On an overcast and humid day, I persuaded myself that I needed exercise and I walked from Bad Münster am Stein to Altenberg, the nearest village on the Alsenz river, a tributary of the Nahe. I walked through forest most of the way and then along a road up the steepest part of the hill (only 3-4 km altogether). The Altenbaumburg is a ruin although a part of the castle has been maintained and serves as a restaurant. There are good 180+ degree views of the village Altenbamberg, below, and of the surrounding countryside. The ruin is overgrown (living up to its name which literally means “old tree castle”) but there are paths up, down and through it and some steps. Lots of kids running around – plenty to investigate. I ate my sandwiches in a grassy corner while looking at these steps:
There is a bridge that connects the castle, which is on its own “mound”, with the neighbouring forest. From the other side of the bridge, I drew the next view. I have overdone the foliage, which was as varied as the drawing suggests but I need to work on my mark-making-for-foliage skills. I worked in a hurry because the weather forecast had predicted rain and possibly a storm and it certainly looked that way but, in the end, the weather remained dull and sultry – sticky headache weather.
There is another castle ruin on the next hill, according to the map, and so I looked for this. It turned out to be even more overgrown than the Altenbaumburg and, although I found some steps leading up above the foundations, they seemed to lead into brambles which may well have extended over the entire surface and I decided to leave well alone. There was nothing interesting to see from the path just beneath. The view from the top of the hill included a good one of the hourly train, which I had just missed so when I arrived down below, I decided to draw a view of the village and wait for the next one rather than walking back in the balmy heat.
Churches in central Rheinland-Pfalz often have towers somewhere between a straight spire and the Zwiebeltürme (“onion towers”) found in Bayern. I just found space for the tower of the catholic church of St. Maria Gebürt & St. Mauritius. The protestant church is almost next door but out of range of the drawing. A drawing containing both would have been good because they are such different architectural styles but I am not sure that there would be a safe place to sit /stand to do this. The small circular structure on the right-hand side is an old wine press, a commonly-seen object in this wine-growing region.