Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This morning we took our time packing up our bags and headed out around noon. Georg picked us up from the train station and brought us to his parents farm where we stayed for the night. When we got there, we dropped our bags in the house and went for a walk to hartfeild. We got caught in the rain for a few minutes, but found refuge under the awning of a near by building until the rain let up (only about 10 min.). After the rain stopped, we walked to the cemetery and visited the grave site of Anne's Oma & Opa Janssen. Cemetery's are so beautiful out here. We even stopped and looked around the farm that Anne's Oma & Opa Janssen owned once. Then we walked back to the house and eventually decided to go to Ikea again. This time the main goal was to have supper there. So we went, looked around, then had supper. Later that evening, the three of us played a card game for a while and then headed to bed.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Today was still not very nice out, but we decided to get out anyways. We started the day off with a short train ride to Koln. When we got there we headed strait to the Lindt Museum and spent a few hours there, drooling most of the time. The chocolate fountain was the most tempting. Afterwards, we went and checked out a museum of modern art... I still don't understand most modern art. A lot of it was nice. Last of all, we went to see the Dome... but did not brave the 509 stairs. It was beautiful. I was slightly scolded (I think) because I forgot to take my hat off in the Dome. It was not as bad as it sounds. Well those three things took up most of our day.
Tonight is our last night in Leverkusen.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This morning, we thought that we were doing great, we got up early and even made it to the train with time to spare. We caught the early train (8am) because we only had to change trains once. But when we boarded the train, we discovered that the time change happened this morning and we were actually on the 9am train. So we deplaned our route. In Munchen, we got off one station early and had to run to the connecting train to get where we wanted to go. In the end, we made it safe and sound to Leverkusen. When we arrived, we were meet at the train station by Anke (a friend of the family). We will be staying with her and her family for a few days.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Well, it was suppose to rain today. So we walked to Austria... We thought we would get in as much walking as we could before it started to rain. We set out at 9am and decided to explore a new route. So we headed into the more residential area and started walking. We discovered a few hidden gems, a cute little cafe, a discount sports store and a bakery. Then headed back into town and had lunch. After lunch, we walked around town for a while just killing time. With not so much as a cloud or drop of rain, we resumed our explorations. We found a well walked path along a river and followed it until we got to a bridge by a dam. We started to head back when we decided to walk across the Austrian boarder. The hike was beautiful. We ended up walking about ten minutes on the other side of the boarder. The scenery and the fact that we did it together is officially the highlight of our tour to the south. We ended up turning back because it was about 4:30ish. So we headed back the way we came but found a different way back into town. By now we were hungry, so we went back to the pizza place and enjoyed another pizza. When we got back to the youth hostel, we figured out that we had walked some where around 17-20km. We were both sleeping by 9pm. We had an amazing day.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Today was very relaxed. We started first thing this morning and just walked around. Tried on some hats, checked out a few book stores. At one point, we found a small cluster of people congregated in an area that did not look very traveled by tourists. So, naturally, we investigated. There we found a small group of men standing as a group, all looking at another man in front of a music stand. They were about to start singing. We decided to stick around and see if they were any good... Boy, were they ever. They only did, maybe three or four songs, but they were amazing. And to top it all off, the mayor of Fussen even showed up to say a few words. It turns out it was a celebration of spring/ easter. Other than that, we basically just wandered around the city exploring as much as we could. Oh, we also found a really good ice cream shop and had some awesome ice cream. And that was about it for the day.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Today we are headed out first thing in the morning (after breakfast) to go tour two castles. We took a bus to a little town were we bought the tickets for the tours. The first castle tour (Hohenschwangau) started at 10:50am. We had some time to kill, so we took some pictures of the outside of the castle. The tour started and we were not allowed to take any pictures of the inside. After the first tour we went back down and took a horse and carriage to the next castle (Neuschwanstein). That tour only started at 12:50.
Then we headed to a big bridge and Anne took some pictures (it was a little to high for me). It was all absolutely breath taking. The sky was clear, the sun was sinning and best of all, the company (Anne). I love being able to do all of this WITH Anne. We had a great time. And then we walked back down the mountain and waited for the bus. By this time it was about 4pm.
So when we got back, the first thing we did was find lunch. I had my first cheese burger since we got to Germany, it was amazing. After supper, we did some more wandering in and out of shops for a while, then headed back to our room. We then decided to go outside and play ping pong for a while (at the youth hostel). By the end of the day we were pooped, so we went to bed earlyish.
Once again we caught a train this morning right after breakfast. Today we spent the morning ans part of the afternoon on a train. We only had to change trains three times, but the whole trip was going to take about 7 hours. The last time we stopped, we were waiting and waiting, until we were told that there was a problem on the tracks. So, we got off the train and boarded a bus (the bus driver actually asked one of the other passengers how to get to Fussen). The bus ride was good. I now know how sharp and how maneuverable a bus really is (we made it around some pretty tight corners). We made it into Fussen around 4 in the afternoon and after asking a few people for directions and taking the scenic route, we made it to the youth hostel (about 7 min. from the train station). It was about 4:30 when we got there and about 5:15 by the time we were in our room. We dropped our bags, caught our breath and started on the town. We walked around and tried to find a place for supper. But most places close around 6pm, so finding a place for supper was fun. We eventually found this little Italian, American, greasy spoon, type place and had pizza. The guy running the place was really friendly and the food was actually pretty good. After we had supper, we headed back and went to bed.
Tomorrow, we are going to try and go see some castles and other such stuff.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This morning, we caught a ride with Petra to Kleve and got on the train to Koblenz. The train ride lasted about two hours. It was beautiful. We arrived in Koblenz around 2 in the afternoon. We settled into our room and the adventure started. Our first idea was to go see one of the castles in the area. But the first one we wanted to see was closed for renovations. We found one, at the top of a small mountain (large hill) and found a bus that would take us to the base and we would have to walk up. Great, we thought, we have been siting for two hours we need to do a little walking. The bus ended up dropping us off one bus stop too early.
So, we walked and walked, up and up, for about 45min., until a nice couple, which we were about to pass, told us that the castle just around the corner was closed for renovations. Yes, CLOSED. That was ok, we came all this way, we would at least look at it from the outside and take some pictures. No, they said, no can't even see it, it is all blocked off. That was quit a let down. Down we went. At least we only had half the distance to walk to the correct bus stop.
It was not a complete disappointment, we had a chance to see the town and get in “some” walking. But after that, we decided that with most if not all of the bigger attractions closed for the season, we would cut our stay from two nights, to just one.
It was getting late, so we found a mall and had curry-wurst and fries, and gelati for desert (believe it or not, the gelati in Winnipeg is better). Then we headed back and went to bed.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today we spent the day making our plans for the week (yes we're procrastinators, but we also like to be a bit spontaneous) and played a few (maybe a dozen) rounds of Rummykub with Oma and Opa. I won almost every round... I am getting good.
Tomorrow we head out via train to Koblenz.
Right now, we are sitting in a cute little cafe called “Coffee Shop”. I am enjoying a mezzo mix (orange cola) and Anne is having a cappuccino. The coffee here in Germany is strong enough to give most of us Canadians a heart attack (think of a full cup of Canadian espresso- strong enough to stand a spoon upright in).
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Well ok, I cheated a little. Yesterday was not a very eventful day, so I skipped it. I did however bake biscuits... They did not turn out quit right, but that will happen when baking from memory.
So, on to today. We had a lot of fun today. Johannes (Anne's uncle) came over and spent the day with us. The six of us, Johannes, Petra, Laura, Julia, Anne & I all went for a short walk. Then when we came back, Oma & Opa decided that they wanted to go for a “walk” as well.
So we geared then up, broke out the wheel chairs and took them for a walk. Now there are nine of us, the six mentioned above, Oma, Opa and Christina (the lady that helps take care of Anne's grandparents).
On the way Anne said, “Leave it to Oma & Opa to go the the cemetery on the walk in who knows how long.” After the cemetery, we continued our walk for quit some time (and quit far). We all had a blast. I think even Oma & Opa had a good time. The rest of the afternoon was very laid back.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Today was not to exciting. We went with Petra to run some errands. We Picked up Laura and Julia and then went to a coffee house in Kleve. Afterwards, we just walked around town for a bit. Later on, when we got back, Anne and I started to clean out Oma & Opa's flower beds.
Then, we decided to go visit Johannes (Anne's uncle) after supper. We had a super good time just visiting with him. I think Johannes and his family may join us for Easter.
Time is moving so fast. It is had to believe we have been here this long and will be starting our tour in a few days. And once again, no Rummikub (Siiigh).
There is always tomorrow.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Today was a little more laid back. We still went for a few long walks. But other than that, we stuck around and visited with Oma & Opa. And yes, we did play Rummikub, Twice. I guess we did have to make up for yesterday. I think in total, we played for about 4 hours. That was about it until the evening, when we went to Laura's choir practice. It was a lot of fun.
I was told a quote this evening,
If you can't be safe, be careful.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This morning we are on our way to Kleve. You will never guess what the first thing we did when we got there? We found on of many bakery's and had breakfast. Then we just walked around for most of the day, in and out of different stores and finally out to see some sights.
For lunch we found a fry stand and had curry worst and fries. It was so good. After that, we were picked up by Petra and went to pick Julia and Laura up. And the five of us headed to another town called Emmerich. There we spent a few hours just walking the boardwalkish thing by the water.
While we were there, I was introduced to spaghetti ice (ice cream made to look like spaghetti), it was pretty good.
On the way home, Anne, Laura and Julia (all in the back seat) had a giggle fit for a good long time. It is good to see Anne having so much fun with everyone (and of course I am having a blast as well!!).
Tonight when Julia said good night, I said, good night in German and she gave me the biggest smile and a thumbs up. It made my day.
But the down side to today is, no rummikub. Maybe tomorrow. We are both bushed when we got back. I was in bed, sleeping before 9pm. Mind you, we have been getting up around 6:30- 7:00 every morning and once at about 5:30. But it's good, we both wake up feeling mostly rested.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Last night was our first night in the camper and we slept like logs, most of which I apparently was sawing for the last few nights. We had to get up part way through the night and turn the heat down, our guess is that it was about 30 Celsius. But we still slept good. We got up around 6am this morning and had tea with Petra, Laura and Julia (Anne's aunt and cousins).
Then, guess what we did........ Ok, we went to the bakery and got some fresh buns for breakfast. It was heavenly. There is a reason we are going for walks every day.
And after breakfast, we played rummikub again. We then went next door to Tante Gerta's (Oma's sister) for tea. After tea, Petra & Julia, decided to take us on a little tour of an old nunnery and a boarding school (two different places).
Then we did some more visiting and went to bed early. Tomorrow, we are going to Kleve with Petra. And while she is at work we will wander around and see what we can... and maybe if we are lucky, find a few bakery's on the way. It is official, today I got my first big hug and smile from Julia. We had a lot of fun today.
The other exciting thing about today was, I found something I have been missing since Africa. Bitter Lemon (the drink). It was so good.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Ok, I am up now! Last night we were both wide awake for about an hour or maybe a little more, and we got up at 8am. Breakfast is on thing that I will have to get used to, having cold cuts first thing in the morning does not come naturally to me. With breakfast done, we settle in to a few games of rummikub with Oma & Opa. Two and a half hours later and seven games later, I am hooked and we finish playing for the day. So far, this is the highlight to my day.
Later in the day, just after lunch, Anne and I went for another walk on a different rout that was just as nice as the day before. While we were out we spotted a a trail that we plan to walk tomorrow. So far, our walks have been at least an hour, if not more.
Oh yah, the other thing I am getting used to is that the big meal of the day is lunch, breakfast and supper are the lighter meals. Anywho, we just got back from our walk when Petra (Anne's aunt) asks us if we would like to join her and go pick up a few things from Goch, the next biggest town from where we are, in Kessel. It is such a nice place. We hope to go back and see it again when we have more time to explore and when it is not raining.
The only sad par of the day was, we never did make it to the bakery. But we will keep trying. Well, Julia is slowly getting used to me. Today I got my first hug. A small on, but a hug. I will take what I can, she is a sweetheart.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Well, we're off!
After spending the better part of Saturday either in a plane or an airport, we have arrived save and sound. We are staying with Oma & Opa (Anne's grandparents). Anne's aunt and two cousins. Anne's uncle moved his camper trailer here (to oma & opa's), so that is where we will be sleeping at night. When we arrived we were immediately served tea and lunch. It was great. So far, the language barrier has not been too bad. Anne's family knows more English than she let on, and the rest of the time Anne translates for me. After lunch, we went for a nice long walk around town. It is sooo beautiful here. I can see why Anne like visiting here. The remainder of the evening was mostly visiting and then, finally, after a long day, we went to bed. Tomorrow, we plan to go to the bakery and small store in this very quaint little town. Also, I think it may take some time for Julia (Anne's youngest cousin) to warm up to me. She is a little shy right now.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Welcome to the Adventures of UncleDucky.
The following entries are just little snip-its of our trip. The pictures may not always make sense, or even have anything to do with the entry. Usually it will be something that I found interesting or just my favorite picture for that day. I can not promise I will have them posted everyday, but there will be one for everyday. I hope this gives you even a small view of our adventures and enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
Dustin (aka UncleDucky)