Sunday, August 12, 2012


The oldest city in Germany, Trier has a lot of Roman ruins.  This is the Porta Nigra, the only one left of seven gates that used to surround the city.  

This street performer was literally floating off the ground.  I think his staff had some kind of support system built into it, but I was still impressed.
The beautiful gardens at the palace.
A replica of the foot, part of a statue.
Roman baths

ampitheater.  People were actually setting up for a concert that would be held there later in the day.  The acoustics in that place are great for events.  They also hold 'Gladiator school', which was going on the last time I visited.  

St. Peter's cathedral, where the robe of Christ is kept.

The fabulous carvings on the ceiling in the dome.  The amount of work that went into this cathedral is astounding.

Vianen, Luxembourg

Despite the lack of baby passport, last weekend we decided to leave the country.  This isn't as big of a deal as it sounds, since most countries here have open borders.  We drove to Luxembourg to visit a castle:

Apparently there was a festival going on so we had to park pretty far away.  We rode a cable car (ski lift) up the mountain.
Cute little town of Vianen
The castle from above.

There were all sorts of vendors, many dressed in authentic clothing.  Lots of souvenirs to buy (we didn't) and lots of shows to watch, including jousting and hunting with birds.  Ally realized her lifetime dream of holding a bird (for a small fee).  The castle was very crowded and had a lot going on.  Very cool to see a medieval festival.  I though the little wooden swords for kids were very cute.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


the tallest tower in Europe
a bridge with the fence covered in locks.   Amazing

The observation tower
view from the tower.  This bridge is the one that is covered with locks.

We also visited the Lindt chocolate factory, but unfortunately left the camera in the hotel that day!  

Fairy Tale Park

On the way home from one of our trips, we stopped at a cute little park.  We walked up a switchback trail to the top of a hill, stopping to look at little setups along the way.  
My little hiker


Puss in Boots

Little Red Riding Hood.
All the exhibits moved and spoke (or sang) when a button was pushed.  Since they were all in German, I would tell the story to Ally while she watched.  A few Fairy Tales were familiar to her, and a couple of them I did not recognize. 

Garmisch - Neuschwanstein

Hohenschwangau castle (across the valley from Neuschwanstein)
hiking up the hill to Neuschwanstein
the fairy-tale castle.  The other side (which is more easily recognizeable) was covered with scaffolding!
beautiful backdrop
I love love love my wanna-be Moby Wrap.  I have taken this child so many places in Europe (which is not stroller friendly by the way) and she just hangs out and sleeps.

Garmisch - Partnach Gorge

One of the must-sees in Garmisch is the Partnach Gorge.  It is a canyon formed by a river cutting through a mountain.  
We started the hike at the Olympic Stadium.  This is the ski jump that was used in 1936.  We watched a man ride a little cable car to the top and then ski down.  He jumped about halfway down where it curves out and landed close to the bottom of the picture.  Very impressive.  I though it looked just like the game on the Wii.
waterfalls all along the gorge.
We were dripped on along the path.
There's me with the pink wrap (as usual)
I can't even describe how impressive the canyon is and the force of water rushing through is amazing.
At the beginning of the river, it merges with another one.  Notice the brown water next to the blue.
This little guy ate the peach pit from my lunch.
We hiked farther than we had intended (apparently I am not very good at reading signs) and found some mountain cows.  They were wearing cowbells.  I am convinced that these cows contribute milk for the Milka bars.  They are Alpine cows after all.
We finished the hike by riding down the mountain on a ski lift.  Due to my lack of directional skills, we hiked all the way up the mountain (with a 3-year-old and a baby!) instead of just partway, which took the majority of the day.  Ally was quite the trooper and walked the whole time.