Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Saturday, October 03, 2015


Can't believe I haven't already blogged about the fabulous Marksburg Castle, one of my favorite places on our Rhine River cruise. Actually, the castle was built in the 1200s as a fortress to protect the river town of Braubach, Germany, but it expanded over the centuries, always strengthening its defenses. Because of this, Marksburg Castle was never defeated by marauders.

Our first view of Marksburg Castle.

Because of the long, steep stone path leading up to the castle, we were advised that we should be in good physical condition for this tour. Good shoes were a must. One of our party, a sweet, 84-year-old lady, fell, hit her head. Even though she was bleeding and hurting, Gladys insisted on continuing the tour. We were delighted to see her smiling and laughing at breakfast the next morning.

Rough slate steps made walking difficult.

A view of the Rhine River.

Flowers growing out of the rocks.

A view of Braubach and the Rhine.

The carved slate steps were kept uneven to prevent 
the horses from slipping in wet weather. Yep, they 
kept their horses inside!

Cannons were often placed in 
windows like this one.

Another view of Braubach and the Rhine.

The flooded and muddy Rhine River.

Many herbs grew along this pathway.

Ron in one of the doorways.

Above and below are pictures of the kitchen.  

The oven is big enough to roast an ox!

We viewed over 2,000 years of weaponry in the weapons room.

Our tour guide led us to the torture room which was full of horrible instruments meant to inflict great pain. I started getting all these weird feelings, felt a little dizzy. I hurried out of the room. I purposely took no pictures. Even though I'd read about torture chambers, I couldn't believe man's inhumanity to man. And, folks, it's still happening, just in different ways.    

One of the most interesting things--and I didn't get a picture of it--was the privy/toilet. The castle actually has a small room that hangs out over the moat below. In the room is a seat with a hole so that "droppings" in those days would fall into the moat. Because potential invaders knew this was a weak point in the castle's defense, it locked from the outside.

A view of the castle as we were leaving.

The bus ride back to our ship took much longer than 
it should have because of wrecks on the autobahn. I 
snapped many photos of the yellow fields.

Next post will be about windmills in The Netherlands.

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Blogger Jennifer McFaden said...

So happy you're back at your river cruise blog! Marksburg Castle is fabulous! Sure wish you'd gotten a photo of the privy. I just read a book where one was described, but it's hard to imagine without seeing it. Can't wait to read about the windmills!

1:39 PM  

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