Strasbourg, Stroudsburg… so not the same

Growing up so close to the Pennsylvania Poconos, Stroudsburg is a name I am quite familiar with. However, over here, Strasbourg is all the rage. I think within our first month here I had heard of the French village and that their Christmas market was one of the best. The only problem was with my knowledge of Stroudsburg I couldn’t for the life of me pronounce Strasbourg correctly. I hope I haven’t sounded too out of touch when talking about it over the years. Being so close, many Americans from the bases here visit Strasbourg, and I would venture to say that most of them come away in awe. It has been on my list for sometime and with Elaine visiting, I finally made it there.

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Gemstones of Germany

Idar-Oberstein is an interesting town not far from us, maybe 15 minutes away. We often take visitors to hike the mountain there, but more regularly we go to Idar to shop at the home improvement store for our garden and hobbies. I’ve been meaning to blog about it for some time, but I keep pushing it off since it has become a regular place for us. But when Danielle visited last month, we toured the gemstone mine, one of the few things in Idar-Oberstein I had yet to do, and I was reminded of how wonderful the city is. I decided it deserved a blog post!  Continue reading

Jousting at Manderscheid

Last week we traveled back to the Middle Ages. It is a bit embarrassing to say this was our first medieval festival because of the amount of these festivals that happen, but alas we made it to one.

About an hour away in the Eifel region of Germany we found Manderscheid. It could not have been any easier to get to. Just a few kilometers off the autobahn we parked in a field and took a bus right to the entrance of the lower castle ruin, Niederburg. I think I can easily say these ruins were the best we have seen. Continue reading

Vianden Reconstruction

It had been a long time coming, but my childhood bestie and I finally had a week-long vacation together. The last time this happened we were in high school, and we had a blast exploring Germany (and more)! We took Brock to the Nature Park where we fed bananas to the monkeys, pet piggies and goats, and worried for the lives of the very alive rabbits in the fox pen 😯 . We revisited Frankfurt where I bought Brock his first set of real leather Lederhosen and a weather house for my mom. We rode the bergh-bahn in Heidelberg and explored the castle ruins in the summer sunshine which was MUCH better than in January, and for our last big day trip we headed over the border to Vianden, Luxembourg. Yes, it was a full week! Continue reading

Surprise at Lake Chiemsee

Finally, my birthday trip came to a close, but it sure went out with a bang! As you read in my last post, we cut our time in Salzburg short and started our way home with an overnight at Lake Chiemsee. As we pulled off the autobahn I saw a sign pointing towards a castle. Immediately I decided I needed to convince Fil that I needed one more thrill for my birthday trip ;). That wasn’t too hard to do and after checking into our hotel we were back on the road headed to the castle.

Hands down, best part of the whole week.  Continue reading

Enchanting Burg Eltz

The hour and a half drive was one of the most rewarding so far among all of our day trips. Never could I imagine such windy roads, but they do exist and my parents can attest that they are unbelievable. But after winding our way around, up, and over eight or so mountains we parked and began our hike through the woods to the castle. 15 minutes later we rounded a corner and there she was in all her glory.  Continue reading

Heidelberg <3

We have found our first favorite place in Germany, Heidelberg. I have been wanting to go to the University city since Christmas but with weather and tire repair complications this past weekend was the first chance we got to go and we had a great time! The whole city is so romantic and beautiful. It is a picturesque city with the castle and mountain in the backdrop, nothing could be prettier. I cannot wait to go back.  Continue reading

Burg Lichtenberg

Yes, it had stopped raining, but it was still quite chilly when we stopped at the closest castle to Baumholder, Lichtenberg Castle (Burg Lichtenberg) on our way back from Trier. High on the hill, towering over the village of Thallichtenberg lies a vast ruin of a castle. And when I say high on the hill, I mean it is UP there. As we drove up Fil said “I would have hated to be the messenger boy for this place”. You mostly see the large square tower and the remains of what looks like a great room, but the ruins stretch for 1,400 feet and are one of the largest castle ruins in Germany.  Continue reading