Thursday, November 1, 2012

Free day in Leymen, France at the Landskron Castle

Just a short tram ride away from our temporary housing in Binningen, Switzerland is the small village of Leymen, France, we don't even change trains to hop from francs and Swiss German speaking  Switzerland, to Euros and French speaking Leymen.  This cute little border town isn't even large enough to warrant a border guard, gate house or passport control stop, only a small sign letting you know when you pass from one country to the next, much like when you leave Oklahoma and head into Arkansas.  Just a short walk up from the tram stop you'll find three paths to take to the top of the hill to the ruins of the Landskron Castle.  We took the intermediately steep path which is wide enough for our stroller and very scenic, however the road is also available for car travel. We don't have a car so it was the 40 minute hike for us, but considering it was the first of October and early fall walking through the forest of colors was a real treat.  Plus we got to see a pick your own pumpkin stand, where you pay for what you take using the honor system. The children were enchanted and a little tired by the time we reached the top.

Once you finish your trek up you will find steep stairs to climb to the top of the castle keep where you will have a beautiful view for miles and miles into both France and Switzerland and your eye can easily follow the stone border through the surrounding farmland.  We watched a storm blow in to town and it cut our trip a little shorter than we would have liked.  There's room on the castle grounds to have a picnic or even a weenie roast, in fact one family was there doing just that.  Next time we visit, I think I'll plan in time to have a marshmallow roast with friends or go to l'Ange at 3 rue Principale
or to la Couronne d'Or down the street for a fine french dinner without the kids.

The Castle is maintained by both the Swiss and French governments. There's no admission fee and none of the signs are in English, but it's a real honest to goodness castle and you can always just check online for more historical facts. (if your into that kind of thing)

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