Near Antjes & Thomas´ residence, Burg Tannroda, is a field of wild poppies. Evidently this is a very good year for poppies (very hot and dry spring). We saw many fields but none as spectacular as this one.

One day trip was to Nationalpark Hainich, and it’s Treetops Park. Within the elevated board walk are sections of rope paths. While designed for children, we managed to maneuver ungracefully through the various potentially strangling obstacles. It made reaching the apex all the more rewarding. After a loud yell in Höhni’s direction, the heat of the day sent us back down to the cool forest floor. Elke found great humor in my ‚lower pocket‘ info packet.

Not liking to remain ’squished insects‘ we pitched our tent. Many spots were found to be wanting, mostly the hourly dust cloud from the daily renovations or native ground rocks. The final spot was next to the ‚Turm‘ (tower). The property itself has an interesting history and while one may think of castles as large and showy, that is not always the case. This one does have a working tower, which the town (the previous owner of the property) has kept in good working condition. The other functioning building houses a local, renowned basket museum. Although Antje & Tom have renovated apartments for themselves and a tenant, there is a great deal (that is an understatement) left to do before their dream is realized.

But our main sleeping difficulty lay with the surrounding sounds. Only 3 weeks away from the summer solstice, the sun rises early and set quite late in Germany. (Sunrise 5 am, sunset 9:45 pm.) Combine that with the adjacent church and you can have only, at most, 5 hours of quiet per night. „Zwitschern“ (bird song or bird singing) starts quite early, about the same time as the local train – 4 am. (Of course, there is also a local RR crossing and it’s strong, artificial alarm.) At 5, the church announces every hour and least one forgets, every 15 minutes, with a corresponding chime. By 11 pm, one either has gone mad („Verrückt!) or numb to dinging tones. Our 3 nights stay was not long enough to immune us to Castle Tannroda’s cacophony.