint Ulric (or Saint Ulrich); and Haut-Ribeaupierre (which is officially closed to tourists because it's unsafe in some way, but you can apparently go in a little way without repercussions).

The day started with clear blue sky and 1 degree C (33°F). However, by the time we got to the castle village, we were in THICK fog. We parked and hiked up the hill on a muddy trail through the woods, not really sure we were heading the right direction, because there was poor signage, and we couldn't see anything for the fog. I kept thinking I saw the start of a castle, only to discover it was merely more trees or rocks emerging from the mist.

We did eventually get to the first castle, however: Le Château du Petit-Ribeaupierre: 

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The view from the castle, over the beautiful Alsatian valley & countryside:

 

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(well, not quite visible today; maybe next time)

The only way into the castle:

 

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A fun place to scramble around (though I prayed hard for safety climbing up and down (narrow ledges on a steep rock face in the fog), and was thankful for safe passage granted, by the Designer of gravity, hands, feet, and rock - thanks again).

January 12, 2013 | Permalink

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