Regensberg

Monday: We drove into Regensberg then followed the pedestrian and bike pathways to the Cathedral where Mass is offered and in the basement are reminders of the former bishops that have since passed away. The kids, surprisingly, enjoyed the time in the Cathedral and having their photos taken outside where a golden colored live statue politely bowed when coins were placed in his hat.

We moved on to Scheffri bäckeri where we devoured flakey pastries, apfel strudels and cinnamon rolls. Afterwards, we moved along the promenade to the river Danube, had some brüchen and sausages, and took photos along the bridge.

As we headed back to the vehicle, the rain started as a sprinkle then began to pour. We paused under a few overhangs then decided it was in our favor to just push through the rain.

When we arrived at the mall, we sat and relished in warm coffee and chai and gelato.

If you enjoy malls, the mall in Regensberg was a nice addition of current architecture and modern stuff to compliment the historic. Plus, it is attached to the train and bus stop so it is conveniently located.

Make It Fun!
God Bless You.

Advertisements

Arriving in Bavaria

Sunday evening, we deboarded the train. The warm evening sun kissed the summer fields as we met with our friends at the platform. It was tremendous as we’ve not seen them for several years. After loading our backpacks into their vehicles, we were wisked into the Bavarian countryside. We had a lovely dinner at Rechberger hof biergarten and restaurant outside under a beautiful blue Bavarian sky. The food was tasty and filling. We drove back to the village where we caught up then walked a block from the house to the already in progress fest for what the local mayor described to be Jakob’s Fire or a celebration of Saint Jakob.

20130730-225504.jpg

20130730-225603.jpg

20130730-230209.jpg

The music and merriment went on long into the night though I retired around 2130. I had been up for quite a while and cannot keep up with the locals in partying. I’ll post photos when I return home.

Make It Fun!
God Bless.

Traveling through Deutschland

I set out today to visit some old friends. I slept one hour last night and was up around 0400 today. My wife did not sleep. She ensured I did not shrink our laundry. I ensured all the electronic devices were plugged in and charging. The kids quickly slept about 3 hours. We checked out, caught the scheduled cab, headed to the hauptbahnhof, and spent all day traveling.

Cold pizza in a box was held in my hand as folks who just exited the clubs at 0500 tried to give me directions through bleary eyes and a drunken breath that nearly intoxicated me.

We had prepurchased our tickets, planned our routes and a 5 hour 55 minute trip took over nine hours. I commend the Germans in fine engineering, punctuality and many other fine qualities. Getting around with public transportation is usually quite easy and well done. Today, was the exception. I cannot place a finger on what happened but at every stop someone told us we had the wrong tickets only to later find out that each time we did infact did have the right tickets.

It has been a long, hungry, uncomfortably warm day with out so much as air conditioning and very limited open windows on the train. One woman came over three times to close my wife’s window. The heat was so much in the train that after several hours, many of the 20 something’s banded together and opened up several windows. My kids quit sweating so profusely. Still clammy, however cooler. In a positive note, the view from our windows was beautiful and we spent the day as a family.

I just boarded what I believe to be the last train of the day before we meet with our friends. It has air conditioning, outlets to charge our devices and quiet. It has been a long 9+ hours today. The afternoon sun embraces the farm fields and the view is improving.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Make It Fun!
God Bless.

>20130729-142421.jpg

20130729-143001.jpg

Heidelberg

We slept in. No alcohol involved though it was as if the whole family was hung over. We stayed up yesterday to get on a normal schedule and wards off jet lag. The kids were so absolutely tired that they fell asleep on some stairs.

We caught a train from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg. I greatly recommend using the tourist information center just outside the train station as the staff was tremendously helpful and next to the train and bus stops.

We stepped out to a local grocery store where we picked up fresh fruit, baguettes, cheese and lots of water. It was the best $18 dollars spent on this excursion. We enjoyed a picnic on a spot of shaded green, freshly mowed and enjoyed by all. A wonderful breeze began to cool us and helped stop the frequent comments of “it’s hot”. The kids laid out with full bellies and smiles. Then they played tag.

After boarding the bus, we headed to Altestadt or old town to the Rathaus where we took the Funicular to the top of the schloss (castle).

A wedding was taking place in the chapel of the castle so as I tried to take photos of the church, I was quickly ushered out. Even offering wedding gifts did not allow me to stick around. We toured an apothecary museum in the castle. A group was setting up to perform classical music after the castle closed for another event. We headed back down. I encouraged the family to stick around the town. Originally, I was out numbered. The kids wanted to head back to our lodging. As we waited for the bus, the kids wandered down the alleyway that opened up to the city center with Peter’s Church (peterskirche) and many restaurants. The kids were drawn to the central fountain so we ambled about. The crowds were friendly. We walked past the outside cafes then across the bridge. We returned to the cafes and decided to have some dessert and coffee. Crowds meandered past us glancing to see what others ordered. We watched hen parties ( bachelorette ) sell small items such as schnapps and lighters. A tour guide dressed in garb of the 1700s with a tri-cornered hat and pikepole led a group through town lending a bit of history to those around. Our wait to order food grew longer and we noticed we were seated next to a hidden foul dumpster. As my patience grew thin at the restaurant our waiter appeared. In the end, the restaurant service was terrible and they did not have tap water or sweet wine available. We ordered deserts for the kids and espresso for the adults. The waiter said he was from Kabul and was really friendly once we asked him where he was from. He spoke Dari, Urdu, German and English. The desserts were fantastic. Über sweet tiramisu and mousse was paired with currants and blackberries. The espresso was exquisitely strong, the way I like it. The kids were smiling again.

We wandered about the shops where we stumbled upon some great stores and my wife picked up an apfelwein.

After finding our way back to the bus stop, we met up with some acquaintances we met earlier from Holland. They had gone to the church where they saw a Bach classical concert. It was 2130 hours and the sun did not even think about setting though it was cooling. The bus took us to the hauptbahnhof and bahnhof (train station). The sun finally decided to let hold of the day. We caught a train and headed to the hotel. As I type this, young eyes have grown heavy and the train lists here and there rocking gently side-to-side as it gains speed.

Good night sweet angels.

Germany

This has been a year of blessings. I enjoy traveling and in less than a year, I’ve been to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia and now Europe. My first stop in Europe is Germany.

To fight the jet lag, we got off the plane, set up a home base to leave our things and headed out to town. We used the bus, accidentally dropped an apfel (apple) tart in a fountain sipped coffee under an umbrella and enjoyed the company of the locals.

Today, is a train ride and a fun day ahead.

Make It Fun!
God Bless.

Indonesia: A Country of Many Sounds

Aside

Image

I caught a flight from Seoul, South Korea and landed in Jakarta.  The sun had set.  I stepped out of the baggage area and into sweltering humidity.  The volume of new sounds quickly caught my attention.  New languages, the sound of excitement as people greeted each other with hugs and the undeniable sound of motorbikes and buses had me looking in all directions.

I have been to some very warm places on this planet.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait tend to stick out the most.  Iraq was undoubtably the highest temperature I had encountered at 138 degrees though it was quite dry. Kuwait was both hot and humid.  Well, Indonesia was in the 80-90 degree Fahrenheit range however the intensity of the humidity was unbelievable.

I boarded the bus and was soon whisked away from the airport.  The driver darted in and out of traffic, honking at the motorized two wheelers that dared taking the narrow bit of road between the bus and shops only to jut out in front of the bus, narrowly escaping a massive wreck, though I suspect this was not their first flirtation with near death.

ImageImage

Image

Image

Everywhere I looked, were motor bikes.  Some had helmeted riders, others did not.  Some had whole families, babies, infants, children, mom and dad.  It was most impressive.

As I arrived to where I was staying, I found myself in a portion of tamed jungle.  The frogs and geckos sang as the bats swooped down to the mosquitos that were welcoming me.  I sat and listened, assimilating to my new location, and realized that I liked it already.

Gecko

(In Indonesia, the R’s are rolled as in RRRRRuffles have RRRRidges).