After a few weeks of living in Schloß Wittgenstein, I wanted to share the benefits and downfalls of my new home. Although I do have some cons in the post, I want to mention that I wouldn’t give up my castle or the people in it for the world.
Pro: Beautiful View
When you move into the schloß, the first thing you notice is the beauty of the castle. The photos on Google don’t do the castle justice, and for a moment there will be a pause among 50 students who stare up in awe at this beautiful yellow building. Once you get to your room, take a moment to look out the window. My room faces the front of the castle and I am met by the tiny and adorable café in front of the schloß, the greenery of endless trees, and the other mountains around us. Finding the best view of Bad Laasphe, the best sunrise, the best sunset, and the quaint courtyard is all part of the adventure. Also, to admire the views you do not have to stand by the window for hours. The windowsills in most rooms are large enough to sit on and if your goal is to dramatically look out a window as if you are in a music video, this is your chance.
Con: Wack Wifi
When building a 12th-century castle, the architects were probably not expecting Wifi to be an issue. So they made some thick walls. This means that some rooms get fantastic Wifi (aka me, whose bed is right next to the booster above my door), and some rooms get no Wifi at all. While this can be slightly irritating at times, the hallways always have Wifi and windowsills which is an incredible combination. So if your room ends up not having Wifi, just chill in the hallway like the 6 people sitting outside my door right now.
Pro: So. Much. Soccer.
So this might just be a personal pro because I play soccer at home, but the amount of soccer that is played here just makes my heart happy. When we first got to the castle, we played soccer every day. Every single day for hours. And it was absolutely fantastic. The best part about soccer is that you get the chance to hang out with a bunch of people, get a workout in, and fuel your unhealthily competitive appetite (maybe that’s just me). Everyone plays, regardless of skill or experience, so make sure to try it out!
Con: s t a i r s
When I asked others in the castle what the worst thing about living here is, the first response was always the stairs. No matter where you want to go, there will be stairs involved. A giant spiral staircase is in the middle of the castle and more flights are in the back. None of the stairs are the same size, and the spiral one will make you dizzy when you get in the hang of it. Also, on the first day in the castle, you will personally have to bring all of your luggage to the top of the stairs, so for anyone who is debating bringing a third suitcase, just don’t do it #Nike. These stairs will be there right after every meal, every activity, and every hike up the mountain, so just remember that your calves and butt will be killer after the month (the only thing that motivates me to get up the stairs).
Pro: Places to Walk/ Run
For those of y’all that want a nice walk or run on a beautiful trail, we got you covered. There are wonderful trails for miles and most of them are surrounded in trees, so running at noon is a perfectly feasible option! The people here are extremely welcoming and open-minded, so if you want to walk/ run in a group, I guarantee you will find one.
Con: No Shower Curtains/ Mirrors
This is pretty self-explanatory. There are absolutely no shower curtains or full-length mirrors. There is one shower where you can strategically place a nearby door to cover the opening, but the rest of them are open. There is nothing you can really do about it, unless you want to bring some kind of sticky shower curtain from home (is that even a thing?), so I would just take it easy. Everyone is going through the same awkwardness, so respect people’s space and privacy and all shall be good. As for mirrors, there just aren’t full-length ones. Also, if you’re a big makeup person, bring a small personal mirror for applying makeup because holding up sink space for makeup will not make you too many friends in the morning.
Pro: It’s a Castle.
An Alum captioned here Instagram post a year after her language camp with “I’ll never be as cool as I was when I lived in a castle” and there is nothing but truth in that statement (ok maybe not), but the fact that you live/ lived in a castle will forever be a cool thing about you so take advantage of it while you can. Sit in the windowsill. Have dance parties with your roommates and hallmates. Run up the stairs too many times and seek out that Wifi. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, treat it as such.
Pro/ Con: Bread. Brötchen. Brot.
Although my last Pro ended with a very beautiful message, this was too important to include. There will be a lot of bread. Bread at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bread in your dreams and in your classes. You will see more bread this month than you have in the rest of your life combined. Try it with cream cheese, cheese, Nutella, meats, veggies, and anything else you can find in that kitchen. Eat that bread. Get that bread.