A Travellerspoint blog


Off to the Hinterlands of Europe, Or Northward

overcast 65 °F

After a day of organizing, buying a camp stove and one last beer garden with Dieter and Inge we were off to the wild blue yonder of Northern Europe.
We car camped just to see how it would be to set up if we needed to in the rain, plus we really just needed to drive not camp.

In the morning we drove on to Schleswig, the site of a Viking settlement in about 1,000. Here houses have been uncovered and reconstructed using information recovered. The settlement is also a living history museum as there are ship builders, weavers, and metal crafters using methods from the time of the settlement. A link to the museum: http://www.vikingsofbjornstad.com/MuseumHaithabu.htm

The ship builders were most interesting, one was cutting the large planks with an axe while the other pieced the planks together and did the fine trim work. There is a museum which houses artifacts and shows timelines for the areas.
After the museum we were most ready to get on the road to Norway, driving all the way thru to the top of Denmark before 9pm. It was still light when we arrived at the docks only to find that we couldn’t sail until morning.

Another night of car camping, this time in the same lot the Denmark Circus was parked in but without the wild animals.

Posted by Miss Chris 00:35 Archived in Germany Tagged travel driving europe denmark schleswig Comments (0)

Touring Regensburg in the Rain

rain 55 °F

We planned to net up with Dieter, repack, and then head out for Prague. Dieter emailed and asked if we might meet in Regensburg instead at 2pm. I’d wanted Dale to see Regensburg so this would be perfect. What was a little rain and freezing cold about 55F

We found Dieter waiting for us, he hopped into our car and directed us to parking at the old city. He had arraigned for us to have a guided of Regensburg.
We met our guide, what a wonderful gift Dieter gave us.

The guide started at the old, original gate built by the Romans. As we stood in front of the oldest hotel we heard the story of Emperor Charles V who was visiting Regensburg and saw a beautiful young girl, spent the night at the hotel with her and the outcome was a son, Don Juan of Austria. http://www.hotel-goldeneskreuz.de/
The guide pointed out “stumble stones” in the pavement. This is a brass tile set into the walkway with the name of a Jewish family. The family would have lived in the house and removed by the Nazis. Most family members were completely wiped out.

We walked by a wood and stone house from the middle ages being refurbished. It will be open to the public in the next year or so.

After our tour we were cold and starving so we went back to the oldest restaurant where the sausages were being sold. The restaurant originally served the workers who built the bridge. The sausages are the ones I remember eating at the Christmas market years ago and I was happy that Dale and Elias would have the chance to try them. We ordered a platter of 10 with sauerkraut. That wasn’t enough so we had to get another platter of 10. IMG_20140709_161213_856.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 00:44 Archived in Germany Tagged travel tour europe regensburg Comments (0)

Down Time in Germany

Taking a break from travels

rain 55 °F

We promised Tobias that we’d visit and stay a couple of days.

A little about Tobias: he was an exchange student of ours when the boys were in high school. His age is between Clayton and Justin. He stayed with us for 1 year. Tobias lives in Germany not far from Munich with his wife and 3 girls.

For 2 days we just hung out, doing laundry, helping where we could and playing with the girls.

Tobias’ parents, who we got to know several years ago, came for dinner one night and they made Livercheese. The dish is neither liver or cheese but rather minced veal, pork and other things. It is sold in a baking pan and when it is baked the top forms a crust, looking like a loaf of bread. That served with pretzels, beer and potato salad make for a true Bavarian meal.

Tobias’ mother makes the best potato salad, so I was thrilled that she brought some. She uses potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, oil and vinegar. I’ll try to find the recipe when I return home then will post it.

It has rained most of the time we have been in Germany so the down time has been very welcomed.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:51 Archived in Germany Tagged rain travel europe munich Comments (0)

Strikes and Rain Interupt Travel

A Strike cancels trains, rain plays havoc on Munich

rain 58 °F

Off to Munich, first leaving Sunny off at the train station in Nuremburg. This was the beginning of the circus. Sunny was to travel from Nuremburg to Frankfurt to Brussels.

We were told to wait for someone to help us but help wasn’t arriving. Someone else came along and led the way to the platform which we could have negotiated without help. Then the train was going to be 40 min late and she was going to miss her connection in Frankfurt.

We made it down to the information desk, which by now was packed. We were told that there were strikes so she would need to take the late train to Frankfurt, transfer to Koln then take a bus to Brussels. They could not give us an ETA.

I was beside myself. Sunny would need to get around in her wheelchair, alone, without her grandma! But she assured me that she would be fine and besides we had already paid for the ticket. She started trying to reach Charlotte, our Belgium friend who would pick her up.

We went back to the platform and there, the employee to help, was looking for us. He had been searching the terminal. The train had changed tracks so the car would be at the totally opposite end from where we were. He pushed and we ran, getting her on the train in the nick of time.
Turns out that the strikes were in Belgium.

We drove on to Munich for an afternoon there, we were going to our exchange student’s house for the night as I never got anything arranged.

As we got to Munich it rained off and on. We found a place to park, put on our rain jackets and went on our way. We walked to the Englisher Gardens to eat lunch in the beer garden with the Chinese Pagoda, but alas, there was only one stand open for food. They had only 3 wieners warmed and no bread. We bought 2 and walked back to the square. At the square we sat down at an outdoor restaurant with a view of the square. The rain started down so hard that people just scattered. The waiter even sat down at a table near us and visited with the people there while the rain poured.IMG_20140630_144102_784.jpg

Finally the rain tapered off; "no you can’t have coffee because the machine isn’t working", "yes I’ll come back and get your food order". I went across the square and got a cappuccino to go. Came back to our seats when Dale said the waiter had finally said we should go to another restaurant because the food was better at the one around the corner. By this time we’d wasted 2 hours in that place. The food was better at the next restaurant, although there the Bavarian meatloaf was like a big hunk of spam. Elias' lung soup was actually very tasty.
It was outside this restaurant that I finally got some internet. Charlotte had sent me a message asking where Sunny was. I didn’t know. Then she said that her brother had just told her that he saw an accident on the highway and a bus from Koln was involved. OMG I about had a heart attack. But it was about 10 minutes later and the bus arrived safe and sound.

We went on to Tobias’ house and sure enough he was home. He’d sent a message that I never got, he would make dinner and we were stuffed. But the sausages he made were so extra good that we just kept stuffing, Bel ate 6 of them. He also made a mean sauerkraut that I’ll try when we get home.

Had to watch the World Cup with the Germans!

Posted by Miss Chris 10:20 Archived in Germany Tagged rain beer travel germany outside europe munich englisher_garden Comments (0)

Festivals and Ruins

rain 66 °F

We had originally planned to go to Munich today but Dieter suggested a new plan to visit a festival in a little town called Ransbach. This festival is a week- long festival to celebrate the church with traditional dances, food and drink. We thought that it would be fun to go to an authentic festival as Munich will always be there.

We packed up kids and followed Dieter in his car, taking a scenic route to the town; passing fields of golden yellows and greens with trees all around.
The town is very small, located SW of Amberg, unfortunately I could not find any link to this city. A small road led up to the town, and parking was along the very rocky field of potatoes. We walked down to the tent which had been set up as it was raining off and on. The tent had a stage on one end and lots of tables and benches set up throughout.

Outside were 3 food booths; 1 large selling many different types of homemade desserts and collecting money for the meats, 1 booth grilling sausages and steaks, 1 booth grilling fish.

We went and got our sausage sandwiches, just sausage for me, and kids got cake. We got back inside to lots of yelling, clapping and the dancers walking up to the stage.

The dancers were young people probably in their 20’s for most of the dances, all from this town. There were dances that you think would take place but then others too. One dance, a version of musical chairs, which involved a large pretzel on a ribbon. The couple holding this pretzel when the music stopped had to take a bite of it together then the woman would wear it. This went on until the last couple standing was crowned something.

Another dance involved 2 long logs and 4 men to each log, marching and chopping. I will try to attache a video to my facebook as it will not attach here.

All dances involved lots of beer drinking. The audience was quite involved; singing along, clapping and drinking.
Other dances included the younger kids.

From the festival we drove to the Kallmunz Castle ruins, a place I’ve explored before. It is located along the river. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgruine_Kallm%C3%BCnz IMG_20140629_184721_829.jpgIMG_20140629_184512_256.jpgIMG_20140629_190815_626.jpgIMG_20140629_191001_412.jpg

To get to the ruins one must walk up a stair way, up the side of the cliff. At the top is a wonderful castle and tower. Unfortunately it is not possible to enter the tower any longer as it is unstable. Outside of the north entrance is a 30 meter high earthen wall built by the Celtics.

We walked on the Celtic wall, looked at where the village was located so many years ago. Wondered about the people who lived here.

Posted by Miss Chris 01:19 Archived in Germany Tagged travel ruins castle festival europe ransbach Comments (0)

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