My Life at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong 2011-2013

Back into the Green

The weather for this year’s Pentecost is just perfect: 21°C, warm sunshine on my skin, a small breeze in the rye fields. As the monday of Pentecost is free in Germany, I drove with my family to a nearby village to the Pentecost-Garden-Days in the castle of Batzdorf. 

What is left of the castle is built in the romanic style of the 16th and 17th century – small windows, big rooms, everything made of cold stone. In summer it is surely enjoyable and refreshing to spend the night behind such big and old walls, that keep the heat outside, but I can imagine that it becomes quite uncomfortable in winter! However, the castle was already mentioned in documents in the early 13th century, so it must have been worse back then.

In the twentieth century the building suffered much: after world war two it was intact, however it was left to fall apart from itself – used as children’s and holiday camp and as village club and broken open at one side to fit in the village store, the castle was abused for long time. In the 80’s finally the current users and owners of the castle started an initiative to save the building. With the help of the organization for monument protection and the local commune the castle is slowly restored. The owners “combine living, restoration and cultural events” in the castle (for example: since 1993 the castle is annually host of the Batzdorf Baroque Festival). 

For the garden-days, many artists had come to the Batzdorf castle. There were stalls with products made of linen, pearls, colorful felt – as hair accessorizes, soap bags etc. -. porcelain and more. The Café Aha, known for its sustainable, fair and ecologic products and its healthy, biological food, took care of the hungry visitors: with cake, fresh strawberries, spinach lasagna (everything is vegetarian!) and ice cream. Everywhere there were beautiful flowers blooming, and the birds sang in the trees. We walked around the castle area and later I left for the surrounding area with my brother. We hiked a bit through the nearby woods, chasing butterflies and collecting flowers for our mother :) To be back in plain nature is really a delight after five months in a city like Hong Kong – of course, nature is present in Hong Kong, and especially in places like the Ma On Shan mountain or Sai Kung you can spend wonderful hours at the fresh air … but this was and felt just so very different. I guess, that is the fascination of being home.

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