Sunday, August 26, 2007

Manderscheid Medieval Festival

Yesterday, August 25th, we went to the Manderscheid Medieval Festival about 25 minutes north of Spangdahlem. So incredible! First, we watched the jousting tournament, then we talked to the Falconer's. (Falconry is huge over here.) We watched the jesters juggle fire, admired the artisans at work, climbed the castle stairs and pathways and finally up to the top of the tower. We took what felt like a 1,000 pictures. Here are several that I picked out to share:
This man gave Eli a high-five as he rode by on his horse.
Castle of Eifelverein
One of the contestants waiting for the tournament to begin.
I watched as this lady got this horse ready and then brought it to the knight. It was all so terribly romantic and poetic -- I admit, I wanted to be that girl! Heroism, saving kingdoms, knights and fair ladies... and my over-active imagination!

Jousting tournament!

(That's Eli's black baseball cap at the bottom of the picture. Germany is so amazing in that they really value children and treat them with utmost respect. At this tournament there was a roped off ring about six feet wide all the way around the viewing area that was for the children only -- adults were to stay behind that area. This got the children right up close so they could see!)

The announcer is telling the crowd that the winner of the tournament wins the Fair Lady. Of course, it was all in German and I would not have figured that out were it not for our new friend, Jose (said like Joe-see), from Belgium who we struck up a conversation with. He spoke four different languages. So common around here!

Have you heard this one? If you speak 3 languages, you're trilingual. If you speak 2 languages, you're bilingual. And if you speak one language...

You're American.

My children were quite taken with the costumes, the artisans, the jousting games, and the weapons!Israel... Joan of Arc!
Of course, they all wanted to try the armor! For me, I was loving the fact that their schema was being tried, tested, and broadened!
Okay, I just had to take a picture of this guy's quiver for his arrows! My schema was broadened when I saw just how many arrows can fit into a rather small quiver! I think we need more arrows...

Just that morning I learned a new word: Schmuck! Course, in English it's not very nice, which made it even easier to remember the German definition, "Cute; adorable." So when I saw these two brothers I asked their parents if I could take a picture to which the mother saw my camera and promptly made them stand still for a photo. Then... (I was so excited to use my new word!)... I said to the mom, "So schmuck!" as I pointed to her children. She looked at me confused so I got a little worried and tried a different pronunciation, "Schmook?" No, didn't seem to make a difference. By this time, my own children and LeRoy were starting to give me a look like "What the?!" Finally, both the mom and dad started pointing down the steps where we had come from -- and in very broken English, giving me directions. ??? Well, we continued our climb to the tower while I explained my enthusiasm to my family, and yes, we all had a good laugh. (Katja, what did I say?)
Isaiah descending the steps of one of the towers.
Ezekiel and Eli with castle ruins behind them. These castles in Manderscheid are about 1,200 years old. The upper and lower castles were actually enemies in the beginning, with the upper castle belonging to the providence of Trier and the lower castle belonging to Luxembourg!

View of the upper castle from the top of the tower of the lower castle.
Aha! I knew it! I tried and tried to cast the vision for our "dungeon" basement in our house in Spokane! But my family just couldn't understand the vision. I even took LeRoy to the Catacombs Restaraunt in Spokane once to try to show him. When I saw this restaraunt in the castle, dark and lit only by chandeliers with candles on them, people sitting at long tables enjoying cuisine cooked to order by the cooks at the other end of the room, well, all I could say was, "Now do you see what I was trying to explain?!" LeRoy just smiled. And me? Well, I'm going back to the drawing board on the Art of Vision-casting!

Isaiah and Eli, two of my four knights.

How many times I've heard parents say, "Just buy a pair of boxing gloves and let 'em go at it!" How about swords? The field was full of boys -- and a handful of girls, too -- "battling it out." No, my children weren't on the battlefield this time -- but we've caught the vision!
Lady Israel... this would be a day that would certainly go down in history. In the morning I told Israel that we were going to a castle, "And you know," I said, "princesses live in castles... and you are a princess!" A few minutes later she came out and announced, "I'm ready to go!" She twirled around in the dress that for the very first time ever, she initiated wearing! (BethAnn, I believe this is the dress you handed down from Megan! So cool!) This is a view of the lower castle & surrounding area from the top of the tower on the castle higher up.
Zae and Israel wanted me to take a picture of them in this windowsill... It was a tight fit and when we lifted Israel up she said, "I think I'm going to fall!" But Isaiah told her, "No you're not, Israel, I've got you," as he put his arm around her and she leaned into him. Okay, you're right, I'm a proud mom -- these boys are so chivalrous!!

Knights ready to go out into battle!

...and the Princess Warriors, too!
So many kingdoms to save, so little time!


  1. Hi Sharon,
    What an amazing day...did you ever find out what you actually said to the lady?
    Thank you so much for sharing your life w/ us :-)
    I can't wait for the next up-date. ~Lori

  2. Love these AMAZING/ROMANTIC/UNBELIEVEABLE/WOWWWWWWEEEE updates on your "everyday" living! Keep it coming! Love seeing the changes in the kids too!
    Susie P.