Stir crazy with no vacations in sight, or just needing to get out and walk, the local castle, Trips Burg just outside of Geilenkirchen is a great place to go for a quick outing with or without the kids (or dogs).
The “water castle” built in the 15th century and then expanded in the 17th century was built on four islands surrounded by water. There are beautiful pathways extending far beyond the castle for biking, walking, and jogging. We saw people there feeding ducks and gorgeous swans. Now I know where we’ll go when we have stale bread.
The swans were storybook in their elegance with perfectly orange beaks and bright white feathers. We even saw one black swan with a red beak. The castle isn’t huge, but it’s still a castle and is beautiful with it’s surrounding water and stately manner. Part of it has been modernized with new windows and is used as a care facility for the elderly. The other parts are closed off to the public, but the trails all around are heavily used. We walked quite a distance enjoying the scenery. Not far from the castle down the path is a wonderful old reflecting pool, a perfect oval shape with gorgeous oaks planted around it. The reflection is amazing – perfectly glass-like. Oaks are planted around reflecting pools and the branches and cuttings thrown into the water, so in the summer with the heat, the tannins from the oaks turn the water black and thus give off a near perfect mirror reflection.
With great FLAT trails expanding seemingly endlessly in either direction, this is a great place to walk, run, roller blade, bicycle, and walk dogs. You can easily walk from Burg Trips straight into downtown GK for a quick lunch or shopping trip too.