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    • Day 123

      Und no meh Spass

      July 26, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Hüt simmer im Steinwasen-Park gsi. De Nino hets z'erscht gar ned lässig gfunde und d'Mayra isch theoretisch no z'jung gsi für uf d'Bahne. Mer händ denn d'Mayra chli älter "gmacht" und de Nino motiviert. Am Schluss händ all ihre Spass gha. 😁Read more

    • Day 46

      Freiburg, Germany

      October 6, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      Freiburg is one of Madison's sister cities, and it sure feels familiar. It's a mid-size univeristy town with lots of bicycles, students, and charm. We arrived several hours before the check-in time at our apartment, so we locked our bags in a locker at the station. These are so convenient when day tripping or arriving early. For $5, we can drop the anchors and explore.

      It was the hottest and sunniest day of the trip since we arrived in Stockholm, so we spent it walking around the old town. It was market day, so the first stop was the large gothic cathedral, the Munster. Surrounding it on 3 sides was a weekly market full of goodies, including brat stands selling about 8 different types of sausages, including the Langer Rote, or long Freiburg sausage. When you order one, they fold it in half and put it in a roll that's wider and shorter than our traditional hot dog bun. The Munster is in pretty good shape and wasn't covered in scaffolding, like most ancient sites in Europe. Everything falls apart and Europe does a great job of preserving it's heritage, and that means scaffolding!

      In Freiburg, businesses hire an artist to make a stone mosaic in the sidewalk in front that describes the business. There's beer steins, knives, jewels, books, etc. etched out of small Rhine river stones inlaid in the larger cobblestones. Very cool. Like many German cities, this one keeps vehicles out of the city center for the most part. It's a walker's paradise. Freiburg is home to Germany's Green Movement, and we saw climate protestor's in front of the Rathaus where there are mosaics of the sister cities' emblems in the sidewalk. Near campus, we saw students carrying bowls and silverware as they headed towards a restaurant. Is that a thing?

      There are lots of sidewalk cafes and restaurants and we enjoyed a brat here, a coffee there, and even stopped into a small museum that was included on our 3 day city card, which included all transportation, museums, and a cable car to a mountain just south of town. After buying some cheese and olives at the market before it closed, we grabbed our bags and took a tram to our apartment, located just outside of the city center in a lovely neighborhood. It's chock-full of mansions, trees, parks, families on bikes, a nearby school (gymnasium) that looks like a castle, and an old cemetery.

      The balcony from our second story apartment looks down onto a small intersection that's absolutely perfect for seeing a slice of life in Freiburg. It's very family oriented and we see lots of parents with their kids on bikes, a hybrid bus goes by every fifteen minutes. There's a small fountain at the edge of 2 angled streets that draws people in to read or rest or chat with neighbors. The old cemetery a block away is like a city park. It holds tombs from the 1500's through the mid 1800's only and is an oasis of tranquility. People come here to read and rest and walk and even do tai chi. And that reminds me that this city is so QUIET. There are so few cars and many of those are electric. It's wonderful. I still reel from the thought of the noise pollution of large Asian cities, and traveling anywhere in India was the worst for that.

      We visited the Augustiner museum the next day. It houses a lot of the original stain glass and statuary from the Munster. It was well done. Lunch was at the Markethalle, an old food hall with a diverse selection of ethnic foods. We split a large fish soup that was hearty and filling for only 8 bucks. The variety of ethnic foods made us want to go back. Then it was a tram and a bus ride to the Schauinslandbahn south of town. It's the oldest cable car in the world with an enclosed cabin. On the top, we hiked on some trails, enjoyed the views, and had coffee in the sun.

      After the descent, we made our way to an Aldi Sud for some food shopping for the train tomorrow. Long train days require a picnic. There's food on board often, but it's bread heavy and I'm gluten sensitive. It's not hard to pack a picnic, and the lightweight cooler I bought before the trip is worth it's weight in gold. It fits in my day bag. If we have an apartment, I'll freeze a water bottle the night before and that cools the cheese, meat, and wine we bring for lunch the next day.

      For dinner, we went back to the Markethalle. Tonight it's Brazilian fare. I got the coconut shrimp and rice and Deanne grabbed the Fejuado, a classic rice, sausage, and bean dish. For some reason, we're craving rice and beans. We''ve learned to follow what our bodies tell us.

      On the cable car earlier, we shared the tram with a local paraglider. He commented "You must think our food is cheap." Hell yeah. Dinner for 2 with wine is regularly under $50 in classic settings. We mentioned that vegetables in stores are so cheap, about half of normal prices and 1/4 of organic prices in the states. He told us that they are subisdized by the government. Can you imagine the US government subsidizing healthy food and taxing unhealthy food? I can't.

      Afterwards, we went to the recommended wine bar on the Munsterplatz and sampled some German wines in the shadows of the cathedral at night. Tomorrow we go the Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval town known for its beauty.

      More photos and videos are here.
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    • Day 17

      Oct 6 - Exploring the Black Forest

      October 6, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

      Today’s adventure found us docked in Breisack (pronounced Bry-zack) in Germany. The day was another cool, overcast one with a forecast of rain. Bundle up and pack an umbrella has become our mantra.

      After breakfast, we went by coach for about an hour to Freiburg. Our guide, Gerlinda, told us about the Baden area that we were passing through. The land here is very fertile because of past volcanic activity. We passed fields of corn (for animal feed and ethanol production), millet, pumpkins, mustard and tobacco. There are a lot of walnut trees in this area so walnut bread and walnut cake are local specialities.

      Our destination was Schauinslandbahn - a cable car that took us high up into the Black Forest. The Black Forest got its name from the Romans who came here 2000 years ago. The forest is so densely wooded, that from a distance, it looks black, not green, and foreboding and menacing. The area is ripe with tales about goblins and dwarfs and gnomes and witches that inhabit the forest. We traveled up through light clouds and mist to the top. Our activity was a 4-km walk - all downhill - on good trails. The valleys are dotted with little farms and villages, and the fields are inhabited by contented-looking cows and sheep and goats.

      We stopped at a little house called Schniederlihof. The house is over 400 years old, and until 1966, belonged to the same family that made its living selling dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt). At that time eight siblings living in the house, all in their 20’s, finally recognized the futility of making a living there. They sold the house and land to the local community and then moved to the local village. The house is now a little museum that showcases the life of Black Forest farmers. The man who tends the museum is a descendant of the original family. We toured the parlour, the bedroom, the kitchen (with Black Forest ham smoking in the attic) and the barn. We were rewarded for our walking efforts with Black Forest Cake and hot tea. We hadn’t actually burned the equivalent number of calories, but when in the Black Forest…….

      Back at the ship, we actually had to wait a while to board. We had been double-bunked with another ship. It was time for it to sail, so our ship had to pull out, wait for the other ship to sail, and then pull back in. There was our captain again, making sure the gangplank was secure. He is definitely a hands-on captain.

      The entertainment for this afternoon was called “Four Hands over 50 Bells”. It was a duo who played tunes, both traditional and modern, on cow bells. It was a delightful, upbeat show. Promptly on cue, we sailed at 4:00 p.m. Next stop - Basel, Switzerland. That will be the sixth country of this cruise.
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    • Day 19

      Tag 2 in Hinterzarten ☀️🌲

      August 10, 2022 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Am Mittwoch sind wir vormittags auf dem Feldberg gewesen, wo wir uns ein Fest angeschaut haben. Mittags haben wir uns dazu entschlossen nach Freiburg zu fahren, um ein Auto bei BMW anzugeben, damit es repariert wird. Bei der Nordkurve haben wir denn auch zu Mittag gegessen - für die Männer gab es Wurstsalat und für Finja Nudeln mit Pesto. Das Wetter war sehr gut an dem Tag, wir hatten um die 30 Grad. ☀️
      Wieder in Hinterzarten angekommen haben wir uns ein wenig ausgeruht. Danach gab es wieder eine Runde Phase 10 und UNO.
      Zum Abschluss sind wir gemeinsam abends ins Imbery gegangen und haben dort zu Abend gegessen. 🍴🍻
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    • Day 5


      July 21, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Soda Runde für heute beendet...
      Heute wieder bissl im Schwarzwald gefahren....über Staufen hoch zum Wiedener Eck und ein paar Ecken mehr...
      Dann kurz zum Schluchsee rüber.... Café suchen 🤭
      Schau ins Land war dann der Abschluss. Nun bissl in Freiburg rumstromern, fein haben ... Shoppen (😉Bücher 📚 passen immer).
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    • Day 53

      Schau ins Land vom Schauinsland

      July 22, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Was für eine Wanderung. 1000 Höhenmeter überwinden von Freiburg zum Berg Schauinsland mit mehr als 1200 Metern Höhe. Nach oben gewandert, nach unten mit der Talbahn. Aber der Blick über den Schwarzwald bis hin zum höchsten Berg des Schwarzwaldes sorgte dafür das sich die Wanderung gelohnt hat.Read more

    • Day 4

      Tag 4: Notschrei - Hinterzarten

      June 30, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Heute haben wir unsere Luxusunterkunft am Notschreipass gegen 0845 verlassen. Zunaechst ging es ueber den Stuebenwasen, dann Staerkung mit Buttermilch vor dem kurzen Aufstieg zum Feldberg. Durch einen Sessellift ist da oben gut was los. Beim Abstieg haben wir uns entschieden, den nicht sonderlich aufregenden Titisee auszulassen und lieber noch etwas mehr Strecke zu machen. Ein aufziehendes Gewitter hat diesen Plan leider zunichte gemacht. So sind wir in der Wanderhuette des Schwarzwaldvereins oberhalb von Hinterzarten gelandet. Auch nicht schlimm: Hier gibt es heute ein All-you-can-eat BBQ und leckeres Rothaus-Bier.. 🍺Read more

    • Day 1


      June 3, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Zum Start unserer Italien Rundreise ist unsere erste Station im Schwarzwald.
      Der Weg dorthin verlief problemlos, einen mehrere Kilometer langen Stau konnten wir gut umfahren. 🙂
      Unterwegs ist Kathrin aufgefallen, dass wir -schon wieder- unsere vorgeschriebene Warntafel vergessen haben. Also haben wir die Dritte gekauft. 🤪
      Der Campingplatz/Bauernhof ist sehr idyllisch in den Bergen gelegen, hier wird insbesondere den Kindern sehr viel geboten.
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