Monday, April 11, 2011

Hiking to Celtic ruins--Alt Konig in Taunus (near Frankfurt)

These photos are from my hike on Saturday to Alt Konig, a mountain in the Taunus range, near Falkenstein. The fallen walls I saw ranged from about 8 to 12 feet high. Originally the walls were stacked without mortar and supported by wood and earth. The ringwalls circling the top of the mountain are from 400 BC and built by people from the La Téne Celtic culture.

(There are many Roman ruins a short distance from my home. We live close to the Limes, a 300 mile long Roman wall from the 1st and 2nd century, as well as many nearby Roman forts. There are even some Roman ruins in downtown Frankfurt. When we went on this hike, I had assumed we'd see Roman ruins, not ruins from several hundred years earlier.)

A section of one of the inner ringwalls, taken while standing on the wall. Remnants of a stone building can be seen in the middle left.

A section of one of the outer ringwalls. Cities and farms can be seen in the distance.

Another section of an inner ringwall, with a fallen structure. In the background in the trees is another ring wall. (Look carefully and you'll see it.)

This last photo is of forest not far below the Celtic fortifications. The hike from the trailhead to the top of the mountain was a little more than 2 miles (I think--that is my guess based on our hiking time back to the car) and a climb of about 1000 vertical feet. Much of the trail passed through this type of forest.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Celebrate International Children's Book Day today

Today is International Children's Book Day.
Celebrated on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, its purpose is to "inspire a love of reading."

IBBY (International Board on Books) chooses a different international sponsor (country) each year to design a poster and write an inspiring message. IBBY promotes the day worldwide.

Last year was Spain. This year it is Estonia. You can this read year's inspiring message "The Book Remembers" here.

With the Bologna fair this week, combined with my posting on the theme of international books in the Tollbooth, I've been thinking a lot about international books this week and how important books are to children and readers around the world.

Story is universal. Books cross cultural borders and allow readers to experience and explore the world.

Also related to international kids' books: I posted yesterday in the Tollbooth about International Children's Book Awards.

To celebrate International Children's Book Day, I'm going to browse my shelf of translated books from different countries I've lived in and enjoy reading a few of these books again.