Our Paris “home-base”.

We’re headed out of Paris on the train toward Cahors (southern France).  We covered quite a bit of ground during our stay. The best part was catching up with my niece Cadence! She happened to be passing through Paris at the same time, on a school planned trip. I’ll post photos sometime soon. For now, check out the place we stayed at!

 

Castles, Southern Germany Countryside.

Castles, Southern Germany Countryside.

I’m falling a little behind, these photos will bring us close to the present.

From Berlin, we took a train to Frankfurt, where we rented a minivan & drove to a small town called Bad Wimpfin. This town neighbors Mosbach, which is where my Pop’s side of the family lived (cousins still live there I believe). The lush, green rolling hills reminded me of Vermont…except for the castle part. We stayed in a home built in the 17th century, on the grounds of a castle that’s been around for about 900 years. Credit to Kelly for finding such amazing places to stay. We’re in Paris now, arrived last night. I’m all jacked up on espresso…nobody else is up yet. The photos are not all in chronological order, but close enough.

Relaxing on the train, on our way out of Berlin

Zach takes up the whole doorway these days. Taking the train is by far the most comfortable way to travel. Nelius legs are too long for airplanes & renting a car requires me to pay more attention than I like.

Alex after disembarking the train, in Frankfurt. Our luggage consists of one carry on per person. Plenty of room for all the travel necessities. I’ve only had to turn my undies inside out once.

All of us arriving at the castle (Berg Ehrenberg) we stayed in for 4 nights. If you follow the link to Wiki, it will talk a bit about the castle’s history. You may need to right click for the English translation.

Meal time is always an event. Pleasing 5 mouths plus the wallet is sometimes difficult. We’re probably around 60/40 in favor of thumbs up in this regard. I enjoyed food in Germany, the others not so much. We try to hit restaurants that offer authentic food to the region, but sometimes wuss out and get a burger. I will not admit to eating at McDonald’s.

Alex pushed for a visit to the Technik Museum in Sinsheim. Click the link to check it out! It was a huge hit, especially for him. I was very impressed. Airplanes, cars, motorcycles, war vehicles, you name it, it was there. An amazing collection of all things transportation. I can’t imagine a better one exists!

Alex is a WW2 buff. There is a huge collection of military equipment from that time period here. Here Alex is acting as our tour guide. Sorry for the occasional blurry photo. Sawyer is particularly difficult to catch still…he’s always on the move, even while standing in one place.

This little car is described as the smallest sports car in the world. Sawyer sized. A 1960 Goggo Coupe 250.

A steam powered generator!

Dozens of planes, several of which you could walk through.

An Air France Concord passenger jet, remember those?

Zach walking through the Concord.

Zach isn’t too sure of this. It was labelled on the menu as ravioli. I thought it was delicious. Pretty sure it was pasta twisted up and stuffed with sausage & spinach.

I found an outdoor pool nearby. Sawyer couldn’t get enough of this slide.

We stop often for refreshments during our walks.

We were slow pokes on the German autobahn. Yes, it says 159km/hour….you do the math. Cars were flying by us at this speed.

Arrival in Bad Wimpfin. We’re clearly not in Palmer now.

Our first castle experience! We were all a little awestruck.

Another mealtime. Schnitzel on the menu!

Alex trying to open a door that appears to be older than dirt.

Ice cream bribery!

Alex @ the castle we stayed at.

Sawyer on the move @ the castle.

The entrance to Berg Nelius.

This one’s for you Pop!

Gravel hauling in the Neckar River. Another castle in the background.

All for now! We’re off to find the Eiffel Tower…and eat French pastries!

Sweaty Berlin

Sweaty Berlin

We spent 4 days in Berlin. Our Airbnb was a comfortable 3 bedroom apartment, waterfront to the Landwehr canal. It’s a diverse city, with history that goes back much further than what jumps into my mind when I think of Berlin. For some reason, it reminded me of San Francisco. Much of the city was destroyed in WW2 & has since been rebuilt. I found myself drawn to the museums & sights related to the last 80 years. I remember feeling the same way during our trip through Cambodia a few years ago. The food was fine, but nobody here will remember Berlin for it’s delicious variety of schnitzel. I was one sweaty, glowing white Alaskan. It was much warmer than I expected.

Alex and I visited the Topography of Terror. This is a museum located at the sight of buildings that housed Gestapo/SS headquarters from 1933-to when they were destroyed by bombs in 1954. A section of the Berlin Wall is part of the museum.

Alex standing in front of “the Wall”.

Alex at Checkpoint Charlie- A name given by the Western Allies to the best known Berlin Wall crossing point between East & West Berlin during the Cold War.

The Gendarmenmarkt, a square in Berlin Built in the late 17th century. Mostly destroyed during the war & rebuilt afterward. Beautiful buildings.

Neue Wache- Alex and I stumbled upon this war remembrance memorial on our Memorial Day. The sculpture is of a mother embracing her dead son. It serves as the “Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship”.

The boys during our visit to the DDR Museum. This is an interactive museum that depicts life in the former East Germany (known in Germany as the Deutsche Demokratische Republik).

Hanging out with some naked ladies…Sawyer not to sure why.

More boobs, and more unsure Sawyer.

Pastries are a breakfast staple here.

We rented bikes for a day, that’s Zach with a big ass church in the background. (more respectfully, the Evangelical Supreme Parish).

Photo op with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

More of our day on the bikes.

Bribe your kids with ice cream, it works.

We rode for quite a while at an abandon airport, in the city center, called Tempelhof Airport. Hitler ordered the construction during the 1930’s (think?). Now it’s a huge park that locals use to hike, bike & have picnics on.

More biking!

Brandenburg Gate – a well known monument in Berlin & Europe. Zach, Kelly & Sawyer bottom right.

Stopping for a rest under Brandenburg Gate, it was a long hot day.

@ the East Side Gallery, a long section of the Berlin Wall covered by painted murals.

Zach is known for his responses to my orders with a thumbs up. At the East Side Gallery.

Yay Berlin!

…the Wall at the East Side Galery.

Public transportation in Berlin.

We’re currently on our way to Paris, after 4 days in a little German town called Bad Wimpfin. Lots of cool photos to post on our stop there, coming soon.