Sometimes things just work out perfectly. Towards the end of July, the moons aligned and a really good friend of mine was able to come visit. Timing was perfect for her, but also me… Fil had 4 days off so she and I were able to explore Germany sans Brock for a few days, and when she left it led right into a crazy week so it was nice to be out adventuring.
As with everyone who ventures across the Atlantic to see us, I try to find new adventures so that we can share the new experience. For Elaine’s visit, we did a treetop walk with views of the Saar river, a wine hike in Bernkastel-Kues, Schloss Drachenburg, and finally a day trip over the border to Strasbourg, France. We really filled everyday with adventures and I am so grateful she came to share these with me. Big plus—Elaine is a photographer so we have amazing pictures! Most of the pictures I will use in these blogs about our travels are hers, and you can see them all and more at this link (this is a temporary album so make sure to look at them soon).
Now that was a lot of “new” places I just rattled off… the Type-A inside of me says lets go chronologically, but I have to just throw this out there. Our hike in Bernkastel-Kues will be one of the memories of Germany that I hold forever. I may forget some of the places we have been, some of the history, but I will forever remember the day Elaine and I had along the Mosel River drinking in the vineyard scenery and of course fruits.
That being said, if you are looking for a fun day trip in the Saarland, I recommend Mettlach! I had stumbled on the website for a treetop walk months ago but was kind of saving it. I thought it would be fun to do with someone visiting and not just Brock and I on a free afternoon. It was on the list of places to go for quite some time, and I just had this feeling that Elaine would appreciate it. It is located in the forest outside of Mettlach, and on our drive there we went right through town and I practically veered off the road. The town was super cute! We could have easily spent a day just wandering around the gorgeous river town, but we kept it short and sweet. After the treetop walk we would stop in the town so Elaine could take some pictures of the river and I could indulge at the Villeroy & Bach Factory store. Between the outlet prices and my VAT form (with the form I don’t have to pay the 19% tax) I made out like a bandit! I really had to reign it in, and decided to only buy Christmas items although I wanted Easter, everyday sets, and wine glasses… alas we are moving soon and there is no need to buy a bunch of glass and ceramics. As it was, I left with 2 ceramic cookie jars, 1 large platter, 2 small platters and a small tea-light Christmas tree. On the cookie jars alone I saved almost $85 from what you would pay for it in the states. So yeah, add Mettlach to the list if V&B is your style.
The Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife was not the best tree walk I have been to, I recommend the Biospharenhaus in Fischbach (see this blog from 2016) over this one, but it was still quite enjoyable. The wooden sidewalk was elevated up into the trees maybe 20 ft, and at the end the tower reaches about 75 ft with stunning views. From the top you can see the Saar horseshoe and there are small directional arrows on the railing telling you the various towns and their distance. On a good day you can see as far as Luxembourg nearly 25 miles away. The reason I prefer the other one is that there seemed to be more kid friendly activities and “side walks” meaning you could detour off the main sidewalk and walk on a rope climb for a bit. However, the views here at Saarschleife win for sure.
Along the walk there are little learning boards that teach about the flora & fauna in German, French, and English. They were more geared towards older children and adults so Brock wasn’t too keen, but he loved the slide that was located a little past the halfway point.
It was HOT that day, so we rounded out the trip with a stop at the lake to cool off (notice how sweaty Brock is in the above picture) and then schnitzel for dinner. We got home and excitedly told Fil about our day, and he was like, “yeah I fish the Saar all the time”. Excitement gone. Of course he fishes that river. That is Fil for sure.
So that was our day in Mettlach. If it wasn’t so hot, I think we probably would have spent some more time in town, but as it was we were already dripping wet with sweat and craving the cool lake water. I wasn’t expecting the town to be so cute, and I certainly did not know about the outlet either. It really turned out to be an unexpected, but welcomed surprise that just added to the joy of the adventure.
Ok, so there is one adventure, a few more still to share. I will likely be writing a lot in the coming weeks. Fil is away on mission again for the next few months so my evenings are now the perfect time to write. I really need to get you all caught up on our summer adventures because very soon we will be embarking on a completely new adventure. Our time in Germany has come to an end, and we will be headed to yet another location outside of the continental United States. Many of you already know, but if not, can you guess? I will give you a clue. We will be just a skip away from the Arctic Circle!
Alaska here we come! The move is consuming much of my thoughts at the moment but I am going to try very hard to save writing about it until I get caught up with everything from this summer. What I will say is that I am still coaxing my adventure bone to fully get on board with this move. I was ok with the idea of Alaska, but the base we are assigned to is one of the most isolated military bases in the world and I am just not sure….
Thank you again to Elaine for sharing her photography skills for many of the pictures in this blog!
To see more pictures of Elaine’s visit, check out this temporary album she has shared on her photography page. Right now photos include all of our adventuring in Germany, the France pictures are still to come. Feel free to ask where something is, or any other questions if you are curious… I’m always here to share :).