Shelby decided to be a champion today and drive a manual car in order to visit castles today. We visited Lichtenstein Castle and Hohenzollern Castle. The Lichtenstein Castle was built into a rock cliff above the city in the valley. It was never taken over, but was ruined through age until a royal family decided to build a hunting lodge on site using some of the original ruins. It then was expanded on the premise of a poem written by a family member and meant to replicate the old castle style. My favorite thing about this castle was the family who restored the grounds actually still live on the premise throughout the year. We took a tour of the castle which was completely in German but God looked down on us and had a nephew interpreting for his uncle in English so we stuck close to him. As a kid, I could think of nothing better than living in a castle and this one did not disappoint. Each room was painted in such intricate ways and every room had some aspect to better serve the castle (from the hidden stairwell that led down to the town incase of a takeover, to the ventilation in the dining room that allowed the band to be seated up stairs and still have their music hear to make more room for dancing, to the beds that were made to allow sleeping in an upright position so hair would not go astray and trick the devil into not taking the soul of the sleeper). The second castle was Hohenzollern which was part of the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle. This castle was enormous both what you could see on the hillside and what was built below into the the hill. The oldest part of this castle was from the 1400s which was a chapel. Afterwards, many kings and German leaders worked towards its restoration, but it was not truly made for housing a town or royalty long term. It was amazing how far and through how many gated doorways you had to enter before actually getting inside. Also, there were extra below ground stories to protect royal remains, artillery and other valuables. One entryway went 3 stories below ground to reach where they would have stored artillery. It literally felt like walking into the center of the world for how deep it appeared.