A Travellerspoint blog

TWELFTH AND LAST DAY

WALKING TOUR IN MUNICH

We decided to take the subway to visit the city. The station was real close to the hostel. We made it in time to hear and see the wonderful "Glockenspiel" bells. Besides the bells there were the figurines dancing and parading around way up in the tower. I explained to Dylan that a long time ago there were no movies or cartoons. We had a delicious lunch with a Apfelstrudel for dessert with warm vanilla sauce and whipping cream.
Then we walked over to the English Gardens, a huge park with rushing streams, trees and large open grassy areas. Just beautiful! We spent some more time wandering around looking at stores. Amazingly local people sit in the beer gardens in the middle of the city at 5pm on a weekday drinking huge mugs of beer.
All in all we walked about 6 miles, we were pretty tired. We bought picnic supplies and ate in the garden of the hostel. After dinner the kids played chess. Now we are packing, our wonderful trip has come to an end and we are ready to come home. Although Dylan has been a great traveller,he had started asking a while ago when we are going back to America. Alaina has been amazinhg too, she was so willing to always try new things . I am very happy that our trip was a great success. A huge thank you to Beatrice!!!
PS I want to apologize that the photos were not very organized. I did ask the creator of the blog and he gave me some instruction just today.
I have many more photos that I will try to insert later. Thank you all for reading it!
Elisabeth

Posted by Buempsli 11:49 Comments (0)

ELEVENTH DAY

FAMILY DAY

In the late morning we drove out into the country to a beautiful garden restaurant for lunch where we met up with Achim and his family. Soon more family members arrived including several girls in their late teens and early twenties. They are Alaina and Dylan's second cousins. All the girls including Alaina sat on one table. Most of them speak fluent English. Alaina reported that she spoke a bit of German with them. I finally dared to order the Nuremberg specialty, a " Schäufele" an oven baked piece of pork shoulder with a dumpling. It was delicious, I shared it with Sean and then the German Shepard had the rest.
In the afternoon we drove to another small town where Alaina's father lived before he immigrated to the US with his parents at three years old.
Adele's grand aunt Marta had lived there until recently, but she had a fall and is in a recovery home. Achim's son picked her up and brought her to the the reunion. She had never seen her sister and little nephew again after they emigrated in 1953. She is 86 yers old now. It was an incredibly moving scene to watch Adele and her great aunt embracing with lots of tears flowing!
Regina and her daughters set up two tables in the garden and we had coffee, tea and several yummy home baked German cakes! There was a pool in the garden and Sean and Dylan splashed in it for a long time. Achims' sister Karin,who is a hairdresser braided Alaina's hair and turned her into a Geman girl!
This was truly a very meaningful event for the family, we are so grateful to Achim and his wife Regina who arranged the reunion and who made this weekend in Nuremberg so special.

Posted by Buempsli 11:57 Comments (0)

TENTH DAY

CITY TOUR, BURG WALK, DINNER WITH THUNDERSTORM

No croissons for breakfast? We are so spoiled now! There are tons of families in the youth hostel all having breakfast at the same time with screaming kids running around.
We drove to our meeting point with Achim and Anna Sophia downtown. It was a miracle to find a parking place, Achim had told us to walk!
There was a huge bus waiting for us which quickly filled up with tourists. We first drove to the outskirts where we saw the huge third reich congress hall , only half finished. It was patterned after the Roman Collosseum, one and a half the size of Rome's building. It would have seated 50,000 people. Now it was transferred into a museum by a well known Architect who cut through the building as a symbolic act. It felt very eerie to me to see the remnants of a diabolic regime.We later also passed by the huge buildings erected for the Nuremberg trials.
The medieval city was over 90% destroyed by the Allies in early 1944. Everything has been rebuilt and it really looks and feels authentic. We saw the longest medieval city wall in Europe, many churches, fountains, towers, wooden bridges and of course the Imperial palace close to the youth hostel.Finally we got of the bus and visited the very large St. John's cemetery, where the tomb stones look like coffins and are all the same size. We stopped at Albrecht Dürer's grave, he lived at the beginning of the 15th century. We ended the walking tour at the Hauptmarket where the famous Christmas Market takes place.
Although our guide was not always understandable, I found the tour usefull to give us an overview.
Later in the afternnon, we walked around the youth hostel to the Imperial Castle, was started in 1050 and became an important center for the next five hundred years.
For dinner we visited a little place next to our lodgings. Most of our dishes contained Spätzli with cheese or creamy mushroom sauce. We sat on a covered Veranda and suddenly a strong wind blew leaves on our table and it started to pour. We ran tio the Youth hostel, but still got soaked.

Posted by Buempsli 00:29 Comments (0)

NINTH DAY

CAR RENTAL, ULM AND NUREMBERG, MEETING THE FAMILY, BEER CELLAR

Sean and I took the tram to pick up the rental car that we had reserved. We could choose between three cars. We picked a large BMW diesel with a GPS system. It was easy to get back to the hotel to fetch everyone. Off we went in style along the lake of Constance, a bit into Austria then Germany.
We stopped in Ulm to find the street where my great greatfathers house stood. Afterwards we tried to cool off with some Gelato.
The Autobahn was crowded, we were forced to have lunch at Mc Donalds. After a while Sean was tired and I drove for a couple of hours.
We found the youth hostel that is located in a castle ( burg). The kids loved the bunk beds. We all sleep in one room, but it has two bathrooms and works out well.
The it was time to meet the family. We drove to Erlangen, a university town outsside Nuremberg. Achim, Adele's Dad's cousin waited for us. We almost missed each other. He was expecting a car with a Swiss license, but we have a German license. We drove to his home in a beautiful neighborhood and he picked up his wife Regina, daughter Anna Sofia.(16) and their gorgeous German Shepard Nessie. . He said we would go to a typical beer garden and what a surprise, it was a huge place with lots of long tables , people eating and drinking beer. Achim ordered ton of foosd,
Bratwurst with sour kraut, Spätzle, and Dumplings. We had a great time trying to get to know each other. Turns out that Achim is a Orthopedic Surgeon nd Regina is a Psychologist for children. Later the older daughter Hannah (25)stopped by, she is almost finished with her Psychology studies.
We did not meet Moritz( 29 who is almost finished medical school.

Posted by Buempsli 05:29 Comments (0)

SEVENTH DAY

CASTLE, ALIEN MUSEUM, CHEESE FACTORY TRIP TO ZURICH, BIG FAMILY AND FRIENDS DINNER

In the morning we all went to visit the castle. Afterwards we formed two groups, the Aliens and the Cheese's. Adele and I walked down the hill to visity the cheese factory and the rest of the group saw the works of HR Giger, the creator of the film " Alien". Both groups enjoyed their choices.
Back on two trains and two buses to Zurich. It was real hot and stuffy in the train. A heat wave has arrived with ninty degrees.
We walked from the train station to the hotel where we had enough time to shower and change for the big event. Beatrice had planned a dinner for family and friends at a prominent Zurich hotel by the river. She had reserved a room upstairs with views of the city and river. The place cards she had made were very pretty with the blue and white Zurich flag on it saying' Zurich evening:.
As the guest arrived champagne and hors d' oeuvres were serrved. When everyone sat down I introduced the guests. My cousin from Greece had flown in from Athens. I had invited my loyal friends that live in Zurich.
The menu consisted of sauteed veal and mushrooms in a cream sauce with Röschti ( hashed brown potatoes) and for dessert we had a plate with an assortment of desserts. The red and white wine came from the shores of the lake of Zurich.
The dinner was a huge success and we were happy.

Posted by Buempsli 05:26 Archived in Åland Comments (0)

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