Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time Travel Faka-Tonga

Sundays in Tonga are pretty quiet.  It's traditionally a day for church, eating and sleeping.  That's it.  There are no restaurants open, except for a few.  How that happens, I don't know.  One can walk around, but not run.  One can ride a bike, but not fast.  No activity that exerts or appears to be work or play related, with the exception, of course, of cooking.  Oh, and one can go down to the beach but no swimming allowed. The exception here being that there are tourists resorts, off island, where you can do all the swimming you want. 

I respect Tonga's traditions and most Sundays can be found at home doing little things, as I was on this day, by sorting, labeling and organizing pictures.  Just me, iPhoto and images from many years of living.  So, on this particular Sunday, I traveled to Germany and happened upon the Wasserburg again.  Sunday is, indeed, a great day for church, cooking, sleeping and rediscovering our changing world. 

Wasserburg - Heldrungen, Germany, September 1976

In 1976 I traveled in Europe for 6 weeks.  Our first destination was a small town in East Germany, Heldrungen, in the Thuringen region.  The wall dividing Germany was still in place at this time.  I happened upon a picture I took of the town wasserburg (water castle), pretty much in ruin, but it was being talked that it would be renovated/rebuilt one day - they were actually doing that to all the old castles in East Germany.  I got curious and Googled Heldrungen, and lo and behold, the castle has been renovated and I was thrilled to see almost the same angle of a recent photo (2005) as the one I took 31 years prior.  How nice!

From all the sites listing hotels near the castle, it appears it is a major attraction and was home to a youth hostel.  Not sure if it still is.

There's a wiki doc here about the history of the fortress - it's been around for quite some time.  It's a google translation from German, so it may read a little wacky.