From the Land of Sand, Sun, and Burittos to das Land auf Wald, Schnee und Bratwurst.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

von Deutschland nach Tschechische Republik, und zurück…

Well as said before, I was fortunate enough to have my Mother Barbara here in Europe with me for 10 days. It was very good to see her, and better to get to show her what my life is like here. She came to visit me when I was in England, so it was not her first time on this side of the world, but it was the first time she was in mainland Europe. She arrived on the 25th of March in Frankfurt.

We rented a blue Ford Focus C-Max with a Navigation system and headed south to Karlsruhe, where Anke lives. This was a Friday, but not any ordinary Friday. The south of Germany it is very Catholic, and the Easter Weekend is a four day holiday, with Good Friday and Easter Monday both being paid work free days. You might be getting to stay away from work on these days, but that also means that all of the stores are closed, and it is very quiet the whole weekend. It is essentially viewed as a family weekend.

On Saturday, we went to Anke’s family home and enjoyed the next two nights with Rheinhard and Hanne, Anke’s parents. They live in a town that is strangely similar to my hometown of Martinez, but of course, in a German kind of way. Both nights, we had dinner that went on in the typical European fashion. We ate multiple course meals, with desert and lots of wine. So much wine that in the morning, Anke asked me if my mother thought her parents were alcoholics. We sat around the table both night for 4 plus hours.

Our next destination was the Neuschwanstein Castle. If you have never been to Germany to see this castle before, I can almost bet you have seen the famous replica with your own eyes. Walt Disney used this castle as the inspiration for the Princess castle that stands near the entrance of Disneyland. After a tour through the Castle that showcased the life of an insane King Ludwig II, we headed to Munich to start a tour of this great Bavarian Capital. I have been to Munich probably about 15 times so I gave my mother a tour fit for a local. Of course it included a trip to the Hofbrau House for a few beers. Believe it or not (I have pictures to prove it) for you that know my mother, she actually drank a few beers here in Germany!

The next stretch in the car took us to the capital of the once before communist country of the Czech Republic, Prague. After exchanging some Euros into Crowns, and buying our permit for the freeway, we were shortly in a town that blew our minds with the amount of history and old buildings. While there we took a river cruise which provided breathtaking views of the city, ate the local (and not very tasty) Bohemian specialties, I drank a lot of world famous Czech beer, and my mother did more shopping here then in the rest of the trip combined. The Czech Republic is still fairly cheep by Europe’s standards, so we got a lot for our money. I had never been to Prague before so it was especially a treat for me!

We spent the last few days touring the local area of Lohr, and with a drive through the Black Forest. We visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg, and many villages in between. In Würzburg, we went on a tour of the wine cellars of the famous winery Bürgerspital, where we got to see the oldest bottles of wine in the world, from 1570!

All in all a great visit! I have posted over 100 pictures that you can click through as you wish. You can reach them from the right navigation panel under “My Photos”.

bis später!


Anonymous Matt said...

I see you took a stop by Ulm as well. Good times. I'll be heading back to Deutschland for a couple days, on the 8th of May till the 18th I believe.

8:20 PM

Anonymous Ryan said...

Hey man,
The jealously is already building - glad to hear you're having such an amazing time and still touring around Europe. Hope the job and Anke are still going strong, let her know I say hello.

Take care,

3:03 AM


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