Landkreis Forchheim

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    • Day 3

      Poffabro, More Hiking & Pizza, Italy

      December 30, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

      Natalie and I loaded up in her car with Addy and Bowser. Addy and Bowser are quite a cute pair. Nate and Seth drove the rental with the other little ladies. We began our trek toward Porffabro and the uphill drive. The road grew more narrow and began to twist and turn A LOT. The last time we drove this intense of a switchback was in Montenegro in the summer. However, this one came with more warning signs and construction. Natalie and I were questioning our husband's judgment as we followed. At many points during the naseating ride, the road was only wide enough for one car with the added fun of drop offs. Surprisingly, we didn't encounter any traffic coming from the other direction and we made it there without throwing up.

      The zigging and zagging up a questionable switchback road to the town of Poffabro made us all woozy. I do not typically get car sick. That was some kind of RIDE! This did not detour us from following our noses to yummy food. We ate delicious paninis, beer and crepes.

      This "Nativity Hunt" makes for one of my favorite Christmas memories we have made thus far! This sweet town, known mostly for its history of making house shoes, puts out unique nativities during Christmas. I think many towns in Italy do this through the holiday season as well.

      The girls loved the scavenger hunt feel as they ran up and down the narrow streets discovering a different nativity at every turn. You had to keep your eyes peeled, looking at all heights so you wouldn't miss one. They used all types of materials to create these nativities, from colored pencils, hand carved figurines, paintings mimicing Van Gogh's Starry Night and a silly one with baby Jesus in a motorcycle side car. It was so fun to see all the varieties.

      Along the hunt, we stumbled upon a man carving little creatures outside his home. He was so kind and had the girls sit on his wooden reindeer and hand made sled. He made an impression on Mabel and she kept saying, "He is super kind, momma." Natalie decided to buy our girls three carved creature. Demi chose a bunny, Addy chose a hedgehog and Mabel chose the squirrel. So fun! Natalie has been too kind along this trip.

      We explored all through the town and ended up finding a hiking path. We followed and found statues depicting the story of Jesus' crucifixion. This hike was a steep climb! The twelve statues took us through the story from Judas' betrayal to the empty tomb. I found this hike to be beautiful, especially during Christmas, because it pointed us to the cross and resurrection of Jesus creating a full picture of the gospel story.

      Demi found this set of statues to be incomplete though. She was quite bothered that it ended with an empty tomb. She suggested they create two more statues showing Christ going up into heaven and Jesus reappearing to his disciples. And Mabel was mostly excited about a plastic slide at the end. Ha ha! Addy was relieved the steep climb was over and we could now go back downhill.

      On the next and last day, we hiked and picnicked again near Aviano. The girls loved being outside so much! They raved (and even journaled) about all the hiking and playing outside. What a beautiful place and with great friends that go back nearly 20 years!

      Oh ya... One last thing! We popped into the city of Sacilly for the Christmas market and delicious pizza! This pizza place made these bread stick things that tasted like a savory Texas style donut stick topped with arugula. Their special kind of pizza was extra soft with a bit of sweetness to it. The pizza came out in one large piece. They don't cut the pizza at all and it's usually a serving for one person. It's is fun to experience all types of pizzas! We haven't encountered a bad one yet. This one was quite different from any other pizza we have had. Addy went from silly to almost sleeping really fast that night. She is notorious for falling asleep at dinner ever since she was little. She managed to stay awake for this pizza though. :)

      What a fun trip! Friends, hiking and food!
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    • Day 14

      Erlangen, Germany

      June 13, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Well, we arrived in Germany. It only took us one tram, five trains (I lost count really), one bus and 20 minutes of walking. We started at 07:45 and arrived at approximately 15:00. We were beyond tired as we took our last steps for the day! Note to self - travel shorter distances with three littles in tow. They really did great! The last train was the toughest as we loaded on, but found no seats. I was carrying a large backpack and Mabel, roughly 60lbs, I think. We had been trading off holding her, but at that point Seth was navigating us. Luckily, upon arrival we were greeted by Pablo, his friend's dog, which quickly perked our girls right up.

      We arrived into the Erlangen area in Germany just as the poppies came into full bloom for the season. This is their sign that summer is here. This also means warmer weather for me! We may have a couple days above 90 degrees.

      While in the Erlangen area, we spent time with old friends of Seth's. His friend was a big part of Seth's inspiration to go on this European adventure and part of his interest in learning German this past year. If you did not know, along with completing his Master's in Finance, he also began studying German quite intensely. Seth visited this friend last after our youth mission trip to Spain 21 years ago. This couple has been so kind to invite us into their lovely home and show us around Bavaria. They even lined up bikes for us all, so we can see the town like a local. This is a big biking community. His home is so funky and artsy with four levels surrounded by a flower and vegetable garden. He remodeled most of it himself and built his own furniture - lots of talent here.

      We have enjoyed many meats and Adalynn helped his wife cook a traditional German meal of potatoes, white asparagus and ham. We went to purchase the white asparagus the day before from a quaint, neighborhood farm. Mabel is very carnivorous and prefers the small cured sausages. Demi enjoyed beef tartare with cracked salt and pepper on pita bread. Addy really enjoyed the prosciutto the best. I prefer to stick with fresh vegetable from his garden and any chocolate.

      Here the kids have truly had a blast! They luckily had some toys on hand that were an extra surprise of fun for the girls. This couple is just so wonderful! Lots of fun and memorable conversations!

      Then we ventured on bikes into Erlangen for the best pizza of my life with this magical (just an exceptional parmesan) cheese and arugula made by an Italian family. Oh my! No words can describe it well enough!
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    • Day 105

      Erlangen, Germany

      September 12, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Well, here we are living in Germany just outside Nuremburg.

      Things we are learning:
      *Recycling rules are intense
      *Their "spicy" salsa tastes like Texas bbq sauce
      *They are not fans of doing things digitally, which requires lots of paperwork and extra bike rides
      *Google translate and deepl are my good friends now
      *We are trying to bike everywhere and have no car (by choice)
      *A picture of walking home after grocery shopping: Mabel chilling in the bike seat with her feet resting on my seat, a grocery bag on either handle bar, large backpack full and me walking trying to keep the bike upright over a 1km walk - a little bit much (I need to learn to make smaller trips)
      * There is a season here called fall where leaves turn gorgeous colors.... Hahaha
      * Most houses have total blackout window shutter things that are amazing!

      School attendance is quite strict, but they have lots of play time at school. The big girls are attending a German public school. Mabel will start a German kindergarten (Prek) in November. They really enjoy school and are learning to speak German quite quickly. Most kids walk solo to school by the age of six. I am working on feeling ok with this. They could totally do it.

      Our neighborhood is quiet and many homes around are built in the 30s. We live near a large forest and can bike so many fun places. Experiencing life from a different angle...
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    • Day 24

      Angersee/Baggersee Baiersdorf

      June 23, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      We took a family bike ride to a sweet swimming spot! On the way we saw a ginormous bird nest that just seemed unreal. They have one on top of an old church here that they try to keep well cared for, so it's inviting for the birds to return to.

      There was a sandy beach on this little pond. Lots of children's sand toys laying around for the children to play with. Since school is still in session here, there weren't very many people there. The water was cool, but not too cold. The water was a little clearer than the ponds at home, we could see fish swimming. At least we knew no snakes were around. Seth and the girls had fun attempting to corral fish into their sandy pool creation.

      Our friend here borrowed some kick boards and an inflatable unicorn for the girls. They also lent us their beach blanket and shade tunnel. The shade tunnel was a nice alternative to a beach umbrella in terms of weight and bulk. This was important, since I had to load up everything on the back of my bike and my backpack.

      Nothing like a little relaxing at a local swimming hole. We only saw three people changing naked nearby! Many natural lakes here are spots to swim in the "natural," but they are discreet about it. They believe in getting close to nature often. Many of the swimmers seemed to pop in for a swim on their work break or something.

      Seth and I relaxed while the girls played for hours. We eventually had to head back since T-bones needed to be grilled.
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    • Day 20


      July 7, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Today we went on a tour of Nuremberg with a local guide. We went by the ruins of a stadium where Hitler held his rallies. We went to the building where the Nuremberg trials were held but only saw a model of the courtroom since the actual courtroom is still in use. This afternoon a local historian spoke to us about the relationship between Russia & Germany throughout history.Read more

    • Day 13

      Sömnbrist? Javisst!

      July 24 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Det blev inte mycket till sömn i natt💤🥱
      Tydligen kör man med full belysning här även på natten i tåget… ”Sovmasken” gick runt bland barnen och när de väl bestämt sig för att sova gick det fort.
      Dock slumrade jag själv mest med ett öga öppet😂
      Svårt att slappna av efter att ha hindrat Ville 4 ggr från att promenera iväg i sömnen…

      Vid 6.30 var tåget framme i Hamburg. Trötta men tappra barn som knallade av tåget och på nästa. Vi hade egentligen tänkt att äta frukost i Berlin men kände att barnen behövde sova lite mer så jag lade om rutten och tog ett tåg som kom in direkt på spåret bredvid så de fick sova 2 timmar till på resan till Hamburg (älskar interrail, några knapptryckningar så har hela familjen nya biljetter laddade i appen!).

      I Hamburg såg barnen en Harry Potter-affär som dock inte öppnat än så nu blev det frukost och sedan besök i affären😍

      Efter detta blev det en kort tur med tunnelbana då det är spårarbeten och tåget till Kiel då går från en annan station.

      Nöjda barn som äntligen fick åka dubbeldäckare!

      I Kiel blev det lyxfika och sedan incheckning på färjan som ska ta oss hem.
      Vi fick gå ombord på färjan redan kl. 15. Jag och Sigge gick på upptäcktsfärd medan de andra slappade i hytten❤️

      Nu blir det tax-free, minidisco, quiz och lite annat.
      Det gäller att gå ”all in” sista dagen😅
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    • Day 18

      Kleingesee, Germany

      June 17, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      We loaded up like kids from the 80s (if you catch my drift), used our hand crank window downy thingies and left for the countryside. Let me tell you... "The hills are alive with the sound of music" and the car was full of giggly girls.

      The winding roads led us through small cottage towns, farmland, past breweries, into forests, and up hills to our destination called Pension am Kirschgarten. His friends (now our friends) put us up in this beautiful B&B for the weekend of my birthday, along with baking me a special chocolate cake! Seth and I were the same age for only 11 days. I am back to being older.

      Our room with a great balcony overlooked a cherry tree farm, small church and the forest. *Bonus- They also had a kids play room, geese wondering nearby, climbing wall room and shaded playground in the woods. We had lots of quiet time because the kids were so engrossed in playing. What a gem!

      The next morning (sun still rising at the 04:00 hour) a soft breeze rustled the trees and birds chirped as the smell of coffee and freshly baked pastries, crept into our open balcony door. Breakfast was wonderful and the coffee was great too. She offered so many beautiful pastries, lovely fresh fruit with granola, handwritten specials on the board (pancakes!!!), small savory dishes (for example, mushroom stuffed with eggs and veggies) and even cappuccino. This place is an escape from the hustle and bustle where you rarely even hear a car. Although there are lots of hikes, caves, breweries and some coasters in the area, we decided to chill and enjoy the country.

      If you ever find yourself in the Fränkische Schweiz region, you should most definitely stay at this B&B.

      P.S. - Addy, the non chocolate eater, actually ate some chocolate cake and approved - unbelievable!
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    • Mosterdberger Steenkelder

      September 8, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Vandaag in de buurt van Bamberg geland. Siggi heeft een Harley-Davidson repair shop en verhuurt een appartement. Daarover later meer. Na een snel bezoek aan de supermarkt 9 km verderop (best landelijk hier) de bergschoenen aan, want we gaan bergop eten. En drinken. De eerste keer bier en bergen in praktijk.

      Na een hike van wel 1,1 kilometer zijn we aangekomen op de Senftberger Felsenkeller. Volgens Google Translate de Mosterdberger Steenkelder. Snappen wij het ook weer. We zien als eerste de Biergarten tafels en banken. Onze inschatting is dat als je tafels met gewone stoelen neerzet, je het niet goedgekeurd krijgt als Biergarten. Het terras voelt wat leeg aan, met zo’n 250 zitplaatsen en 15 gasten. Als er hier een Fest is, zal het vast dolle boel zijn.

      Eerste stop: de steenkelder. Handig, want alle bieren worden hier natuurlijk gekoeld. Traditioneel is om hier een kannetje met Pils te scoren, zien we om ons heen. Maar Eigenweiss als we zijn gaan we voor de Postillon Weisse van Brauerei Hönig. Toeristen. Da’s weer voor iedereen duidelijk.

      Tweede stop het afhaalloket van de warme gerechten. Anne-Marie neemt de Käseplatte (eerste keus Currywurst niet mogelijk want het vet was al uit) en Martijn de Bratwürst mit Sauerkraut. When you go to Rome, enzovoort.

      Het eten is goed, het bier nog beter en buiten wordt het snel donker. Klaar voor de hike terug!
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    • Day 8–15

      Een regendag in Dechsendorf.

      November 2 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      We voelden ons allen een beetje brak en Ann's knie is ook niet geweldig.
      Dus maar een beetje lummelen en uitrusten. Und daddeln .... ( hier: een beetje op je smartphone klooien) Want het regent aanhoudend dus buiten is niks te beleven.
      De was doen dus.....Een spelletje , de verbindingen voor morgen bekijken en gewoon gezellig bij de houtkachel.
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    • Day 8

      Nordwärts am Main-Donau Kanal

      May 12 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Es regnet weniger 🙂. Noch etwas hügelig bis Hilpoltstein und dann immer geradeaus am Main-Donau Kanal nach Hause (Erlangen) zu meinem Papa. Aufwärmen, lecker essen, erholen, gut schlafen, quatschen und neue Energie sammeln…Read more

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