Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To Deutschland With Love

When I was growing up, we never lived close to any extended family. Visiting aunts and uncles always meant at least 20 hours of driving, if not more. So, as an adult, I fully expect to live far from my own siblings. My sister, however, thinks it's totally cool to live in a different country. And...well...as much as I miss her...I think it's totally cool, too! A little over a year ago, my sister Heather and her husband Karl moved to the southwest corner of Germany, to a cute little town called Buhl. They were supposed to only be there for 6 months but because they are both fluent in German and absolutely LOVE it there, they've extended the stay for at least 2 years...maybe more. My parents and I went to visit them last Christmas and had a lovely time. But I had wanted to take Andrew there one time before a) them came back and b) we were too poor to go. So at the beginning of October, we had absolutely the best trip to Germany and France just about ever.

Our first full day there, we did probably my favorite thing there. Heather and Karl discovered this great little beirgarten in the middle of the Black Forest. You drive through the mountains, park your car, and take about a 30 minute hike...

...and suddenly there's a cute little restaurant! We sat outside, looking out at a field of cows, and had one of the best salads I've ever had. Then we hiked back through the Black Forest. It was just so very...German.

We spent a good part of out time exploring castles. I served my mission in the Loire Valley in France, where you can't spit without hitting a castle. But German castles are different. They're not as grandiose and uber-fancy. And honestly, that makes them more castle-like. My favorite was Burg Eltz. Holy moly, this is a beautiful castle. It's one of the only castles that's never been taken over. Also, the same family has lived there for like 500 years or something. And they still live there. (if this were one of my sisters' blogs, she be all sorts of smart and informative...me...not so much...)

Andrew's favorite castle was just a stone's throw from Burg Etlz, called Burg Thurant. This one is much smaller but way more fun. It had winery, stables, cannons, medieval toilets, and a dungeon with human remains still littering the floor! Ewwww!!

Other things we did in the Germany - eat yummy Doners, play Settlers of Catan, saw a 1,000 year old church, walked the streets of my ancestors' home town, walked around a 2,000 year old Roman bath house, and played with my favorite sister and her darling husband.

More on the France part of our trip in the next installment!


Zachary said...
2:36 PM  

PS - I received a WONDERFUL Christmas letter today chronicling you year. Thank you!

teresa and the boys said...
2:40 PM  

Hi. You need to update more 'cause what the world needs now is more Susan. OkayIloveyouBye.

Mark said...
10:12 AM  

And I thought you didn't like Settlers of Catan....

Sufoot said...
9:17 PM  

I do! I do like Settlers of Catan! I even have one! It's not a fun game to play with just two people so we don't play ALL time...which is why sometimes we have to bring it to Germany to play it. So, there!

The McKay's said...
10:20 PM  

Love your pics and your blog--we should play settlers together sometime. :)

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