Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Germany part 1

Well I have been waiting to blog until I could get pictures off of my phone.
Now my phone is somewhere in Florida trying to get fixed from a certain 2 year-old's water spilling...
so life goes on and if I ever get the phone fixed there is going to be a mad dash of blog posts from months and months ago.

Meanwhile, I am going to forget my trip if I don't start writing things down soon.
We flew out on May 26th. I deeply drugged (with baby safe meds) my pregnant body to sleep the whole way there.
Michael got a little hung up on the movie screen attached to the seat in front of him and watched movies the whole way there. He was very tired:)

We arrived and made our way through the airport.
I felt like a snob. I couldn't even get the soap in the bathroom to work because it wasn't automatic...lame.
But we found a few friends who spoke english and they sent us on our way where we met MELISSA!
How wonderful it was to see her long lost face.
It had only been a few years but when there is an ocean in between you, it feels much longer.
She drove us an hour or 2 (hard to say from the jet lag:) from Frankfurt to their little village.
It was such a wonderful little place and great to put a location with the pictures I have seen floating around over the last few years.
And seeing how 2 and half years can change all of her kiddos was jaw dropping. They are of course perfect and adorable...including the new addition of Gavin who we hadn't even met yet!!

We spent the next day in a town called Cochem.
Looking back, Mike and I both felt like that was probably our favorite day. First of all, Melissa is a genius with German. She could ask all the questions we needed. Second of all, it's really just more fun to see things with family. We had a little picnic and then walked up to the castle. It was amazing.

The next two days we got to play with little swensens.
Melissa and Todd had work/baby appointments to go to for little Gavin's surgery.
This was also one of our favorite parts of the trip. There is nothing better than being able to be with family when the little one's are in need.

The next day (Thursday) began our adventure into Austria.
Our first stop was Hallstatt.
A 6 1/2 hour drive that ended up taking approximately 8-9 hours.
We got a little lost on the never ending stretches of freeway and could never find a gas station (which is NOT located conveniently off the freeway exits). But we did enjoy seeing numerous smart cars pulling giant motor homes, driving on the autobahn, and counting the surprising number of burger kings along the way.

Once we got there, it was like we had driven into a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
Jaw dropping and beautiful.
We found our darling little hotel, were given a tour by the 90 year old, liderhosen wearing, owner who identified the age and origin of all the furniture in our room and then we spent the next several hours trying to find somewhere to park our car.
That's a long, boring story that essentially ends with us having to park a mile outside of the city and then find a way back in relying on some 90 year old germen bus drivers that spoke as much english as we did German...none!
But we made it JUST in time for it to start to rain...and rain...and rain...and rain.
Luckily we had ransomed an umbrella  from Melissa and Todd but we were still two little drowned rats the whole time. Very soggy and very cold. We look like we are wearing the same clothes in all of these pictures. I pinky swear that we changed. Then we re-layered the only warm clothes we had brought to try to stay warm! We had so many plans of canoeing and hiking and only a few of them came through in our wetness but it was fun.
We ate LOTS of Weinerschnitzel and spend LOTS of our pennies so the pregnant lady could pee. That's right, they charge you to use the bathroom in this country.
We ate in the most BEAUTIFUL little restaurants you have ever seen that had ivy covering the windows and gorgeous antique chandeliers.
We were so busy adventuring and avoiding getting the camera wet that there was so much I wish I had a picture of that I don't...but I have plenty so I'll stick with it. We spent the night in Hallstatt and did a half day there the next day.
We went to the chapel in this small town (population of 900) where they have a problem finding the space to bury their dead (remember how we had to park a mile outside of town? Space is a problem...as you could imagine for a town build in the middle of the swiss alps with a lake in the middle. Not much room). They would bury the bodies for 10 years, dig them back up, clean and bleach the bones, decorate them with the family name, and then store them stacked on top of each other in a room called "the bone house".

The square outside our hotel.

Hotel during the day and at night.

 View from our room

 Current cemetery

The Bone House

The view from our "baby hike" that was really just climbing through these people's neighborhood build high up on the hill.


C & S said...

Oh, my goodness that is absolutely breathtaking! So beautiful!!! I love the picture of you and Mike. I'm pretty sure we should all go on a trip somewhere together. Maybe a medical/dental humanitarian trip? While the hubby's work we can site see, yeah? :)

Doree said...

How fun and amazingly picturesque! Keep the posts coming, I'm loving this! ...And I'm loving you too, btw.