Castles and falconry: Germany famil inspires Flight Centre agents

A not-so-ghostly stay at Rabenstein Castle, Franconian Switzerland

The Australian visitors in front of Rabenstein Castle in the heart of Franconian Switzerland (North of Nuremberg)

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Eight Flight Centre agents were given the special opportunity to spend the night in a Bavarian castle dating back more than eight centuries (“Do they have ghosts here?”) on their recent famil trip to Germany, organised by the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) and Lufthansa.

Exploring the ancient castle with the singing tour guide in traditional dress

The nine-storey Rabenstein Castle is located in the heart of Franconian Switzerland (Upper Franconia) and features 22 elegant hotel rooms and suites. It sits atop a majestic cliff, surrounded by forest and overlooking the Ailsbach Valley. After a busy day learning about the ancient hunting traditions of falconry, the Australian visitors were treated to sparkling wine in front of the castle before an evening walk to visit Sophie’s Cave, complete with light show and music. This underground palace is one of the most beautiful active limestone caves in Germany and has one of the world’s most complete cave bear skeletons on display. To complement the natural splendour, the day finished with a three-course dinner in front of the castle’s massive stone fireplace.

Many claimed to have had the best night’s sleep in the castle (mercifully, ghost-free), before being woken by birdsong in the morning to continue their German adventure. The “off the beaten track” itinerary also took in Bayreuth (home of the famous Maisel Brewery and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Margravial Opera House), Leipzig (with its Bach Museum and exploration of the history of Germany 30 years after the fall of the wall) and Munich, where guests learned how to make their own traditional brezel.

A highlight of the falconry visit was to hold a golden eagle with a wingspan of two metres

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