Frankenstein, Pfalz: Iím back! I visited Frankenstein again--I stumbled upon it last week after getting lost while looking for Kleber but didn't have a camera, so I returned with a camera.
Frankenstein was dark, tattooed in shadows, damp and covered in green moss, like a giant above-ground crawl space without spiders and illegal aliens. It was 70 degrees but when I approached the church, a cold wet draft hit me.
I slipped on wet leaves and mud as I strolled up the walkway to the very-erect, but locked church. It looked like it had rained in Frankenstein but nowhere else. I combed through the cemetery to see if I had any dead relatives there, and when I found I didn't, frankly, I was disappointed. My motherís mother, Margaret Weiss (maiden name Pohl), had ancestors from Frankenstein; however, after I returned to the states, I discovered it was a different Frankenstein, Germany, clear across the country near Czechoslovakia in an area that was once part of Germany. And I'd so wanted to learn to Pohl dance.
I humped the steep path up to the castle ruins, which stood on a rocky outcrop 185 feet above the village, imagining I was Igor (or Abby Normal) who was also ironically a hunchback. I feasted on a wonderful 190 degree vista of the plunging cliffs and tiny, nightmarishly-creepy little village of 1040 Germans. That would make a great town motto,"Come see nightmarishly creepy Frankenstein--bring the whole family!" Collecting body parts from the dead to make a new creature is a liberal interpretation of the melting pot we know as the United States, so I think they deserve a hand for trying to make Frakenstein a place where every body can get a head. Our hearts go out to them.
The disaster of a castle was built in 1106, based on my best German translation, and had a more glorious past. It had been destroyed and rebuilt a few times. Now it was roofless, crumbling, and there were trees hanging inside like giant spiders waiting to suck on a fresh pig. This would make a nice dungeon. I should raise my children here.
There is speculation as to whether or not this castle was the inspiration for the famous Frankenstein novel. A number of castles along the Rhein river could have been that inspiration, but no one knows for sure. Perhaps Mary Shelley was just a certified whack job and didn't need inspiration. I was in good company. It had been a busy weekend--Paris, Frankenstein, and tomorrow, Luxembourg and Brussels. See you there!