Many moons ago, I saw a photo online of a beautiful castle in Germany. I knew nothing about this castle, but I knew I had to see it in real life. I tucked the thought into the back of my mind for as long as I can remember, but on my recent weekend getaway with Galiya and Austin we drove 6 hours round trip in one day just to see this castle.
It was worth every minute of the drive.
We left our Freiburg Air B & B around 0900, and arrived at Burg Eltz around noon. I anticipated this would be a busy time to visit, and it was. Because of this I didn’t manage to go inside the castle, but we walked around the grounds for a better view.
I wish I had more information about the castle from a formal tour, but what I do know is that this castle was untouched by the war, and is owned by the same family from when it was built. The castle is tucked into the woods, and required a 20 minute walk from a small parking area through forests of trees and valleys.
We stayed in the area for a little over an hour, walking around the exterior and soaking in the views. Austin took a handful of photos of Galiya and I in front of the castle, and these are some of the first photos of myself I have seen in a long time that I didn’t hate.
It’s taken me a long time to feel “comfortable” in my bigger body, but moments like this are huge victories for the disordered eating voice in my head.
I have an average build these days, but I sometimes catch myself looking at photos of myself when I was quite small. The days of dedicated running (to the point of anxiety and physical fatigue), the days of a plant based diet (unknowingly eating WAYYY too few calories for my activity levels), the days of stress and an emotionally abusive relationship (causing me to go extended periods, and at times full days without eating.)
Yeah, the unsustainable and unrealistic lifestyle that brought forth a tiny frame.
At the time, I didn’t realize what I was going through/doing was problematic. The bucket full of water finally tipped over, and it has taken me a long, LONG time to get to the point I am today. It wasn’t until this past September that I started consistently eating more calories. I’ve gained weight, and with the extra pounds I also gained back my period.
Anytime I look at myself in photos or a mirror and start to feel unhappy with my body I remind myself how far I’ve come.
I am far from perfect, food allergies will always be a fickle thing to navigate with a disordered eating history, but I am getting better each day. Accepting my body where it is in this current moment has allowed me to fully enjoy my experiences and to be present. It makes a world of difference when I travel with people who understand I have to eat certain foods to ensure I feel well, which automatically lowers my overall anxiety.
I am thankful I can look back on this castle visit with nothing but positive memories. All of my travels have had some positives associated with them, but a lot of them have also had moments of struggle, where food choices took over my mind in an omnipotent way. At the end of the day all that matters is that I feel well, and while this is never a guarantee with Sjogrens Syndrome, I do my best to make positive choices everyday.
My adventures require planning, sometimes days prior to the day of activity. Adequate rest, hydration, stress management, and most importantly food. I pack bags of Brittany friendly foods to ensure I have enough to eat on these longer days out and about. This not only keeps my brain happy, but it makes life easier for everyone involved.
I’ve only recently found a balance with this way of life mentally. I would travel solo because it made life easier, but automatically shutting others out because I assume they will be burdened by my needs is a disservice to all involved. My company is just as worthy as anyone else’s, even if I don’t have the same flexibility as others.
These last two posts about my weekend getaway have both had a deeper story mixed within the photos of castles and new cities. I may divagate from the original subject, but the two topics still conflate in a way. As I continue to heal from the inside out emotionally, I find the moments I feel the most progress being made, are the moments I share with specific people.
For so long I have tried to “heal” myself with my lifestyle choices, but that’s not how this works. We can eat the most perfect Eden like foods, rest often, meditate daily, but without healing the loneliness deep within a human soul the other actions are moot. I believe this now more than ever.
It is so easy for me to fall into the black holes of “I am too much of a burden” with my limitations in life, but this has brought me NOTHING but emptiness. Those who want the best for me will always move towards me, and those who don’t…wont. At the end of the day who wants to be around those who don’t want the best for them? Certainly not me.
Q: Do you have any limitations that make you feel like a handful at times? If I don’t bring my own food when I go out and about I feel extremely anxious with other people. I like being prepared so that I don’t keep everyone waiting while I try to find a Brittany friendly restaurant. This is a limitation I am happy to work with.
25 thoughts on “Burg Eltz”
Thanl you for helping lives! Papa
This comment has made my heart burst with joy. Thank you. ❤️
Truly amazing photos and awesome shared revelation on the journey You have travelled.
Sometimes I have to think it thru way too many times before making a decision , and don’t give me too many choices or I’m dead in the water and can’t move😂😂
Keeping it simple works best for me…and it allows for that occasional step out of the box😊
I truly hate having options! The option paralysis is SO real!
Thanks for writing about your travel with allergies. I have food allergies and always feel super worried about annoying the people I’m with since I can’t just go anywhere and eat. It was neat to read your perspective
I’m sorry you have those struggles, sometimes I just imagine how easy life would be if I could eat whatever I wanted. Sometimes I do, but then I obviously pay for it. So I understand your struggle!
I just make sure to surround myself with people who I know support me!
Yes I am learning to just be up front about it all and thankfully my friends have been awesome about it
Bradley on the Run
OMG! We were in Europe last autumn visiting friends in Dusseldorf, and we took a weekend road trip – which included Burg Eltz! Such a magical place! We didn’t do the tour either, but it didn’t matter. On that trip, we struggled a bit with food in the smaller German towns because we don’t eat meat…and boy, there’s a lot of meat there! But we managed. Thanks for sharing!
Oh man, it’s hard to be a vegetarian in Germany! I do eat chicken (roasted chicken in Germany is amazing), but I don’t eat out much for allergy reasons.
I loved this castle, such a beauty!
A friend of mine from college was a vegetarian. She had to relocate to Oklahoma for work. She said kept doing her best at her vegetarianism but it seemed every one and every thing was conspiring against her. The last straw was when she went to a restaurant. The only safe option was spaghetti. When it came she complained that the sauce had meet in it. The waitress said. “Oh honey, it’s only hamburger.” She surrendered.
This is exactly why I don’t go out to eat, people are not accommodating! This is sad. Ha, especially for those of us with actual allergies. (I do not eat red meat, but I will destroy some good quality bacon.)
Your experience with amenorrhea is pretty common among endurance athletes who tend to be low weight. Your body thinks you are starving and shuts down various systems to conserve energy. Many a college runner freaks out over being pregnant when she misses her period because of this.
I’m glad you’re coming to understand how your particular (good word, no?) body functions. I long ago learned what weight my body is happy at. (It varies by season and work load – bike tours being a big load). As I’ve aged I’ve learned that stretching and strength training were stressing my body and wearing it down. It was as if I wanted my body to compete against itself. Not anymore. I meditate for 20 minutes then do a gentle 10 minute series of stretches before riding or other activities.
Keep the sites coming. Castles are so cool!
I initially thought my amenorrhea was from running, but it was much deeper than that. I stopped intense sports years ago and only just got my period back in December. It was definitely a combination of things for me. But I’m thankful I found the magic bullet finally!
My body is still trying to find her happy set weight, but I’m being patient with the process! More meditation is something I want to add to my daily routine!
Brittany. ❤️ I knew you were such a beautiful, deep, and incredibly strong soul, but I didn’t realize just how much until reading this post. I had no idea about your emotionally abusive relationship and what you went through trying to survive and navigate those days, both in the moments it was happening and in the aftermath. The invisible wounds and scars those relationships leave behind can be so massive and so deep, and it takes an infinite amount of courage to stop running, be willing to go back and revisit them, let them see the light of day, begin the journey of undoing the tangled mess they’ve left behind, and actually allow ourselves to heal. So often, it can seem to feel like two steps forward and one step back — or maybe sometimes even two or three. It takes even more strength to share what’s going on beneath the surface and inside of us with others, especially when we’ve grown accustomed to feeling like a burden or like we don’t matter, and I am so incredibly proud of you for continuing to let down your walls, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and do that.
Although it may not be possible for me to literally move towards you at this precise moment in time… I can’t wait for the day when I can finally meet you in person and give you the biggest hug in the world. Sending you so much peace and love, sweet friend. 🙏🏻❤️
I could write an entire blog post about my emotional trauma, something I only recently dove into addressing. I never even fully realized I was running from it until the last year. Healing is not easy, but it is so so necessary! Thank you for your incredibly kind comment, I feel so seen and heard. ❤️❤️
I too look forward to the day we can hug and drink coffee together (or tea if our tummies aren’t having the coffee!)
I’m SO proud of you for continuing on this healing journey!! It’s so emotionally challenging to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we walk along that path towards healing, and it’s truly inspiring to hear that you’re both willing to do that and actually making progress. You’re so brave, so strong, and such a gem!! ❤️ And that day can’t come soon enough!!!
That quote resonates with me. So many seem to extrapolate to that awful “surround yourself with positive people” quote. It makes me wonder how many people really understand that making a genuine connection may not involve the pursuit of perfection.
I’m a long time follower, but rare commenter… sounds a bit creepy… thank you for sharing such brilliant photography of places I would otherwise never see (I never caught the travel bug and my days of 20 hours of flying in cattle class are over) and making them so interesting.
Thank you so much for your comment, I love when I can engage with whoever reads my words! I’m glad to know others enjoy my shenanigans. 😍
First, the castle is just so incredibly cool and amazing! Second, I think it’s great that you are incorporating the parts of your personal story into your travel post. Remember, I told you that it’s better to travel with someone whom you know?
As for my “disabilities,” the one which makes me feel like you describe is my very limited driving abilities. It’s a combination of me coming to the US relatively late in life and learning to drive relatively late, plus all my vision issues including a double-vision and problems with night driving. Uber helps. but only to a certain extent 🙂
Thank you for your kind words! Driving is overrated, while it’s nice to have that freedom – it is SO easy to get by without a car. More so in Europe, but after living without a car for over a year it will be interesting getting back to mine!
Yep, Europe has it right!
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Totally understand It all. It’s good to have these times of reflection and new direction. The Lord give you healing from your spirit out.
I was so excited to see a post on Burg Eltz. Such a beauty! One of my favourite things about our visit there was walking the forest trail and then coming upon that stunning cobbled entranceway. It felt straight out of a fairy tale.
Yes!! A fairytale is the only way to describe it.