Happy New Year everyone! I know it´s Winter over here, but we are already dreaming of Summer.We are dreaming of sunshine, tulip fields, strawberries, funparks ,hiking in the mountains, and getting lost in some European cities.
Yesterday while eating luch we are discussing, or rather dreaming, and (hoping!!) that we can fill our suitcases again and able to travel.Travel without health worries, because that is super important.But for now, we can travel back through time and dream away….to Jurassic period!
Have you ever dreamed of walking through the woods with giant dinosaurs in the view ?Those giant claw, magnanimous size, razor sharp teeth, and yes, the presence itself is quite overwhelming.With dinosaurs, we all know that the bigger..the better, the more realistic it is!
Well that is the experience we´ve had while walking and exploring through the Dinopark in Altmühltal.
Gigantic Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex are just a few of the “friends” we met in this beautiful nature park.We were quite amazed of how funtional and cleverly designed it was , considering that we visited this place during Corona pandemic times.This is definitely one of the best open air Dinosaur Museum here in Bavaria.
My daughter is crazy about Dinosaurs, she knows each dinosaurs with all their crazy names by heart.From the year they were discovered, and from each era , from Jura, Kreide and Trias. Hard to tell, but I really don´t know how and where her fascination started.We have watched couple of Jurassic films and we haven´t even finished it all becaused she got scared of all the screaming and bloody T-Rex manhunt. I guess children loved dinosaurs , adored them and gasped at their powerful statues ,bewildered, and thinking that they were heroes and lovable, or something like the best friend one could ever had, just like in the movie films “The good Dinosaur“, “Dinosaurs“, and” the Land before time“.
And myself only knows “Barney“, the purple dinosaur!
When she watched Peppa pig, she just loved how George adore his Dinosaur.We have tons of Dinosaur books and she always loved to read about them and yes, I think that´s how she got so hooked with it. So imagine her delight when she saw this giant disnosaurs in the park.She could even put them beside her when she sleep and no, I can never win with her Dinosaur Quizzes…She knows it all!
The park itself is HUGE,We haven´t had the energy or the time to even explored it all.There were lots of fun playing activities to be found inside it,of course considering that we need to distance ourselves from the crowds as much as possible.There´s of course a Museum, play areas for big and little children, outdoor recreational spots, picnic areas, restaurants, Fossil exploration areas, shop, and much more.All these fun filled areas are with Dinosaurs views, and that´s what we find so engaging.I was really glad we visited this place, because not only the child with us is entertained, we as parents as well. We can´t complain any further, lots of fresh air, lots of greens, and children will never get bored because they have always something to see and explore!
And about the Museum, here´s what it looks inside…
We paid 19,50 Euros each for adult fees and children are 9,5 Euros. This includes all access to everything inside the park.We are allowed to bring snacks and drinks so we never really worried about getting hungry.The beergarden were spacious, large enough for Dino-groups.I saw families even brought picknick bags and they just hang out there in the grass, enjoying full sunshiny day.TheParking lot is also admirable and the location of the park is easily accessible from Autobahn.
Another fun part of this Dinopark is the Fossil area where kids and adulhts have the chance to see, find and explore their own Fossils, with tools and everything! My kid is totally into this and could never stop hammering out from rocks looking for Ammonites! Now that is one way to let go of their energy!We even got freebies when we check-out since we mentioned that it´s her birthday!
Since we are observing Hygienic restrictions, I am perfectly impressed as well how the park observed these rules.There are plenty of clean bathrooms, outdoor sinks with sopas and disinfectant for children and families to frequently wash their hands.Mask is required when entering the shops, museums, and Restaurants.Only when wandering through the open air dinosaur park that wearing masks is not required.
I am really excited where would be our next family destination this year…
Meanwhile, while we are still on Holiday break, we stay at home and dream away our worries, hopefully this year would be a better one!
Today was cold, I felt cold when I went outside. I easily get cold feet so I am not a big fan of Winter. Ugly gardens, bare trees, big bulky jackets and freezing hands. We all miss that good kind of snow, the kind of a white winter wonderland snowy landscapes but I guess here in the Southern part of Germany is not that all white now…it´s grey but cold. Actually we already drooling and have plans on sledding and rolling down the hill once we have enough snowdays but then…. nothing!
We dreamt of that white Christmas, but we had only rains, wind and more rainshowers.
Still I am out for my daily nature walks and runs. See,I´ve learned to dressed up for the weather.I actually own now several types of Jackets, just for me to survive the seasons here.Weihnachten is gone, the 1st and the 2nd said Tscüss already, but there´s always way too much food during Christmas, most especially on Christmas day. Toomany Chocolate Santa Claus as well!
Here in Germany, we have 2 days of Christmas,imagine that. I really don´t know why one day is not enough, it´s just the way it goes here. The weeks before Christmas is already loaded with lots of Christmas cookies and Glühwein (mulled wine), then comes the Raclettes and grilling, and Fondues, and endless snacking….so we got to move!
Anyway, after the 2nd day of Christmas comes Mr. Frost. But again, it was not the same as last year. I noticed in my Archives that I had more photos of last year´s Frosty days but then today was just a teaser. Well at least it makes the dead flowers and leaves look attractive.
So everyday, I decided to always have my morning run and take long leisure walks. You know those walks to help you calm down, destress, and just think of nothing. I also take a walk to help my body with all the digestion that needs to be done . Yes, there should always a reason to eat a slice of homebaked cake. Here in Germany, we always have the Coffee/Tea plus Cake time ( Kaffee und Kuchen) even if it´s Christmas, we´ve got to have a slice of cake.
As I am walking to the new track, ( I said it was new because the asphalt was new and the road looks well), I was really feeling well and relaxed. Normally in Winter I only do 5 km rounds but I decided to run further.The sun was out and it shines its golden rays on barren fields, casting shadows on thin wimpy tree branches, and setting a downcast mood somehow.
I actually find the views simply breathtaking.
I discovered new running tracks, this time with views. I am so glad that detours lead to great discoveries. I am already looking forward to running more in this new paths in Spring and Summer. I was completely alone, with only the chirping of birds that can be heard. The path was muddy and the earth smell like mud.When all the leaves of the trees are gone, you can see more of the area.Some areas that I never imagined that existed is now in full views like the hidden bridges, small pathways to the woods, and the treehouses.
The bird nests on top of the trees made me smile. I was reminded of the day where we took a walk in the misty and foggy afternoon just to feed the ducks.We brought stale breads with us and just enjoyed the crazy and chaotic sound of glutton ducks and birds all fighting to have the bread we threw into the lake.For us, that was simple pleasure.
I always watch the migratory birds in our area during winter. There can be quite of them and it´s really refreshing to see them once in a while. Looking at the swarm of birds flocking on top of stones in the middle of the Danube river gives me chuckle. Are they isolated too?!
I was in awe particularly when I spotted these birds, all hanging out together in a cold Sunday morning.They flew in batches above my head and the sound they made is outstanding. Who would have imagined that simple bird watching can be therapeautic, beautiful and yes, reassuring.
Reasurring me that there are still lots of beauty outside even if at one glance it´s ugly.I quickly snapped few photos before my fingers turned completely frozen.
Officially, winter had just begun here in Germany. Today , the 27th of December was actually memorable to us here. Happened today is the first local resident from Ingolstadt received the Corona Vaccine, a radical start of vaccination, a sign of hope from our struggle to stop Corona from continuously spreading.
It is not grand but the beauty of Frost is quite fascinating.
I guess I also found a new Miracle marvel, a walk into nature and inhaling fresh air is definitely invigorating.My Sunday is blessed and I hope yours too!
Did you know that another Autumn highlights that many Germans loved to do in Autumn is Mushroom picking,hunting ( also known as Foraging)!
Autumn or Herbst is the perfect time to look for Mushrooms (in German it´s called Pilz).Mushroom is at its peak growth from September up to November, just before when it starts to frost, and the temperatures drop around 10 to 15 degrees. Mushrooms needs a combination of air, moist and light and the overnight air to become misty and moist.This season is the time of the year where you can see them in abundance! They just sprout everywhere! I haven´t really had this experience before, not until I lived here in Germany. I guess I just goes along with the fad. I know for sure that many Germans loved to enjoy themselves going into wilderness, soaking the Golden October, going for long walks and “Spaziergang” in Autumn, at the same time looking, ( some picks!) for Mushrooms!
I said to myself that I would try to look for mushrooms this year.Now I finally did it. Whenever I take a walk nowadays and do my routine running, I saw beautiful foliage , colorful nature, and it´s more like I am walking in a yellow arcades full of yellow, orange burnt brown leaves.The Foliage as well are bursting with colors of red and golden rust.
Also, do you love to eat Mushroom?
Did you know that Germans love and adore Mushrooms? All year round, edible mushrooms are available in supermarkets.I´ve read that an average German eats at least 2.9kgs of Pilz ( Mushroom) per year more than any other countries in Europe! Come to think of it, last Sunday, I just devoured a giant Schnitzel with Champignonrahmsauce ( Mushroom sauce) and it was really delicious!
Sorry but I don´t know their names in particular order so I cannot educate you about their species. I just took notice of their size and key features. I noticed that in our area in Southern Germany, we don´t have much of the other varieties or the colorful ones. I guess they grow in other region. But then I found some interesting ones and I took a photo to make a journal of them, of course to share here in my Blog!
I love to use fresh edible mushrooms when I cooked Pasta or as an an added ingredients in gravy sauces with meat. I love to sautee it together with vegetables because the flavour is really good and it is simply delicious.I never have tried eating a wild mushroom because I heard they can be poisonous.Rule of the thumb is that it´s better to really be careful handling them and leave it to experts. If you don´t know it, then it´s better to stay away from it.I found a very informative site about mushroom but it´s in German. I saw that some of the mushroom that I saw from my leisure walks are listed in this site, and it seems that 2021´s year´s Mushroom is the Grünling or Green compact Greenling.
I found the information stated in this site very useful since deaths caused by mushroom poisoning is really scary and tragic.
Autumn weather means more rain, moisture, and damp weather which paves way to their growth.Many days it is very foggy over here in Southern Bavaria so I think it adds more to the moist weather. I even see sometime a tiny mushroom in my indoor plants!They are like tiny creatures who pops up beneath the fallen leaves and trees.It is such a delight to see them in different sizes and shapes.
Generally speaking, colorful mushrooms are very toxic.They are nice and cute to look at but it´s better to take precautions handling them to avoid intoxication. Make sure not to touch them with your bare hands or for little children to play with.Never let your child pick it with bare hands if you are not really sure if its ok to touch.Remember that these Fungi are scary if its toxic.If you are in an area with lots of growing mushrooms and you wanna gather them, then it´s better to gather up some knowledge about what to do and what to get.
Some are actually hard to spot since they are almost buried with the rest of the fallen leaves, but the cream, white caps are quite easy to see.
I really had a great time doing this and I´m sure I´ll be doing this every fall.I think this is also another reason to go out more into the woods and just enjoy the simple pleasures in life.Autumn is actually a beautiful season to reflect and meditate.
TGIF and here´s another entry for my” Wandertags” journal. Autumn has begun here in Germany and today is another dreary rainy day.Long before I got hooked into running, I love leisure walks, I still do.I love wasting my time by strenuous walking,soul- searching for something unique in nature, and yes, mind-destressing,temporarily shutting off and just relaxing.
Walking and photograpy is a bad habit of mine actually. Whenever I go out, I try to capture something, more like leaving imprints in my digital archives. I think I have photographed same landmarks in different seasons,making it really special. Take for example this Bridge.For others, it is just a normal bridge, for me, not so…
Glacisbrücke is a suspended steel bridge located here in Ingolstadt. It actually connects the west and east banks , with the River Danube ( Donau) in-between. This is one of my favourite place to take a walk, run and admire the city views. Here I can see the New Castle, and watch the beautiful foliage during Fall. I shoot here different beautiful sunrises & sunsets, Foggy mornings, and yes, frosty ice cold winters.During Winter, the in between section of the bridge is closed for safety reasons, but we can still walk through on both sides, giving us the pleasure to speed our itinerary without bothering about the traffic.Last year, the area surrounding this bridge gave me such an spectacular Reflective`views .That was truly unforgettable!
Looking from the bottom of the bridge is also quite impressive.Just look at the rays of lights, caught in the midst of fog.
This bridge actually connects and separates pedestrian from the main traffic. The road beside it is a bottleneck especially on rush hours and working days. Cyclists and pedestrians like me can enjoy a peaceful ride while the other side is full of cars.
Photo above shows the bridge photographed during Fall last year. I love this mood very much. It is a golden morning, with an intense glow of golden amber. Solitude, peace and tranquility are modest elements that makes this place looks so picturesque.This photo is also very memorable to me.I took it from previous Autumn and it was our entry to our first local Photography contest here in my town. The contest was actually sponsored by our bank,Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte for their 2020 Fotowettbewerb and also will be featured in their 2021 Kalendar.
I brought my daughter here to practive her biking skills.As you can see, this Bridge can be challenging, especially for little limbs.A favourite spot as well for cyclist and mothers walking their little children, this bridge is impressive. My daughter loves to watch the waters of the Danube on a calm day and during summer, we watched people swimming as well.
Many times in a year, I watched though this bridge in solemn mood , thinking how nice it is that we have bridges like this.I run through one foggy morning and I realized that the waters ( from many days of rain!) almost reaches the trees along the river and the sound of gushing water is totally deafening.There is a dam over the end of the river near Baggersee and it is also another sight not to miss!
It made me realized that I have seen this place in every season which quite make it speacial…
Thank God that this bridge is not yet filled with Love locks….
Sun, sipping coffe in Cafe´s , street music, with a view of the Bavarian Alps!
That is the mood we´ve seen once we´ve entered the romantic old town of Füssen.Many people overlook the charm of this town, because mainly, people think of it only as a stop over when traveling to Neuschwanstein Castle in the nearby Höhenschwangau area. That was my thought before.I was totally mistaken. Your Romantic road trip and sightseeing will not be surely complete if you don´t see the hidden gems of this famous 700- year old town.
Fussen is also located on the scenic German Alpine Road which crosses Bavaria from Lake Constance in the west to Berchtesgaden in the east.We went to Füssen from Nesselwang after we visited Legoland Deutschland last week in Günzburg. We spent here an entire half day after we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle .It was a short, quick sightseeing, but then it was all worth to stop by. I wish we have more time to explore more but then, here are some of my impressions on this lovely town.
Just look at the architecture of the old town buldings, even the normal Apotheke ( or Pharmacy) is so detailed and intricately designed!
Like a normal old town in Germany, this tiny city is charming, and exquisitely adorned with old carvings, Bavarian themed wall paintings, carvings and Alpine decorations. This town is famous in Bavaria mainly because from here, it starts the exciting trails to the world famous Fairytale Castle of Ludwig II, the Neuschwanstein. If you´re driving, you might even have a lucky glimpse of the foothills and there you can already see the magnet of this town, the castle´s peaks! It was almost hard to find a parking area since the streets is packed with tourists but after a while, we found a spot right just before the entrance of the city.So a piece of advice, if you are heading to visit here , better be off early.
Walking through the old city allow us to see its quaint little nooks and corners filled with statues, Biergartens, restaurants, street musics and of course, Bavarian flair!Füssen is located north of the Austrian border,
When you´ve spotted something as beautiful as this, you´ve got to get inside. Füssen is very laid-back, comfortable and warm in Summer. Despite the Corona restrictions, people flocked in the streets to sip their coffee, hear some lovely street music and well, people watching!
I saw the strance to the Stadtmuseum and we checked out the innercourts and it was lovely!
We walked for about 15-20 minutes away from the city to find the Lechfall and we were not dissapointed. The moment that I hear the water gush from the Lech river, I knew something spectacular is somewhere near and we will not leave this city unless we see it.Take note that this is also another very touristy spot and there is not enough parking so the best way to reach this place is by walking.
Through the quiet streets, we finally arrived at Lechbach , a man made waterfalls and Gorge. Normally we have seen Gorges in the mountains, but here, it´s right in the city! Look at the pristine cystal clear-waters! It´s opaque Torquoise blue, so clear and so beautiful against the sun!
The Gorge itself is magical. It´s slate grey stone against the blue waters is really a delight to see. This Gorge is small so you can visit it within 10-15 minutes. You can choose to explore it a bit further, and go down to banks as well.Because of Corona, we decided not to blend in with the crowds and continue to just admire this nature from the bridge.
Of course, the main attraction of this place is going through the Romantic Castles of King Ludwig II. Both the Neuschwanstein Schloss and Schloss Hohenschwangau is just within a few kilometers away from Füssen. The High Schloss (Höhe Schloss) of Füssen is also not to be missed!
If you are a nature lover, then Füssen will not dissapoint you. You can hike through the virgin mountains of Säuling, and do the Pöllatschlucht trail where you can see the Waterfalls that won King Ludwig´s heart.
Another thing that made me loved about this place is the Food! We dined in a classic Knight themed restaurant—the Ritterstuben, its like we´re taken to a Middleage era, where Ritter (Knights) and Castles are the new reality! If you are in Bavaria, you´ve got to sample the delectable Bavarian dishes!
We found this restaurant directly in the old town´s city square .Since its almost lunchtime, most restaurants were already full and we haven´t found a place to sit outsid. But then it was okay since we have the restaurant inside all to ourselves! Don´t forget that because of Corona virus,we need to wear masks, and we are asked to sign up with our contact details everytime we visit a restaurant.
If you have more time to spent in Füssen, you can check out more of the hidden gems that this city offers here. What about another stop over in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to view another beautiful Gorge? The easiest way to reach Füssen is by car. It takes around 1 hour 40 minutes from Munich, 1 hour 25 from Innsbruck and 2 hours 30 from Zurich.
I have always been interested about rock balancing and balanced stone formations. It´s an image of Zen to me.It´s peaceful, stable and balanced in an artistic way.I find it such amazing skill to be able to stack rocks in balance, like a therapheutic hobby.
This is a great exercise both for the young and the adult.Since it requires patience and flexibility, it can be good to manage stress as well.I guess this activity requires concentration, a skill that children needs to master just like sitting in the chair for a long period of time.
Try it with your kids and you will know definitely if they are impatient or not…If they tried Jenga then maybe it will be familiar for them to try…
On our hike goingto Neuschwanstein Castle, we followed the trail following the Pöllat waterfalls, and suddenly, we spotted so many rock stack formations on the bank of the waterfalls. It was so many that it is really impossible to miss it.I know it´s not a surprise anymore considering that this place is one of the most visited place in Germany.We are talking about millions of people visited Neuschwasntein Castle every year, so imagine the number of hikers going on to this trail as well! This spot is where you can see clearly the Marienbrücke from above and gasping in agony because it´s still a long hike to go….
And actually, the waterfalls is very beautiful!
On the banks of the calm splashing waters, there is it…. the field of stone stacks…small, medium, high, low, large, and proud.
Every single corner of this area was covered with stone stacking.Of course we didn´t let this chance go by, we also made our own.I have seen quite the same when we visit the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. People stops by to admire them, but only those wild at heart build them.
Most hikers loved to do this, having a pit stop to rest on the banks of a river or waterfalls, and leave a memory, an imprint of art. Once you see it, its an automatic invitation to participate and make your own.
While on my morning run, I spotted the same rock stacks , this time on the banks of the River Danube. I couldn´t resist but to stop by and admire it.It was beautiful.
Whether people do this just to kill time or to be “in” , it doesn´t matter. The thing is, it is okay as long as you don´t take anything from nature and respect it.A time well spent stacking the stones is never a wasted time…well that is only my opinion.
I have read that in other parts of the world, this issue is not so welcomed and not favored by nature observers.To think that there is even a global competition about stone stacking is really crazy!
What do you think about this, a tourist trap or not? Are you one of those tourists dared to do stone stacking as well?
It was no ordinary day, since its not everyday that we can walk through the Palace grounds of the renowned Summer destinations of the Royalties of Bavarian Kingdom, the former rulers of Bavaria, the Wittelsbach Family.Spending the morning walking through the garden park of Schloss Nymphenburg in Münich is indeed a worthwhile experience especially during this time of Pandemic.
Through A9 Autobahn, we reached this place in schedule, with only manageable traffic due to road repairs. Its still summer vacation (Ferien) here in Bavaria so schools are not yet open until 8th of September.We took this opportunity to do some short daytrips and Munich comes in hand. Here, no large crowds, at least no need for social distancing (although the Palace is strictly adhering to Corona measures as well as everywhere) since the park is really big, approx. 200 hectares, too bad we were not even able to explore all of it. I know that there are far more grand than this place but then the sight of it overwhelms me already. It spans at a frontal width of 632 meters and considered as one of the premiere Royal Palaces in Europe.Maybe not so famous as the Rezidenz palace and not as worldly as the Schloss Neuschwanstein, but then, it´s a beautiful and an elegant palace.
” How many people or staff does it takes to clean the whole of this Palace? “
” How many hours does it takes to even clean it?”
Come to think of it, it was built within 4 centuries timeframe. Anyway, the Royalties and grandeur lifestyles are too much for me to dissect as of this time. I just went on admiring the Palace´s Facades, Architecture and Landscape.I have seen many things that I love about this place. Here looks so peaceful and tranquil. Maybe because of the water element and being surrounded with greens.It is a garden that you can let your worries about Corona virus swayed away. Beautiful flowers and schrubs surround the grand pathwalks . Ducks and swans are swimming gracefully in the calming waters that cascades in rhythmical motion.
Few runners ran past over us and I quite envy them. I know it would be wonderful to run and be lost in the Palace´s gardens.So many little nooks and pathwalks with hidden figures as well.
The thing about being here early here is that we have the place by ourselves. Only the gardeners and few staffs can be seen at around quarter to 10. I saw the gardener raking the soil and making zen patterns on the ground, busying themselves caring about the plants and watering them.The weather is perfect, not to hot, and not a single sign of rain.Slowly, we are saying Goodbye to sweet but short German summer.
I snap some photos of some of the fine gold details I saw while entering the castle.The lamps and carvings of the doors and windows are quite enticing.We decided not to do the Tour of the interior of the Castle because my daughter gets bored with it and I just dont have the energy to deal with the drama.
I can´t have a good panoramic view of the whole palace but the entrance itself is so large and grand .Just imagine in the ancient times many Royalties driven by their golden horse carriages hop and stop in this entrance many times. I can´t imagine that King Ludwig II was born here as well.his collection of carriages are still displayed here.
This reminds me of the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg. I always love these ancient Greek and Roman God and Goddess sculptures spead all over the entire garden. They are like stone guarding the Palace.Come to think of it, most castles and palaces are heavily accessorized with sculptures and statues. The more, the grandier.Moreover, what´s not to love about statues? If they can talk, I am sure they tell us different stories from what we have read or heard.
The Stone Lion with the Palace´s Seal.What a dominant character that you can see all around Bavaria. Lion´s head is almost everywhere.In Berlin we go crazy looking for Painted Bears, but here, all we see is bunch of Lion´s statues, heads and sculptures.
I have heard that the palace also houses the Naturkundemuseum Mensch und Natur (“Museum of Man and Nature”), the Porzellanmuseum (“Porcelain Museum”) for the on-site porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg, and the Marstallmuseum in it’s wings.
While roaming around the vast of the gardens, everyone can enjoy and discover numerous other smaller attractions: In addition to the Badenburg, Pagodenburg, and Amalienburg summer residences as well as the Magdalenenklause hermitage.There´s also the picturesque lake and streams and Fountains. Some of the attractions are unfortunately can only be viewed during summer seasons.
This is the Schlosscafe´in Palmenhaus. A green Oasis right inside the Palace garden´s premises. A place where visitors can enjoy warm drinks and cool their senses with ice cream surrounded with Palm trees.Of course, you can´t get in without a mask!
Today only twelve (12) statues remain on the Nymphenburg Garden and four have been moved to the Grand Cascade. Generally male and female deities take turns. Most of the statues are made from Laaser and Sterzinger marble, the bases are made of Red Tegernsee marble or tuff.
Indeed it was a great day spent here in Nymphenburg Palace. Glad that I saw it in Summer. It looks quite dreary in a freezing Winter!
Interested about Castles? Here are some related Posts:
I went out as usual with my morning run and the moment I stepped out of the door, a blanket of Fog greeted me. I thought what is this?! A misty morning? or Autumn came early?
Its like stepping into a surprise illusion where I see drizzles and rain just about to pour the heavens out of me.But honestly speaking, German weather never fails to surprise me!It changes everytime and you can´t do anything about it.
A rough chilly wind also came into gush but then I went on with setting my running app. No time to waste since we have lots to do on this day so I went on. I thought this would be an exciting run since its actually my first time running with a Fog, mist, clouds on the ground or whatever you call it so I better get into my goal as well.
How is fog possible in warm summer days?
Visibility in fog is less than 1 km so it can really be eerie. I remember one time we were driving along Autobahn and there was a thick fog and it looks dangerous!Beautiful and yet dangerous, that´s what fog brings. I have read quite something about this so then it makes sense to me now. Both mist and fog are caused by microscopic water droplets suspended in the air. The visibility depends on how far light can travel before too much of it is randomly scattered by hitting droplets. The bigger and closer together the droplets are the smaller this distance is. In mist the droplets are very tiny, in fog they are bigger. When droplets exceed about 200 micrometres in diameter they tend to fall earthwards and are called drizzle!
It felt surreal running with thick fog in front of me. I am looking alert if there is someone cycling in front of me. I started slow because I wanted to enjoy as well the beautiful landscape.Looking around brings me memories from my frequent morning walks in Autumn where it is always “Neblig” in German ( German word for Foggy ), btw, Nebel is the German word for Fog.
I pursue running and as I was bent on finishing my target distance. I also know that fog dissapear quickly so I quickly took some photos before its gone.I don´t like to quickly wake up from a sweet dream.The more that I am distracted by the Fog, the more that I find it mystical.We always have foggy mornings here in Germany especially in Fall, but in Summer, this is not the ordinary.
I remember the Autumn days where I am also chasing Fogs. I love it, I love the mystery , the quest and everything. Think of something so precious but then it doesn´t last long.
I think there is something about when clouds touches the ground and bring a nostalgic charm on ordinary days. It had been raining for 3 consecutive days over here and the waters of the river and the dam is monitored. Too much rain, too much water, so the fog wants to join in.
I think trees doesn´t mind the sudden change in atmosphere either.They had a great rainshowers, bent and feeling overwhelmed by wetness and they wanted to kiss the river as well.There are lots of picturesque looks of nature on a weather like these but then here are some of my favourites…
Once I reached the other side of the river,I took a short break and gasped in surprise. The river looks like a flood of chocolate drink being stirred by unknown force. The wind is chilly and the sound of the loud waters keeps on bothering me. It looks scary enough, the current is really strong.This is definitely the day to remember when the clouds finally kissed the ground and melts with the waters of the river.
The fact is, I don´t have the right to complain about nature´s priceless beauty. I am just thankful to be alive and was able to see today´s wonderful miracle.
I wonder when will I see Fog again..maybe tomorrow? or maybe soon…
Last Sunday we went to the Adventure Kletterpark ( Climbing Obstacle Course) in Beilngries,in the vicinity of Altmühltal.It´s half an hour drive away from Ingolstadt and located in between the lush forest and nature also near to the Dinopark which we visited last Tuesday. Here we celebrate again the 6th birthday of my daughter ,together with her friends from Kindergarten .It came out really a great surprise and fun- filled day for all of us and here´s why;
My daughter is super active and love many fun activities and climbing is definitely her thing. She has no adrenalin limits and no fear of heights at all.She really knows what she wants and climbing with her friends is one of the things she wished for her birthday.They happened to share same Birthday so I think it was a great idea to have one group activity , playdate and fun day all in one!
Because of Corona restrictions, we haven´t made a party for her, a simple cake at home and we headed to see Giant Dinosaurs in Dinopark, then on the weekend we let her enjoy her time with friends. We avoid big crowds, closed spaces and contacts, that is why outdoors in nature is our top choice. This Kletterpark in Beilngriesis great because of its location and offers varied fun activities for all ages . From 6 years of age, they allowed children to climb with assistance of an adult. For security reasons, they only allow people weighing up to 120 kgs max.Even I myself haven´t experienced this in my life, its actually my first time doing Obstacle course nature climbing and it was really cool, plus the Flying fox and everything!
The climbing park offers different Obstacle course for every age and levels of difficulty. Our group consists of 7 children and 6 adults so we stick to the beginner course for a start.The park itself is away from the city and its like a hideaway where we experience nature´s healing and invigorated.The trails are made of steel ropes and cables connected from tree to tree! Everywhere I looked, I see green and more greens so definitely climbing under the cool shade of the trees is a win -win situation. I sweat a lot because of the challenges and obstacles but then its really all worth it!This exercise is really necessary!
Getting lost in the shades of giant trees and forests where man commune with nature and enjoy adrenalin packed activity. I thought it would be an easy task but then I was mistaken! I almost wanted to quit and go back!
We already booked online because its a Birthday party package but then we still need to wait for our turn for the Orientation and Safety instructions.We brought along our helmets and hygienic handgloves as well. It was 30+ degrees when we visited so it was pretty warm, but under the trees is cool. The orientation is about 30 minutes , we gathered wearing masks and we are instructed how to do our special safety equipments such as full harness, helmets, & CouDuo system. the guides were very helpful and professional and the instructions were clear and easy to follow!
In the briefing, we are informed of its 100% safety guarantee, thanks to the CouDuo Pro System.With this system, the freedom of movement is completely retained during climbing. You don´t really need to worry about falling because you are tighly secured to the rope. This is because of the highest safety standard according to DIN EN 15567 and the easy operation of the system. The accidental unhooking of the carabiner is impossible!You can´t really beat a German technology where they make everything efficient and trustworthy!
I think it really needs time to get acquainted and familiar with it.The rest is nothing, your greatest abstacle is finding your balance and conquer your fear of heights!
This briefing is really essential and you are not allowed to climb unless you participated in this security briefing. This is done every half an hour and 2,5 hours before the park closes. If you don´t have helmets and gloves with you, you can also rent but we preffered to bring our own to avoid contact.
After we had the briefing, we get into climbing! We grouped ourselves to assists the kids and then we were lost in adventure. While waiting, the kids also enjoyed twirling and sliding in the playground . Bringing food and beverages is allowed in the park but you need to take care of your own things. So for us, we always made sure that one of us is watching our backpacks and cooler while the others are climbing. After we had eaten, we returned our stuff in the car and go back again to climbing.
The adventures of nature climbing with kids!
This activity really challenges me with fitness and I would absolutely love to do it again. I find the whole adventure very safe and a half day is actually not enough. I find the entrance fees quite pricey but the park itself is really great. There is an ample ( some shaded) parking areas located at the bottom of the park, a clean bathrooms with disinfections and toilets and a separate outdoor areas to book your special events like Children birthday parties or others. Climbing to the top may be a challenge for old people but then you should consider this before booking your activity.
The entire climbing area and the climbing equipment are regularly checked by specially trained staff. In addition, a main inspection of the adventure park takes place once a year. A detailed test is done by a certified external company.
This summer for us is quite special despite the Corona scare and restrictions. Fear of the virus can´t stop us from having safe fun under the sun as long as we observe more precautions about contact and more washing of the hands. I hope that the future still holds a safe and secure place for our kids without the scare of the virus.
I guess we just make the most of the opportunity of having these days with warm rays and sunshine!
I grew up dreaming of it and hoping that I see some in my lifetime. The moment that I moved in Germany, this dream have became somewhat reachable, and doable.See, we don´t have much palaces and castles from where I grew up, and in Kuwait where I also short-lived, there´s not much royalty castles to visit, although there is the Bayan Palace, the grand palace and official residence for the Amir of Kuwait. I see it everyday on my commute to work but I never had the chance to explore inside. I remember as a child, I normally build castles out of sands from the beach and for me, those are awesome.
Anyway, in a short period of time that I am living here in Bavaria, I have discovered (some ) castles and ruins that are worth sharing. If you´re in the vicinity, you might try to visit them. Actually, its not easy for me to visit castles and ruins, given that I have a young child with me that easily gots bohred in closed places! With that in consideration,it´s actually not her “ playground” and she cannot run around especially when there are things bound to break . We avoid the long tours and we always take her into consideration whenever we have the chance to visit and explore one.A child easily gets bored and most castles have steep stairs, dark, and somewhat eerie for a child.Nevertheless, the display of Knights and royal mementos can somewhat amaze a young visitor!
Germany is definitely a land of castles, and ruins. There´s plenty of it that its hard to choose which one is the better than the renowned Neuschwanstein and the long list of other beautiful ones! What I found so interesting is that most castles in Germany are built in strategic locations—either on top of a mountain, hill, on a cliff, or to something of a hidden route.In most castles that we´ve seen, we always need to climb up, trek and do some hiking before we where there.It requires an effort but good thing most of them are accessible even to handicapped persons. Mainly because practically, they are built for defensive purposes, and yes, they are a symbol of power during Medieval times!
I can only share a few which we visited but I still have a long list of castles that I really love to see someday. Some castles have been well maintained, but then some are totally left in ruins.Anyway, let´s get acquainted with different German terminologies regarding Castles. You might find this very helpful why they have so many names about it where the rest of the world only refers to it as “castles“.
In Germany, we have “Burg” (Castle) which means strong, fortified buildings. Then we have” Schloss ” where a certain Royal family lives, a king or Queen have lived here. Schloss can also mean a large Manor House where noble families lives.” Festung” is Fortress, which by the name denotes means a fortified ,large and secured castle.It is normally surrounded with walls and built up on high place.
The first castle that I´ve seen and made me developed this quest is Burg Eltz located in West Germany, in Rhineland-Palatinate. I travelled here with my 1 year old daughter way back then. I love the mystery it holds, right upon the first time I ever saw it. It is well tucked in the middle of the forest and getting there is really something.This castle dates from 12th century.It is very well maintained and the tour inside is impecabble.This castle has been owned by the Eltz family. Location wise, it is a very beautiful castle.It looks so romantic, and really brings you back to Medieval times!I am glad I was able to see its 850 years of history! It´s not surprising that it is considered as a German treasure since it is once featured in a 500 DM note from 1961-1995! Writing this makes me dream again of seeing it once again.Here´s my fairytale trip in Burg Eltz.
Here in Bavaria, southern part of Germany, Schloss Prunn is known to be the jewel of Riedenburg, the heart of Altmühl valley. Prunn Castle is one the best preserved Knight castle in Bavaria.It is located 70 meters above the Altmühl valley so its famous for a wonderful panoramic views.We visited this castle during Corona times , we were the only guest inside the castle since we were early to avoid the crowds.The view from above is amazing!
After Burg Prunn, we drive in the vicinity of Essing to check out the ruins of Burg Randeck.This is another lovey area within the Altmühl valley where we see well preserved bridges.Burg Randeck is a well preserved castle ruins known to be ” Robber Knight´s nest ” which is now owned by Essing Market.Burg Randeck provides us once again with a marvelous views of the nature valley of Altmühltal.The ssuspension bridges against the blue green rivers are sights not to be missed as well as the quaint little town of Essing. Make sure to climb up the ruins up to the Castle dungeon and Hunger tower because it will reward you with breathtaking views especially on a clear sunny day.
Another fascinating castle in the vicinity of Altmühltal valley is Schloss Rosenberg also known as Falkenhof.This is another castle situated high ridge of the Altmühl valley.We had a unique experience of seeing the Falcon show where we see amazing art of training Falcons, eagles and owls.There is an outstanding Museum about the history of Falcontry,as well as birds of prey and other local wildlife.
We did another hike and explohre another ruins which really took us by surprise.The ruins of the Rabenstein Castle is located on a mountain slope near Rosenberg.The trek was narrow but then the views are very beautiful, this ruins is from a small medieval castle, probably from the 12th century, and is the oldest of the three castle complexes in Riedenburg. It is believed that the builders were the Rabensteiners, since an Albert von Rabenstein was mentioned in a document in the 13th century.What is amazing is that we saw Burg Prunn and the quaint town of Riedenburg.
We did a 23 km cycling tour to Neuburg an der Donau and here we saw “Jagdschloss Grünau“. The Grünau Castle is located about 7 kilometers east of Neuburg an der Donau and is in between the largest forest in Central Europe.This castle is an example of early Renaissance architecture.the Wittelsbach Count Palatine Ottheinrich had it builht as a proof of his love for his wife Susanna.It was originally built as a moated castle, but the trenches have now been silted up.
Also in Neuburg an der Donau is another beautiful palace called Residenzschloss Neuburg.Some parts of it were under renovation during our visit but then there are so many highlights to be seen including the inner courtyard.This palace is an important early Renaissance building built by Count Palatine Ottheinrich from 1530 to 1545.The palace chapel is the oldest churh building in Bavaria and the Frescoes were done by Hans Bocksberger.The castle courtyard is equipped with a sgraffiti facade, which shows scenes from the Old Testament by Hans Schroer (after 1555).
We made a daytrip and went to visit the Imperial Castle in Nuremberg. The historical “Kaiserburg” also known as the the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg is the most important symbol of Nuremberg. Though this city was heavily bombed from WW II, the city has restored most of its iconic structures including this castle. Just like any other castle, this castle holds an important part of history. This castle is in fact one of the most important fortresses in the whole of Germany and was first mentioned in 1105. From 1050 to 1571, all holy Roman Emperors resided in this castle. One of the largest and most modern youth hostels in Germany is located in one of the former Imperial stables.
Hiking this palace with a stroller is quite tough.It can be challenging gainst the warm summer so if you want to explore this with children, better to schedule your trip wisely.The views from above is worth the effort.
Notable things to check on in this Xastle is the Deep Well . The well house is located in the center of the outer Bailey. The shaft of the well was hewn into the rock to a depth of 47 meters. A highlight of the visit is also the round Sinwell Tower (“sinwell” Middle High German = very round), which was built as a keep for the Imperial Castle in the 2nd half of the 13th century; the topmost storey and the interior wooden roof construction were built in the 1560s.More about this Castle will be found on my separate Post about Imperial Castle Nuremberg.
Of course how can I forget about our very own New Castle located here in Ingolstadt.New Castle (Neues Schloss) is propably one of the most important Gothic secular buildings here in Bavaria.Now it is the home of the Armee Museum in Bavaria. One of the worthwhile things to see is the ray of unique Cannons with lion heads.
How about you, when was the last time you´ve been in a castle?As for me, I love castles, but not fairytales. I think we can never be royals, but then we can visit Palaces and Castles…
Until next time on our new Expat adventures! Bleib gesund, stay healthy and Tschüss!