I’m going to go back in time to this summer. I’ve been meaning to document more of my travels and I just got a feeling for it this lovely, snowy morning.The cats are playing around me in the cardboard boxes we’ve received as mail that have now been bequeathed to them and I’ve got a pot of tomato sauce with allspice on the stove. Allspice is my new favorite thing at the moment. I put it on beans and in sauces, I think it gives such richness to dishes.
Okay onto this summer. We were staying in Naumburg at the time, but wanted to take a day trip as we’d already most of Naumburg (it’s not a particularly big place). We debated on a few places, and finally decided on Merseburg. It was very close, and also had a very big, beautiful castle, the Merseburg Schloss that was listed in my guidebook on Germany. Thanks eyewitness travel guides! Unfortunately it was a cloudy day with a bit of damp undertone. We suited up in raincoats and umbrellas, but from the start we could tell there was a general lull in our energy levels as we explored. First we checked out the castle when we arrived from the train station. The rain hadn’t quite started, and I must say, the guidebook did not do the castle justice. It was very large and beautiful and had it’s own church. Here are some pictures to show you rather than me just fumbling around trying to explain it’s grandeur.
We didn’t stay too long because we were very hungry so we headed to the centrum to look for some food. By now in the trip we had been very spoiled with beautiful, ornate old towns and were a little disappointed that Merseburg had such a small, and quite plain one. It’s not that it was ugly, but rather that it was just average. Not extraordinary. There was a beautiful, old church near the centrum, but it was unfortunately closed.
Since I’m a vegetarian, it was often difficult to find food in small town Germany that wasn’t just a cheese sandwich or a salad. Not that those are bad, but rather they didn’t leave me feeling too full after a day of intense walking (and usually up hills). But we found an almost empty Indian restaurant. My boyfriend loves Indian food so it was an easy sell to him, and I usually like Indian food too, just not if it’s super spicy, I’m a bit of a wimp that way. The restaurant had the rather uninspired named of Taj Mahaal, but I must recommend it to anyone passing through Merseburg, oh my goodness was it ever good! They put cloves in the rice and my aaloo mattar (a sort of potato and pea stew) was simply divine! So creamy and flavorful. We both concurred it was probably the best food we’ve eaten so far on the trip. Afterwards, with warm food in our stomach, we felt ready to embark on even though the sky was looking grayer and grayer. We walked around the centrum a little more, found a random Russian grocery store, and walked further on to an old looking tower in the distance. Along the way we passed through a pretty large graveyard with lots of trees, sanded gravestones and unruly vines. It was gorgeous. The wind picked up and our raincoats went on. We walked back to the castle and looked inside it’s old church to have an indoor activity to do, then we risked the dryness of our exposed legs and went into the rain again to look around the castle grounds. We walked along a river at the foot of the castle, the trail becoming goopy from the rain and tried to keep our spirits up by laughing at how crazy we most of looked. It’s not like this town was flooded with tourists at the moment, and we probably looked a bit strange in our sopping wet rain coats trekking across town.
But as the day went on, I began to get an appreciation for the underrated beauty of Merseburg. There was beauty that existed within the crooks and crannies of the city. We found a lovely view of the city skyline along the river. We saw some interesting details in the architecture of the buildings and the centrum had a quaint little book shop. It’s strange how we can make our minds find the beauty that’s right there in front of us if we only try to. Even though it was a fairly plain city by the standards of our trip and the weather was possibly our worst weather, that day in Merseburg has stuck with me, and makes me remember how important it is to look closely and carefully, because not all forms of beauty walk into the room wearing a satin ballgown, some come dressed in rags.
Probably one of my favorite buildings I saw on the trip!