Monday, November 23, 2009

Innsbruck, Austria (#9 Germany)

We saw some very beautiful sights in Austria, but Innsbruck wasn't really one of my favorite spots. The city was much larger than I had pictured it in my mind and very crowded. But the day wasn't a complete waste as we did venture into Italy from here and found a very pretty town, not to mention the beautiful countryside we traveled through on our way there.

When we first arrived in Innsbruck, we were approached by a very persistent carriage driver wanting to give us a tour of the city outside the old town (they aren't permitted to enter the old section of town with their carriages). We decided to go for it, mainly because none of us could understand him well enough to realize what we were getting ourselves into.
Our guide took this picture of the four of us in his carriage.

This is the only picture I took on our ride. It reminded me of the Arc de Triumph.

Our driver tried very hard to give us a real informative tour, but as I said before, we couldn't understand him. He was constantly asking us if we understood what he said and we soon learned that if we answered in the negative, we only got a long repeat of something that we still couldn't understand. So we learned to just smile and act as if he was giving us some wonderful information that was greatly enhancing our visit to Austria. He was not even Austrian. He was from Bulgaria!

This is our first view of the old town area of Innsbruck.

An ornate building in Innsbruck's old town.

My token picture of myself by a fountain.

This is Peggy by an amazing mime. That girl stood upon the pedestal, perfectly still the entire time we were walking around Innsbruck!
The hotel in the background (with the gold-leafed roof), is where Liz and Greg stayed the last time they visited Innsbruck.

Street view.

I loved this shop sign. We all took several pictures of clever shop signs throughout our entire trip because they were all so cute and unique.

View of the hills around the town.

Beautifully carved building.

I liked the paint job on this building.

The next 2 pictures are random shots of the streets as we walked along.

We did meet up with a very nice missionary couple as we toured these streets. They were from Utah and were working exclusively with the youth in Innsbruck.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Home in Burgau (#8 Germany)

After 5 days in Hammelburg, located in the middle of Germany, we moved our home base to
the southern part of Germany and stayed in Burgau. It is a small town, but sort of like Nampa is a small town; it blends right in with several other towns and so seems like a big town.

Our first night in town, we took a walk and came across this cute little guy!

And, of course, I had to find a fountain in Burgau for a photo backdrop.

When I rented the place in Burgau, I was told it had a "pissor" and so we were all quite eager to learn exactly what a "pissor" was. Here it is, hanging on the wall of one of our bathrooms.

We occupied the entire first floor of this large bed and breakfast. It had 3 very large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room, tiny kitchen, and lots of large hallways.

Moving days were always extremely stressful as we had to cram 8 suitcases and various shopping bags into our little station wagon. But, as you can see, we were successful!

My next post will be of Innsbruck, Austria.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Neuschwanstein Castle (#7 Germany)

After our tour of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we drove to our new home in Burgau. It was further south, bringing us closer to the Austrian border and to the Neuschwanstein Castle.
Our first morning in Burgau, we got up early and drove towards the castle, taking us through some gorgeous countryside as we headed closer to the Alps.

The following pictures are some of what we saw as we drove that morning.

It took us a bit over an hour to arrive in the little town of Schwangau, that sat at the base of the mountain where the Castle stood. Schwangau was a darling town and the views of the castles from there were wonderful.

This is the Neuschwanstein Castle from the town of Schwangau.

This is another of Ludwig's castles seen from Schwangau. It's a bit closer to the town than the Neuschwanstein Castle and not quite as impressive.

Another view of Neuschwanstein from Schwangau.

The town of Schwangau. You can just see the castle to the side of this hotel.

A hotel in the town of Schwangau. That's Liz and Fawn at the bottom of the photo.

It was quite a walk up to the castle, so we took a horse drawn carriage part of the way.
Fawn is sitting by a cute girl from England who had recently bought that typical German outfit during her trip to Germany and was very proud of it.

This is a better view of the carriage that took us up the hill towards the castle.

This cute restaurant was near to the spot where we were dropped off. They were selling some wonderful treats that looked a bit like donut holes, but tasted so much better!

We still had a pretty long climb to get up to the castle, but the views as we walked along were fantastic and those with better camera's than mine, were getting some great shots of them.
I only got a picture of them taking their wonderful pictures.

A view of the castle as we got closer to it.

This is a model of the castle that was in a sort of museum area.

The entrance into the castle courtyard.

The castle courtyard.

Fawn and Peggy in the castle courtyard.

I don't have too many pictures with all of us, but we managed to get the dad of that "cute girl in her German outfit" to take a couple of pictures for us.
This one is of the view looking away from the castle and. . . .

. . . this one in the opposite direction, with the castle in the background.

This was our 6th day in Germany. I think I'll show you our home in Burgau on my next post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (#6 Germany)

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an old Franconian town, built sometime in the 11th century, that still has it's encircling wall and defensive towers intact. It's an adorable little town, but a bit commercialized and full of tourists. Despite that, I'd recommend it to anyone taking a trip to Germany.

This is part of the wall, with an attached defensive tower.

This, too, is part of the wall that surrounds the town.

I'm not sure what that cute little house above the wall was used for, but it's darling; wish I could have seen inside.
This church is also built into the wall.

Once we entered the gate to the town, we climbed to the top of the wall to get a good look at the town from that perspective. This is a view of a residential area from the wall. I had a picture of us climbing up the wall, but somehow I managed to delete it from this post so.....use your imagination!
This is Fawn, Peggy, and Liz as we walked inside the wall surrounding the town.

Another view of the wall.

We had a little lunch at a sidewalk cafe. It became a memorable experience, because I was kicked out of the cafe and not allowed to sit at our table!
You'll have to ask me about it the next time we see each other.

Is this building cute, or what!

A street view with one of the defensive towers at the end.

Me with one of the many fountains in the town. As I said in an earlier post, it became a tradition to get my picture taken by every fountain we came across.

There were many of these carriages taking people on tours of the town.

Another street; another tower.

Me and another fountain.

Typical street in the town.

This building in the town square is called the Ratsherrntrinkstube (Councilor's drinking-room).
It was built in 1446 and is special because at the top of every hour. . . . .

. . . . the small windows open to show the main figures involved in what is called "the Meistertrunk." According to tradition, this was a magic potion which the fighting men of the town drank in 1631 before storming out against a besieging army and thus saved the town from destruction.
So at the top of every hour, the windows open, and you see a man in each window drinking from a stein. . . .very cute.

This shop is a very popular, year-round Christmas shop. It's pretty spectacular inside. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow any photography inside, but trust me, it's worth seeing.

And, of course, I had to have my picture taken by their darling little delivery truck.

Can you believe we're only thru our fifth day in Germany?!