The locker cabinet. It holds a bag, but I don't think a bagpack would fit
As we left the Zoo, we are heading towards Rotberg. The hostel were we have booked the room is the Rotburg. The drive is only 20 minutes out of Basel and as we are passing the industrial area, and only have another 15 minutes worth driving time before arrival, I am having serious doubts as if this hostel is really located in the middle of a lot of green. Because on the pictures, it did look like there was nothing but a smaller village close by and I am thinking how photos can trick your mind…..
But after another hill, the houses got less and less, we passed one more village and then we were there " Mariastein " the village near the hostel " BUT WHERE IS THE HOSTEL? We drive around in Mariastein.
We find: Nothing. Back to the village again " wait there " a sign for wanderers " I think it could mean hostel. We follow the sign and find it. The other sign, we drive into the woods, we see the castle only sticking out in the woods slightly " hmmmm. Okay, so we park at the designated “P” space and I am looking at some stairs and HOPE and pray that THIS is NOT the way up. Please let it be the farm house back there. Please, please. Heidelberg flashes my mind. With it’s 300+ stairs. Did people ever get visitors back then? Hmmm. Not those steps. Not with my bag please. Please. ….. MIST " Darn, of course " hostel, up the stairs. 142 of them to the next platform.. as I am crawling completely out of breath up the last step, we finally see the hole fortress, as it sits impressive on top of the mountain " oh no, more stairs.
Having breakfast on the walkway..
I am thinking of Ana and how she is used to climbing steps like a goat. For a second exercise comes to mind, but is replaced by the thought of good food right away. As I look around I notice there is a soccer area right in front of the fortress. I seriously doubt too many people play, because it would be a long trip down, when you lose the ball. 142 step plus some to get a ball…. And on the foot of the hill there is a wooden cross, with some flowers…..
the room next door...
We stumble up the last stretch of “up” a couple more steps and we are in the courtyard, we hear people talking and oh it smells so good, unfortunately too many unexpected dinner guest, and we had not reserved.
Big mistake, as we found out there are only 3 restaurants in the town nearby.
One was closed, the other one was crowded, so we went to the Hotel Post " were you can get some fries for 6,50 Franken " ca. 4 Euro " yikes…… guess, what- we all just ate fries, because a dinner was not under 20 Euros " way over my budget for sure. We should have listened to the host "Next time. As we drove back " and up those stairs again " I knew that I would not walk this again. My feet were killing me and everybody else was exhausted as well. We were all whining.
Looking down at the reception
The accommodation was very basic. Very basic. And very trusting people. “just go up and pick a room, there are pillow cases and some linen sacks there in the basket on the stairs and if you need a blanket let us know” we walk up " another two flats of very narrow stairs and decide for the room on the right, because it has bunk beds, so we can get out of bed without climbing over top of each other.
Of course, when we get up there, we realized it was ALL pillow cases, no sacks. So, back down to get the sacks. We get the sacks, well actually the boy went, the only one not completely worn out… and we realized, heck yes, we do need blankets. One more trip down the stairs again. Ah, cute common showers, and toilets. All very new though. Finally off to bed.
As I am watching the cob webs on the ceiling, I am thinking that my days of hostelling are over. I want a little more comfort than this. I hate having to make a bed, when I come back late. I do not like to drag my own stuff (soap, toothpaste) and I am thinking that I got pretty darn picky in my old age. Nevertheless, I fall asleep fairly quickly and don’t wake until the squeeking of the floorboards wake me up for the first time.
I think, wow this must be bad when you used to live in castles and fall back asleep until the sun comes up. I am hoping for a great view, but my legs feel like logs and I turn over and as I wish I was in my own bed, I am off to sleep again.
To round up the hostel " after we had breakfast we “explored” the fortress some more. There are rooms hidden everywhere " even under the roof. The tower has a room as well, but we were not able to see it, as it was occupied at the time. There are two “double” rooms, rooms with bunkbeds in them, the rest are all for larger group. But, the hostel people do not fill up the rooms, they give each party their own room, even if it means, you sleep under the roof.
The dining room is done mid-age style and so is “Knightroom” the thrill of it being the armor of the knight and you are allowed to try on the helmet " but please the helmet only! " as I was talking to the host, he said, that they are very open with the kids " and yes, they are soooo extremely relaxed, and that they do not mind, if people try on the helmet.
But of course some try to fit in the armor and that causes problems putting it back together and denting it up and I hope people will use their common sense, before it gets removed completely.
One is allowed to do a fire in the Knight Room, there are games in the other room. And folders with idea’s for the sights in the closer area. From the fortress we can see another fortress and decide to check out the ruins of the “Landskron” in the morning. Should you ever stop by, remember that the room with all the bunkbeds" has the staircase to the other rooms in it. It was a dumb idea, we were up a long time, because everybody that needs to use the bathroom, has to come down those stairs.
The dog is usually laying around somewhere by the reception and the cat thinks she owns the place.If you like to find out more : http://www.youthhostel.ch/fileadmin/media/pdf/hostel_details/Historische_Jugi_Mariastein.pdf
Altogether an exciting place to stay and we liked it so much " just for the view " that we stayed another night.
walking back down