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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Germany/Austria Trip - Final Post!

A have a few final photos from our wonderful trip to Germany and Austria over Spring Break!

Daddy, David, and the boys went to the BMW Museum in Munich and had a great time!

I'd forgotten about paying to use the public bathrooms!
We always made sure to have enough Euros on hand.

At our hotel in Munich we had this vending machine on our floor.
I know David enjoyed it. 

I absolutely just loved driving through the countryside every day on our way to the next destination. 
Germany is a beautiful country and I loved just driving along the highway.

They have a lot of solar "farms" that they use to generate energy.  We'd see them pop up every once in awhile.

Hops growing in the fields

The road signs were a great memory too.

These were my absolute favorite.  Before every new town there was a brown and white sign announcing the town with an example of some of the sites to see.  This one for Regensburg showed the old Roman bridge and the Cathedral.  Even tiny little towns had these signs.  I think we should do this in the US.

I never did find out why some cities (like Nurnberg below) have a red dot next to them - maybe it's a capital city??

Cool to see Prague, Czech Republic listed on this sign!

And Berlin here.

And my absolute favorite thing was to see all the little cities pop up as we were driving by.  They all had beautiful red roofed buildings and a church with a beautiful steeple and bell.

We enjoyed some of the English translations we saw along the way.
Brennan couldn't stop laughing about "Bananen Flic Flac"
at the Italian restaurant in Regensburg where we ate outside in front of the beautiful Cathedral.

We ate at a traditional German restaurant on our last night in Frankfurt.  There were some funny translations on the English menu.

"Toast and something like sausage"

There's a traditional dessert of vanilla ice cream with warm berries and its "English name" is "Hot Love"

The kids' menu was written as "For our tiny geasts"

Can't just get tap water which I craved.
This was the most beautiful water bottle I'd gotten though.
Thomas had to photo bomb :)

Brennan thought it important to show our love of Spezi (Coke and Fanta).  We had many, many Spezis.

And I have to finish our trip with this beautiful plate of Jaeger Schnitzel.
Daddy searched everywhere for this traditional dish but he never found it - until the last night.
Thank goodness!

We had a wonderful, wonderful trip - made even more special because my parents were there to share it with us and show us the sites.  I could easily return to Germany to visit (or live!) 

A wonderful Spring Break!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Germany/Austria Trip Post 5

After a day in Munich we headed to Regensburg on the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers.
It is a beautiful city that we'd never visited, and it had a great history being the most northern point on the Danube River.

The Romans first built a fort in Regensburg in 90 AD.  
There are many Jewish settlers in Regensburg despite the fact that in the First Crusade all Jews in the city who resisted conversion were killed.

The stone bridge was built across the Danube in the 1100s allowing trade between Venice and the rest of Northern Europe to open up - making Regensburg a spot for lots of wealthy merchants.

We started in the visitor's center museum which is attached to a beautiful church

Portions of the museum are in the church which dates back to the 1400s

Brennan with the stained glass windows in the church/museum 

After touring the museum we headed towards the Cathedral, noting the beautiful architecture in the old town

And then we could see the Cathedral towers in the distance

I love the variety of architecture in this photo below:

Here are the boys on the right side of the Cathedral 

It's hard to get the front of the cathedral in one photo!

It's a beautiful German Gothic church which was started in the 1200s.

 Posed photo "another cathedral??"
But they were rather tired.
We promised lunch after the tour

My photos don't do justice to the interior, all the stained glass windows and the altars.  It's just beautiful.

We had a great Italian lunch right next to the Cathedral.  My back was to it.  It was wonderful to sit outside and look at the beautiful church!

And then we went on a bus tour of the city

This may be my favorite tower!

The Danube River

 The Roman stone bridge I mentioned before that was built in the 2nd century.  It's been reinforced now for vehicles. 

Remnants of the Roman stone wall that surrounded the city starting in the 2nd century

The boys and I loved this narrow hotel.  Wonder what it was like inside??

After WWII the city chose to focus on preserving historical architecture that survived bombings rather than rebuilding.  The city has some stunning architecture.

Not a posed photo!  I promise, the bus tour was not this boring :)

 I'm so glad we decided to check out Regensburg on the Danube.  
It was a wonderful day trip!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Germany/Austria Trip - Post 4

Warning:  There are gobs and gobs of photos in this post!

We left our cozy hotel in Berchtesgaden and headed to Salzburg, Austria next!  We had a very full day walking all over Salzburg.  It was certainly a highlight of the trip for me.  The city offered so much history and a lot of sites that I wanted the boys to see in Europe.

We parked near the Mirabell Palace and Gardens to start our walk.

There was a kiosk advertising The Sound of Music tours with cow art.  I wanted to spend the day in Old Town, not on a bus, but I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the cow.

It was so nice to see some blooming, even on a chilly and windy day.

And then we saw the gardens!
And I checked my notes and realized this was the garden where they filmed part of the "Do Re Mi" song portion of the movie.
Cool view of the Cathedral and Fortress in the background too!

I found this clip online and made the following photo of the movie scene and our view!
Pretty cool!

Up close of the Fortress and Cathedral (green dome) across the river 

We crossed the Salzach River to the rest of Old Town and saw the lovers lock bridge.  The original is in Paris but these are apparently popping up all over Europe.  You take a lock and write your names on it, then throw the key in the river.  The Salzburg lock color is red so you can always buy a lock in town if you didn't bring one.

There are 3 Mozart buildings in town, but this is the one with the good museum - Mozart's Birthplace

There are so many churches, civic buildings, and store fronts in Old Town.  I loved all the architecture.  We popped in many of the churches and buildings on our walk.

The Glockenspiel

In the Cathedral Plaza - view of the Fort

The front of the Cathedral

Main aisle in the Cathedral

Beautiful, beautiful interior!

Outside of St. Peter's Abbey and Cemetery

The oldest restaurant in Europe that is still in business - this is the main entry into the building - you can see tables once you enter through the arches.  There's a beautiful interior area too.  The restaurant has been in operation since 803.  Brennan couldn't believe it - pre 1000 AD!

We had to step into the St. Peter's Abbey cemetery since this is where the cemetery scene at the end of The Sound of Music was filmed.

Where the scene in the movie was filmed.

The cemetery chapel

A wall of plaques - one dating back to 1400 -  in the cemetery

David and the boys did a quick tour of the catacombs. You can see Thomas in the window of the catacombs.

After exhausting all of the Old Town sites we headed to the Salzburg Fortress.

We could have walked up but we took the cable cars.

We kept seeing information about the "Baileys" at the Fortress.  We had Bailey (the puppy) on our minds the whole time.  Turns out the a Motte and Bailey castle (or fortress) were introduced in Europe by the Normans. A Bailey was a defended yard separate by the next level of the fort usually by a ditch or a moat.  This photo below shows the area between two Baileys in the Salzburg Fortress.  This fortress was first built in 1077 and it was renovated in the 1600s.  Thomas lists the Fortress as one of the highlights of the trip.

Canon pointed to defend the Cathedral

We walked back to our rental cars and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  Salzburg is a beautiful city.

We headed back to Munich and enjoyed a great dinner together at a nearby Greek restaurant!