Reflections of a Castleholic: How Many Castles Are Too Many?
|The castle adventure I almost forgot: Salzburg|
The other day I was trying to come up with a list of castles and palaces I visited this year already. Writing down the names of almost thirty, I realised I wasn't sure I could remember them all and if I was missing any. After putting the list away, I noticed after a few minutes that I was indeed missing at least one castle, the last one I visited actually. It made me think: How many castles are too many?
The last few years have been a whirlwind of castle hunting - and I am truly enjoying the ride. While Castleholic isn't the reason I visit castles, I think it has spurred my interest because I do want to regularly update the site. In 2016, I visited 19 castles and palaces; in 2017, it was 28. And while I could have sworn that I saw way more castles last year, I have actually already surpassed that mark this year - 29 castles and counting as of late August. Many - though not all - of my holidays include some castle-seeing, be in in Germany and abroad.
Even though the numbers do not suggest it, my castle adventures have slightly changed this year. While I tended to go on holiday specifically to see as many castles as possible during the past year or a few, I tend to embed the castle-seeing into broader holidays now. Although some are similar, all castles are unique. They all have their own history, their own architecture - and I do not want them to blend together too much. While you cannot avoid some blending together or memories of some places fading, seeing too many castles in a short period of time will make you make feel overwhelmed and maybe a bit tired of visiting.
I have noticed that if I visit many castles in a short period of time, the time I take for a castle visit tends to become shorter, simply because I cannot process all that I am seeing. Castles and palaces are pieces of art with something to discover everywhere you look. While there is no right or wrong about visiting a castle or any museum really (as long as you are respectful), choosing quality over quantity and making the most of any visit instead of chasing numbers is something important to always remember. The great thing that the castles are here to stay and that you can always come back and discover more at a later point in time.
During my recent Berlin holiday, I originally planned to go Potsdam for two days to see as many castles as possible. After the first day (and visiting five palaces including Schloss Sanssouci and Schloss Charlottenhof already covered on here), I suddenly realised I had enough. Don't worry, not of palaces in general but for that week. And that is okay. I had similar experiences before and I know that my passion for palaces always comes back. Be it a week or three later. So, how many castles are too many castles? I cannot tell you yet because I haven't reached the limit - but taking one castle at a time and maybe leaving another for another time is one lesson I learned in my life as a Castleholic.