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    • Day 134


      August 10, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Relaxed morning before heading to Athens for our flight to Germany! Jacques had to get one last gyros on the way to the airport 🌯

      We jumped on a train that we thought was going to the airport, then quickly realised it was the wrong one. Jacques managed to get off but then the doors started automatically closing with me still on the train 😂 stressful but funny afterwards.

      Frank (dad’s cousin) picked us up from the Frankfurt airport and we drove 1.5 hours back to Nan’s home town, Rodalben. I came here in 2015 and still remember how beautiful it is, so green with forest everywhere 😍

      When we arrived, Nan’s youngest sister Margit and Trud (sister in law) were waiting for us out the front with the big Australian flag 🇦🇺 so cute! Emotional reunion, so nice to see them again ❤️ Walter (Margit’s husband) and Klaus (Nan’s brother) were waiting for us on the back porch with plenty of drinks & food! Margit was quick to pop the bottle of sparkling to celebrate 🍾 🥂
      Plenty of cheese was consumed, along with Margit’s delicious goulash soup for dinner!

      After dinner, we had a phone call with Eva (Frank’s sister) who is currently on holiday in Corsica. Super excited to see her when she gets back!

      In true German fashion, Walter got the schnapps out not long after dinner 🥃 we all had a shot (some enjoyed it more than others 🤣) Nonetheless, Pop would be proud haha

      We did some washing and Frank gave us a tour of the cellar/downstairs level. We were laughing so much at the stockpiling of supplies, probably 100 bottles of wine, multiple of every type of canned/dried food you could think of. You could live here for a year and never have to go to the shops 😂

      Very happy to be back again ❤️❤️❤️ we fly to London tomorrow to spend a few days back in the UK due to our Schengen visa. We are excited to spend some time with Stephan and Julia (Jacques cousins)
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    • Day 147

      Eva’s House “Nothing Day”

      August 23, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Today we decided to have a relaxed “nothing day” with no sightseeing. In the morning we went to Rodalben cemetery to visit my great grandparents’ grave. This is my dad’s grandparents and my Nan’s parents. Very beautiful cemetery with lots of big old trees and surrounded by forest.

      Afterwards, we went into town to book a hair appointment for me and go to the butcher. We ran into Nan’s old neighbour from when she was a child. I didn’t know her but Frank recognised her and introduced us. It’s such a small town here and everyone seems to have some kind of connection to one another!

      We spent the rest of the day hanging out at Eva’s place. This consisted of painting with Levi, playing cards, drinking aperols, trampoline, swings and an “Aussie BBQ” for dinner.

      After dinner, we drove 5 mins down the road to a gorgeous little chapel on the hill overlooking forest and farmland to watch the sunset. Jacques and Levi did some more running around
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    • Day 151

      Family Lunch @ Margit’s House

      August 27, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Today we had a lunch with all of the family at Margit’s house. Klaus (Nan’s brother) and his wife Trudi and Nan’s sister Trud came from the nursing home.

      We FaceTimed Nan so that she could see her family. This was really nice and also emotional, especially for Nan’s sister Trud who she hasn’t seen in person since she visited Germany in 2000 🥹

      We enjoyed a delicious lunch which consisted of two different types of meat, Frank’s famous sauces, salads and potatoes. For dessert, I made “Aussie pavlova” which was a hit with her Germans, everybody loved it.

      I took Trud back to the nursing home with Margit and Frank. She wanted to show me where she lives and I took some photos to show Nan. It was really modern and new, with a beautiful garden and courtyard in the middle. She gave me some pictures she had coloured in to give to Nan 🥹 really bittersweet saying goodbye to her, as her health isn’t so good but grateful for the time we had today ❤️

      After dinner we had some fun and laughs with Google Translate, Margit was on a roll it was so funny 😂
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    • Day 153


      August 29, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Couple of days catch up in one post!

      Yesterday morning Jacques and I walked into Rodalben town and had a look around. We visited the Marienkirche church and walked under the bridge where Nan’s childhood home used to be. I love this old town, it’s so cute.

      We went with Frank, Eva, Michael & Levi to an indoor water park which was so much fun! It was like wet and wild but all indoors. So many slides and pools. Jacques was like a big kid going on every slide, I loved the steam room and Levi had lots of fun in the kids park. Afterwards we all came back to the house and relaxed for the afternoon/played with Levi.

      Today we went to the shoe outlets with Eva and Michael, there’s so many here! Jacques and I both got a fresh pair of Birkenstocks for when we get home. Cheeky little bratwurst at the snack truck for a late lunch! Going to turn into a sausage at this rate 🌭

      Afterwards, we went to the shops and butcher to get ingredients for dinner at Eva’s. Jacques and I cooked Asian for everybody, with Levi’s help of course. It consisted of rice paper rolls for entree and sticky pork belly, rice and greens for main 🐖 🥬 Very different type of food for the German fam but they all really liked it, Walter even went back for seconds 😜

      After dinner we relaxed with Levi and he read us some books and dressed up in his construction outfit 😂 funniest kid. Nice relaxed day again ❤️
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    • Day 166

      Last Hoorah!

      September 11, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Today was the day of goodbyes with the German family. Started our morning with a coffee with Marlu on her back veranda, before her partner Tomas drove us back to Rodalben. It was such a special time we had with her, Cedric and Celine ❤️

      When we arrived in Rodalben, Margit cooked us our last breakfast, her famous eggs (we will miss this so much) before driving with Frank to visit Nan’s sister Trud & say goodbye. We spent an hour at the nursing home with Trud, went for a walk with her in the garden and talked with her while Frank did his job of sharpening all her pencils. She gave me lots of pictures for Nan that she has coloured in which is amazing considering her Parkinson’s. Was really bittersweet saying goodbye and she wished for me to give Nan a big hug.

      After we arrived home, we drove with Eva to Levi’s kinder to pick him up. He ran straight up to me to give me the biggest hug! He is the cutest boy 💙

      The rest of the day was spent at Eva’s house, playing with Levi, swimming in the pool and relaxing.

      Michael promised we would get to hear him sing before we left, so we went down to their local church in Maßweiler where we met their friend who plays the organ. We had a private concert 🎶 Michael was just as amazing as I remember!

      Back to Eva’s house for wood fired Flammkuchen. The whole family was there including Klaus and Trudi. We had lots of laughs and we gave everybody their gifts which was a picture in a photo frame, all from various times we’ve had during our German stay. We had “spaghetti icecream” (really weird for us haha) then tried to get a group photo which was very entertaining with Levi as he doesn’t like photos 🤣

      Leaving Eva’s house was very emotional for all of us 😢 This time together was extra special with me being a bit older and having that connection with Levi. As Levi said “don’t cry mum, we will see them again soon” 🥰

      Back to Margit & Walter’s house where we were joined by Klaus and Trudi for one last goodbye drink, which consisted of a shot of schnapps, of course! The goodbye with Klaus and Trudi was also emotional, especially for Klaus. He wanted me to give Nan a big hug too ❤️

      We enjoyed some drinks on the back porch with Frank before heading to bed for our early wake up tomorrow.
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    • Day 161

      Hilschberghaus + Klaus Haus

      September 6, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      This morning was a chill morning. After doing some life admin we both went for runs 🏃‍♂️ and then walked to Eva’s school which is only a 10 minute walk from Margit’s house. We picked up Levi from kinder which was cute and then headed out for lunch.

      📍 PWV-Hilschberghaus pub- We visited one of Pop’s favourite place in the forest for lunch. Bratwurst, sauerkraut and saumagen was on the menu and was delicious. We also had a yummy cherry cake. Levi played in the playground and on the nearby rocks climbing with Jacques.

      📍 Klaus + Trudi’s House- Frank drove us to Nan’s brothers house for dinner. We had delicious käsespätzle and salad for dinner. Trudi took us for a tour around the home and the gardens. They had a lot of Australian merchandise downstairs from maps to boomerangs and a sign that said next pub 900km away 😂
      Their garden was amazing! A lot of the Germans have their own vegetable gardens and their garden was really pretty with lots of different flowers and plants.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Rodalben, رودآلبن, ردآلبن, ローダルベン, Родальбен, Родалбен, 罗达尔本

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