Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home safe

We are home. The cats are happy to see us. With the time change and jet lag we are off to bed soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Collecting a few things

As mentioned, we are starting to wind down our trip. I have a few things to add from the past few days.



This is (most of) the farm/small hotel we stayed in upon our return to Germany.



We toured the area on foot and visited the local church (which was built around 800 AD). Part of the church grounds included a set of three spring-fed pools, complete with fish.



One of the schneicken (probably spelled wrong) which plague our hosts' garden.

Back in Kronau, we have been pretty lazy. That didn't stop us from having a nice relaxing ride through the countryside.



There are still a lot more photos to come!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winding Down

We are now back in Kronau at a much slower pace. We feel like we have taken in a lot of sights and are now relaxing, visiting and enjoying food and wine. Today Susanne took us on a lovely bike ride around the edge of town.

Photos taken one handed while riding a borrowed bike!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Comments

Thanks everyone for your comments so far! I like sharing the stories and experience. I think that I look at things differently as I prepare to describe it to others, which is kind of neat. It's especially nice to hear when I'm succeeding at my task!

To Tim: before you met me, I actually had long, long red hair similar to that... but that hat just has got to go!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

City Mouse Country Mouse


From The bustling city of Prague, we went to the farming village of Wessobrunn in the mountains, a little west of Munich. There we visited with Susanne's family: Horst, Irene, Silke and Robert.

Here's a sample of the countryside and some Norwegian horses. The family photos will have to wait for Bram to get home and process (I think).



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Touring on foot and by boat

I'm a little tired for a long post but I wanted to add a little to the photos.

These were from the walk up to the castle. The castle itself is quite the complex of living space and churches, like this one:



As with many castles, it has quite the view of the city:



In the evening, we also did a little boat tour. It was nice to sit back and relax for
The tour, after all, we had done about four hours of walking earlier in the day!

On a side note, working on this blog has been very interesting for me. The images are all from my point and shoot camera, which I have set to minimal process (so the pictures look pretty flat). This is because I like to do my own tweaking instead of relying on the camera to do it for me. However, I don't have my computer! Thankfully, I had the foresight to load a version of Photoshop for the iPad before going on the trip, and I'm actually starting to like the process of getting images ready to share.

Doorways of Prague

We started the day with a 2 hour private walking tour of Old Town. We stopped for a brief refreshment then another 2 hours of walking to the Prague Castle. The architecture of Prague is breathtaking. I took a lot of pictures but thought I would give you a sampling of some of the doorways.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Prague

We arrived safely in Prague. Our hotel is perfectly located just a 5 minute walk from the central courtyard of Old Town. It's a huge courtyard bordered with various restaurants and the famous clock tower. Here is the sunset view from our dinner table.

Safe arrival

After a long trek on the autobahn (punctuated with a delightful picnic) we are safe and sound in Prague.

This is from a town square near our hotel, and the site of our eventual dinner. As you might be able to tell, it is definitely tourist season. We have a tour planned for tomorrow, which should give us a bigger variety of photos to share!

Prague

We are on the road to Prague today! I'm not sure how long it will be until we have Internet access again but we will be back!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heidelburg and back

Today was a fun adventure for both L and I. We were largely on our own, and we took a train into Heidelberg and back. Heidelberg is a beautiful city, though we only saw a small part of it. We began in a pedestrian mall

The street had a huge mix of shops, from chains and department stores to unique shops. On our way back from the castle, we stopped for some delicious iced chocolate and frozen yogurt (which actually tasted like yogurt).

The castle in Heidelberg is quite a large one. We walked up the hill upon which it rests and toured the castle. It has an imposing view of the city

For dinner, we were feted at a local(ish) winery and restaurant, Weingut Heitlinger. Heitlinger

The meal was fantastic! There was a buffet style salad bar except with about 10 tasty, quality salads. The main course was barbequed meats and grilled vegetables, and I think we sampled everything: several kinds of fish, shrimp, pork, lamb, and sausage. And, it being a winery, there were delicious wines before, during, and after the meal.

Oh the food!

Hans and Susanne are amazing hosts who treat us like royalty and give attention to the smallest details. This is our typical breakfast table: muesli with milk, yogurt, and little pieces of fresh fruit; sometimes a perfect 3 minute egg, croissants fresh from the oven, 3-4 kinds of cheese, 3 kinds of Italian meats, homemade jam, a couple of other kinds of European breads, lox, fresh fruit (in this picture are 2 kinds of peaches - one that was so amazingly sweet... I think from a wine region), coffee and tea.

Some little details include personalized antique napkin rings and a tiny jug of milk at my seat just for my coffee.

In the evening we went to one of Susanne's favourite restaurants: a barbecue in a nearby vineyard, as Bram has just described.

This Tuscan-style view is one of the reasons that she loves it.

The quality and variety of meats is another. First a buffet of salads, then a round of grilled fish... Your choice of salmon, swordfish, prawns and 2 other fresh water fish made to order. Then the grilled meats: lamb, corn fed chicken, beef, sausage, and speck (German style thick bacon).
closeup of the speck just for my friend John. I admit that I had a final piece for "dessert". Everyone laughed at me when I ordered it, but were happy to have a bite of it when I offered!



Here are a couple of shots of Heidelberg castle earlier during our adventure.

Bollenhut

In addition to black forest cake and ham, we also came across the bollenhut hat, another local tradition. I think it is quite fetching on L! Bollenhut

The region is very beautiful. Hans told us that the forest used to be oak, but that it was replanted with evergreens which grow more quickly- a shame, it would be amazing to see such a forest filled with old oaks. Even so, the hills and trees are breathtaking. I will have a panorama up after we get home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Black Forest

Today we are off for a day trip to the Black Forest. It is difficult to capture how beautiful it is to approach it... Especially at 150 km/h on the autobahn!

We ended up in the town of Freudenstadt where we toured a market and had some Black Forest cake (of course!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wine Country

My dear friends Hans and Susanne are our hosts for our 2 weeks in Germany. I felt tears and the love when Hans excitedly showed me their welcome gesture: to raise a Canadian flag on their house!

We essentially lost the first 2 days to travel and jet lag. On Tuesday we took a day trip to wine country in southwest Germany. Miles and miles of narrow winding streets in quaint villages. Streets

A vineyard, a church and the hills. View

And now I must get ready to be the guests of honor at a welcoming party with Hans and Susanne's neighbours!

En route to Germany!

We are off to Germany! This is actually from our window as we left Winnipeg, but it seemed like a good way to get us started. We are experimenting with a post-PC blog, working on iPhone and iPad. As such, bear with us if the format is a little rough :) Clouds