Monday, March 31, 2008

G Is For Germany

I have really been enjoying the ABC Along this year and now we are up to letter G. G is for Germany, A country I have visited twice for a total of 11 weeks. The first was in 1984, my graduation present, to go see my pen pal Jutta. The second was in 1995 when Jutta got married. All my pics are on slides and I just happened to have had a few scanned already though they do need some touch up work. These are from the June-August 1984 trip.

Die folgende Bilder sind von meiner 1984 Reise nach Deutschland. Sie sind schoene Erinnerungen von Freunden.

This is Neuschwanstein Castle that the Cinderella/Disney castle is patterned after. It was built by Crazy King Ludwig in the mountains of Bavaria and has an interesting story which you can read on the link above if you have further curiosity.

From the castle there is quite a view, including this waterfall.

This picture shows a view of the city of Wurzburg. If you check the Wiki link, you will see the Residenz and Marienburg Fortress, both of which I toured. It is a historic and fascinating city. Many tourists visit here and generally I don't like places where there are tons of people, however, the history is so intriguing and rich, that I will tolerate it in places like this! My nephew Robert, whom I have never met lives about a half hour from this city.

Here is Jutta (pronounced Ewe-Tuh) taking a picture of me. I think this may have been at the Marienburg Fortress, but possibly in Rothenburg.

Here is my friend Jutta with her parents in front of one of the buildings in Wurzburg.

We spent some time on vacation with her parents and traveled to Wurzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbuehl, Ost Allgaeu, Innsbruck, Merano and the Dolomites.

We stayed one week in Pfronten and if I had opportunity to go back, I would in a heart beat! The area is incredibly beautiful. In spite of my personal circumstances (I had my period and Giardia at the same time, about 2 months after Andy, my step Dad who raised me, died. And I was in a foreign country feeling physically miserable and embarrassed because my friends had to take me to a doctor and stay around with sick me, cancelling some of the fun plans they had!), I enjoyed the area. It has elements of my home state, Washington, especially when I was hiking, and elements of something else which I found quite magical.

This cow looks cute and harmless but very well could have been the source of my giardia! LOL They wandered the hillside like a scene from Heidi!

Along the trail we saw these grave markers from the 1940s. Likely these are people who lived on this farm in years past.

Here is Jutta on the same trail, which went through farm land and climbed up out of town and onto the crest of a mountain or a foothill to the Alps (not sure which), where we could look one direction and see Austria and the other and see Germany.

Here is Renate, Jutta's "Mutti" on the trail.
Here is a view from the crest of the trail, looking down.

Here are Friedhelm and Renate on the crest. They are an affectionate and companionable couple. I don't think they will ever understand how much of an impact that made on me. I feel like my Hubby and I have that same type of companionability, where anything you do together whether a big trip or a small task, can be delightful if you choose. After losing my Dad unexpectedly right before I graduated, I needed the stability of having some family time with a man present, although I often wonder if he was irritated by the bevy of women he took with him! LOL He was a good sport and a great tour guide. They showed me more places and things and gave me so many opportunities that I will forever be grateful for!

This is Friedhelm where we stopped for lunch. Do you see that blue-green mohair sweater behind him? That belonged to Anke, Jutta's older sister who was away at med school at the time. I used that for warmth when we hiked. It was part of the beginning of my love for mohair!

Another breathtaking view from our hike. The funniest part for me about hiking in Europe is that you often end up somewhere that you can buy food, drinks, stay the night etc. You are in the middle of the wilderness and then all the sudden you are sipping sodas or espresso in a cafe (or hutte). Having grown up hiking many miles in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State and along the coast in the Olympic National Park, I had never seen anything like it. It was refreshing but hilarious!
This might still be Germany, but we might be driving in Germany but looking towards Austria. I definitely would love to see the Alps again and explore this area as well as Austria more!

We also went to local places like Hengsteysee (Lake Hengstey), where we saw this tower called "Mauese Turm" or Mouse Tower.

There were nice woods at the end of their road. This is Jutta under the umbrella. The ferns and oxalis grew like crazy. She said it was because of the acidic rain due to the industrial area they lived in.

This was an interesting place too where I even had opportunity to make my own sheet of homemade paper! It is an open air museum and I don't remember the name of the town. Today I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more... the bakery, was there a weaver? spinning wheel? I can't remember for sure. It was neat to walk through these actual buildings brought here from various places throughout Germany.

You can't probably tell what's in the foreground of this parting shot, but it is a tiny nun in front of the HUGE cathedral in Munster.
Unfortunately when I went to Germany before knitting wasn't that big, although I do have some yarn from each trip (mohair from the first, cotton sock yarn from the second). Now I would love to go and do some yarn shopping and also I was really surprised to find some of the most beautiful china I've ever seen in Germany! I recommend a trip to Germany if you can!


Wool Winder said...

I loved all the pictures, especially the ones on the mountain trail. The views were spectacular! It looks like that house could slide down the slope any minute.

Teresa said...

I enjoyed your pictures! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Maybe one day I'll be able to visit Germany, but for now I'll enjoy your pictures.

I hope you're doing okay. Don't worry about not keeping up with commenting or emailing. You do what you have to do at home!

Take care!

Susan said...

Gorgeous pix of some lovely memories.

We visited Germany too. I remember being embarrassed because I did not know the language.

I hope to visit again.