Okay, not sure if going to Drachenfels can actually be considered “travelling” because that place is only an hour and a half or so away from where I currently live in Düsseldorf … but whatevurrrr. But anyway, yes, my sister and I took a day trip to Drachenfels.
Drachenfels literally means “dragon rock.” It’s a mountain/hill that was apparently formed by magma that rose up underneath the earth but could not break through the surface (thanks, Wikipedia) … so that is probably why it’s called “dragon rock.”
Dragon – fire – dragon – get it, heh? Hah. …
Anyway, Drachenfels was pretty easy to reach from Düsseldorf. First we took the train from Düsseldorf main train station to Köln/Cologne main train station. From there we took another train to Niederdollendorf, which is very close to Bonn. From Niederdollendorf station we took the subway (which wasn’t really a subway because it went above ground most of the time, but details) to Königswinter Fähre, which is a beautiful station located right by a beautiful lake. By the way, Königswinter is German for “king’s winter” … what a pretty name for a little town or village, eh?
The lake in Königswinter, where the Königswinter Fähre subway station is located. So pretty!
A plate showing parts of the history of Königswinter. The writing is basically saying that Königswinter used to be surrounded by a wall and a trench, until about 16o0, when the (by then useless) wall started falling apart.
Horrible description/translation, I’m sorry.
From Königswinter Fähre it was just a short walk to the base of Drachenfels. There is actually a little train that goes up to the summit of the hill/mountain/whatever it is, but my sister and I decided to walk to the top.
Cool sign at the base of the hill. BEWARE OF WILD DRAGONS.
The first bit was already so super steep that I thought I was going to die. The picture doesn’t really do it justice.
On our way to the top, we stopped at the Nibelungenhalle – a beautiful room containing a lot of medieval or medieval-age-inspired art. The ceiling of the room was absolutely beautiful: symbols of the twelve zodiac signs were engraved in it.
Didn’t manage to fit all twelve in one picture, oops.
A ticket for the Nibelungenhalle cost us four euros each and also let us access the Drachenhöhle (“dragon cave”) and the Reptilienzoo (“reptile zoo”). The Drachenhöhle was pretty cool, but I honestly didn’t like the Reptilienzoo that much. While it certainly is pretty cool to see all those different, “exotic” animals in real life, I felt very bad for the poor creatures, forced to live out their lives in small glass containers with not nearly enough space to move around and about.
The Drachenhöhle consisted of two dark, narrow tunnels. After going through the first one (or rather running in our case, because my sister was so scared of any spiders potentially hanging from the low ceiling that she kept on pushing me forward and making me run) we arrived at a little pond that had a dragon statue right next to it.
Then, we continued our little hike/walk to the top.
Encountered another small dragon statue on the way up.
Beautiful German countryside.
The next stop on the way to the top was Schloss Drachenburg. A stunning castle with a beautiful garden from which you can get a pretty amazing view of the Rhine river and the surrounding nature, villages and towns. A ticket to enter the garden and the castle is five euros (if you’re still a student like me – but a regular ticket is only a euro more, if I remember correctly) – and you can even book a tour to explore the private rooms inside the castle! My sister and I arrived at the castle pretty late, around 45 minutes before it was supposed to close, so we didn’t really have enough time to enter and see the inside of the castle, unfortunately. We did get a good look at the awesome garden, though.
Suddenly, a very cute, very random, very yellow house.
Such pretty roses!
We’ll definitely be back to see the castle from the inside!
I think it’s super cool how you can see the rain on the right of the photo
(or at least I think that’s rain).
Then, we decided to walk straight to the top without taking anymore breaks. We got to a very forest-y area where the path got increasingly more steep, leaving us tired and breathless. About half an hour after leaving Schloss Drachenburg, we finally reached the top where we got to see some old ruins and an even more beautiful view of the surrounding region.
Those lovelocks are everywhere. Some people even climbed up the ruins to hang their locks there. #truelove #eyerolling #ew
(<– I’m joking)
All in all, Drachenfels was absolutely beautiful and magical. I definitely want to go back one day to enjoy the amazing nature again and to explore Schloss Drachenburg from the inside. My sister also mentioned that she heard that there is a little christmas market there every year in December, so I got to go visit again in winter someday in the future to see that. But anyway, if you’re ever in Germany close to Bonn or Cologne and you feel like visiting a magical fairytale-like place, Drachenfels is definitely worth checking out! Thank you for reading this post and until next time! Buhbye!