Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Castle Trip

Crossing another thing of the bucket list! I've heard about Chateau Laroche for years but never went! Since I didn't have my niece and nephew today, it was the perfect day to go!

It was easier to get to than I thought, even when you accidentally get there too early! ;)
Parking lot selfie
Whoa! Hard to believe that one eccentric genius built this (full scale except for ballroom) all himself using river rock and homemade bricks just so his scout troop could have a place to camp (and to make use of the many ancient architecture degrees he had)!
Kari Falk and her boys met us there.

First we explored the outer left.

 
 Sea serpent in the garden!
We started in the picture and article bedecked German game room with a mini intro (from someone whom I assume to one of the knights)... 
 He pointed to Harry's office in the corner,
told us about the multi-layered stoop door, (he knew how many types of wood and nails were in it!)
and the archer windows (wider on inside, narrow on outside) and explained how the stairs were designed specifically narrow and winding so you couldn't sword fight or pull a bow on them. That meant that one person could defend the whole second floor by standing just at the top of the stairs and fighting the enemy one at a time!

The dungeon was just three closed doors. (One had a skeleton in it.)  It was B and Owen's favorite part!
  We peeked into a tiny, unkempt kitchen, then passed a throne to get upstairs. (Couldn't pass up that photo opportunity!)
Upstairs was a lot of random medieval type stuff.
 
a dining room,
a view of the courtyard,
 swords, (This is the video room where they show clips of the reports (PBS, Mysteries at the Museum etc) that were done on "Sir" Harry and the castle).

and rocks from all different states. Even one from the moon!

I loved that the knights' (who become so by working on the castle) only creed is the Ten Commandments!
People said it was impossible to build a domed ceiling out of river rock, but Harry did it, and used it as his bedroom! (until a furnace was put in, that is!)
  The third set of stairs led to the roof, which was blocked off.
 
Are those the murder holes we heard about?
B and Owen spent more time in the dungeon, and Alex and W played a game of chess back on the main floor
before we had a picnic lunch in the gardens.
Sir Harry grew veggies there year round heated by lamps and had a secret entrance there that no one knew about until it collapsed years later.
The boys played hide and seek (W's favorite part) while Kari and I talked.
One more run through the castle (I beat W at chess.) before going home! We spent at least two hours in a place that could have been a half hour trip, easy, so we got our 11 bucks worth!

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