Herr’s parents arrived the Saturday before Christmas, and they kept busy. Three Christmas markets (Deidesheim was first and best, Rothenberg, and Heidelberg) for the first three days. On Christmas Eve, I prepared the goose before we took a visit to Heidelberg Castle then rode the funicular railway up to Koenigstuehl (a peak). It was foggy, but it made for dramatic effect. Afterwards, my brother and Rie joined us for roast goose, candied yams, cranberries, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes with apples and thyme, and a King’s Roll for dessert.
Christmas Day was very happy. I have a brand new bike (woohoo!) and some great new jewelery among other things. Herr seems to like his gramophone and was overall happy with everything he received. It was a good day. 😀 We just munched on leftovers from the day before because on Friday we left for the Alps!
If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort; the staff was incredibly friendly, we had mountain view rooms, the food was awesome, and the huge fireplace with rocking chairs in the lounge set the mood. We walked up to Neuschwanstein Castle, walked Partnach Gorge near the 1936 winter Olympic stadium, and went up the Zugspitze, also known as the highest peak in Germany. Awesome!! Right before we left, I got a chocolate massage too. 😛 I smelled like chocolate and peppermint all the way home…
Herr’s parents left for Spain the next day, which made me jealous! However, we have our next trip planned already… Rome!
Hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas!
The weekend before Thanksgiving we took a night train to Berlin for two days. Again, I didn’t really sleep on the train (I think it is an acquired skill), but we still saw a lot despite lack of sleep!
Our first stop was the Bundestag, or the German parliament building, with its glass observatory dome. Nearby is a two-brick wide line down the road in front of Brandenburg Gate marking where the wall once stood. By the time we reached the gate, the weather turned wet. We decided to take a double-decker to Museum Island.
At the Berlin Dome overlooking the destruction of an East German government building, we made it to the top of the dome to catch the first snow fall. Very slushy snow that made wet feet wetter. The crypt was interesting though, a good cathedral to visit. The Pergamon Museum was worth all the squishy walking, though. Absolutely awesome collection of classical architecture and artwork.
After spending much time in the Pergamon, we went next door to the Bode Museum, which houses Renaissance and Christian art. We were actually looking for the Egypt collection but didn’t make it in time. I would not recommend the Bode Museum, unfortunately. Everything was depressing (it is my least favorite period for artwork).
The second day started in the Kudamm shopping area, where we walked by a Christmas Market setting up underneath the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was bombed out in WWII. We made it to the musical instrument museum just in time to hear an organ performance. Personally, I am not a fan of carnival organs and the musician played everything much too fast, but it was set up so observers could look inside to see its innerworkings.
At my brother’s suggestion, we hopped the metro over to East Berlin for an early dinner at Gugelhof. I could tell it would have been pretty good, but almost everything had alcohol in it and our waitress wasn’t very focused (friendly though). We went back to Kudamm for one last quick shopping sprint before catching our train back home.
Overall, I thought Berlin’s history and museums were awesome. I am still having problems with Germany’s affinity to alcohol and cigarettes though, and Berlin was no exception.
Actually, London Bridge is in Lake Havasu (and I’ve seen it!). It is the Tower Bridge I saw last Tuesday. 😀
Krug and I took a day trip over to London. We didn’t get to see much, but we still had fun. Ryanair lands about an hour outside of the city, so we bussed in near 2 p.m. The first item on the agenda: Hard Rock Café. We walked through Hyde Park Corner and discovered the British also celebrate Veterans’ Day. The Corner has several war monuments, and they were covered with red flowers. The Hard Rock was a few blocks away, and we soon found out it was the first Hard Rock complete with Eric Clapton’s red guitar.
We then went to see Hairspray the Musical. I haven’t seen the movie, but the musical was hilarious. If you’re looking for a feel-good comedy, I recommend it.
The next day we went straight to the Tower of London and took the hour long guided tour. We had a great time, aside from my choice of footwear. We made it in to see the crown jewels (the Star of Africa looks fake it is so big!), and visited the White Tower, full of armory goodness.
By the time we crossed the Tower Bride, my feet wanted to fall off (never ever ever wear high heeled boots when sightseeing…), so we went right to our next destination post haste: the London Dungeon (Krug is a fan of horror). It was interesting enough, although some of the facts were a bit sketchy… my impression is it was fun but way overpriced.
From there we caught the tube to the British Museum for high tea. We hadn’t eaten much, but we couldn’t finish the finger sandwiches or desserts. Feeling pretty good, we explored a bit of the museum before we had to leave. I wish we had more time there, I hadn’t realized it was mostly free and had so much cool stuff!
Another lesson learned on this trip was flying while congested is the worst. I had acquired a nasty cold the Friday before, and I am actually still battling it now. Hopefully it will be mostly gone before our trip to Berlin this weekend! If I have time though, I would like to get in another trip to London and its surrounding area. 🙂 Two thumbs up for London!
We started at the military school. The military school ironically has a peace monument across the street, as well as the iconic Eiffel Tower. By the time we reached the tower, all the tours and tourists were already arriving. We took the stairs up to the second level and fought our way through the thickening throng of tourists to catch some sites from up high.
I wanted to make it to Notre Dame for noon mass, so we struggled with the metro to get there in time. We caught the end of the mass, which was performed by two priests, then waited in line for the towers tour. After a half an hour, we decided we wanted food instead and headed towards the Opera house. Nearby is the Hard Rock Cafe, which we have visited several locations now. Unfortunately the food wasn’t very good, but the service was awesome.
We tried to look around in the Opera house (famous for the Phantom of the Opera), but it was too late for tours. Since it was so close to departure, we wandered the area around the Opera, also known for its shopping. Au Printemps isn’t far away, but we stuck to window shopping and ended up getting a few shirts. Shopping in Paris is awesome! 😀
Despite the difficulties figuring out the metro and general business, we both really enjoyed Paris. It does smell bad and has a wide range of people, but overall it isn’t bad to visit. I want to go back to shop some more. 😛
More photos are available but need to be sorted and captioned still…