Glacisbrücke , the bridge over troubled waters

Glacisbrücke in Ingolstadt taken during Fall

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.

Glacisbrücke im Herbst

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.

The Glacisbrücke photographed in Springtime
Beautiful flowers adorn the banks of the bridge during Spring to Summer

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….

Romantic Road trip in Bavaria : Füssen

Strolling through the old Town of Füssen where we spotted the famous Stadtbrunnen, depicting St.Magmus defeating an evil.

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!

Beautiful Architecture in Füssen´s old town, the Stadt Apotheke

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.

Mädchenbrunnen in Füssen

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!

Beautiful churches in Füssen (Hospital Church of Füssen)
Loving the great window details in this South Bavarian town
Idyllic wall carvings and paintings

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.

The man made waterfalls of the Lechbach in Füssen
The turquoise Oasis in Füssen, the Lech falls

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!

The Fairytale Castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Schloss Neuschwanstein

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.

The “Lautermacherbrunnen” in the old town city of Füssen

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.

Until next time, Tschüss!

Is The Art of Rock stacking really Rocks?

Some rock Cairns, or rock balancing I have seen in the Pöllat Gorge (Pöllatschlucht) in
Höhenschwangau near Füssen

Have you ever tried doing rock stacking?

Stones, stones, and more stones… somewhere in the banks of the Pöllat Waterfalls

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.

My Little adventurer trying to make her own rock stacking exercise!

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.

A beautiful stone we found in Partnachklamm, in Garmisch Partenkirchen

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?

How about a painted Stone Art Project ? or what about A Field full of rock figures?

Sunday Stills : Nymphenburg Palace München

“Pluto”
Another Pacale added on my Chasing Castles and Palaces quest in Germany— the Schloss Nymphenburg in Münich

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.

We wait for the Fountain to start.

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:

Chasing Castles and Palaces in Germany

The Fairy Tale castle of Burg Eltz

Kaiserburg Palace, Nürnberg

Chasing the Fog in Summer

The row of trees hidden when the clouds touches the waters

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?

Almost zero visibility that It feels like I am in another world

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.

Staring at spider webs caught in a mystical tangle

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.

Looks mysterious and yet exciting.

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.

Cycling on a foggy morning over Glacisbrücke

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…

Dewy kissed flowers

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 wild fields covered in a morning Fog
The Danube river is shrouded with thick Fog
Not your ordinary day
Let us learn from the trees about resilience
One fine day where I see when the clouds touches the grounds.

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.

There is a light at the end of the road

I wonder when will I see Fog again..maybe tomorrow? or maybe soon…

More of my Fog stories can be found Here… and also another interesting throwback about the Big Balls of Bavaria, also a beautiful scenery shot in a Foggy morning. Or what about watching some wonderful Sunrise and sunsets for a change?

Nature Adventure Kletterpark -Beilngries

One of a kind climbing experience in the forest

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;

Thrilled kids and parents climbing together in the Beginner´s Yellow Parcours

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 Beilngries is 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 very efficient security system CouDuo , the reason why you can never fall!

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!

Nature climbing adventure Park in Beilngries, Altmühltal, Bavaria

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 can do this!

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!

The kids are doing the sample CouDuo harness system. The guide is checking that all of us know how it works and operates.

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!

Nature climbing is a great family bonding activity!

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.

Tying to have a grip of myself in between screaming and dealing with balance and of course, the essential carabiner!

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.

Father and daughter having fun together!
Happy Birthday nature climbing Girl!
While waiting for our turn for the security briefing.

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.

All smiles while suspended above the trees!

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.

Fun fun and more fun!
Unforgettable climbing adventure!
Little Monkeys

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!

Until then and stay safe ! Tschüss…

Chasing Castles and Ruins

A hidden gem, the Burg Eltz in Rhineland Palatinate

Do you love castles?

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“.

This view awaits after the hike to explore the ruins of Rabenstein Castle , the oldest of the three castles .Once you reached this far, you will have a magnificent view of the main Danube canal, Altmühl valley and the Prunn Castle from a far.
On top of the ruins of Rabestein Castle in Riedenburg, in the vicinity of Altmühltal valley in Bavaria
Not only Kings and Queen lives in a Palace, also Knights in shining Armor.

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!

On top of the mountain sits the ruins of Burg Randeck.
The neighborhood of Knights ( Burg Randeck)
Panoramic views of Altmühltal valley

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.

My everday view, our very own New Castle here in Ingolstadt, here shown on the background photo from Klenzepark.
Falcon show at Schloss Rosenberg ( Falkenhof)

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.

On a cycling tour to chase some castles in Neuburg an der Donau with this one!

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.

Grünau´s castle´s impressive Facade

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).

Beautiful Frescoes in the Rezidenzschloss Neuburg
The beautiful town of Neuburg an der Donau

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.

The tower of Nuremberg Imperial Palace against the blue skies in Bayern.

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.

Nuremberg Castle

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.

Our very own Neues Schloss in Ingolstadt. Here standing like a magical palace beneath the snow during Winter.

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!

Bavarian Jura, wooden bridges and 18th century fountain in Essing

A painter´s dream , this wooden bridge is undeniably the most photographed landmark in Essing.

Last Sunday we took again another short trip to the nearby town of Essing. Essing is a small town in the Altmülhl valley , a few kilometers away from the vicinity of Kelheim and to its neighboring town of Riedenburg. Essing actually is a great stop over when exploring the Altmühl valley and Donaubruch. Nowadays,we are on the bent on exploring more and more of the bits of beautiful Bavarian Jura and nature sanctuary of Altmühltal. I guess we can´t explore them all in one time because every town has its own unique attraction to offer so we take it one at a time.

The impressive Holzbrücke in Essing

With much anticipation, this little town of Essing give us quite an impression and we would definitely go back to explore more. I still can´t get enough of the beautiful rock formations that we saw when we did the boat trip in Kelheim seeing the Weltenburg narrows, and again, we were surprised to see the same things here. We visited on Sunday so naturally most shops are closed. I don´t mind that shops are closed since we have no plans to mingle with crowds because of the worry of Corona infection. We always make it a point to restrain from crowded areas and always stay at a distance with other people. Besides, we prefer to absorbed ourselves with nature and fresh air always do us good.

Who can resist a beautiful, calming b-view like this? I took this photo above the Holzbrücke Tatzwürm in Essing overlooking the lush green nature, the magnificent rock formations and the calm waters of Danube river.

I noticed a crowd of hikers, some with bicycles and hiking sticks all flocking around and standing in awe admiring the beautiful landscape as much as we did.We arrived at around 10:30 in the morning,but we haven´t antcipated that it would be a chilly and windy, but nevertheless, the weather is great for walking so we moved on.First thing that gets my attention was the impressive suspension wooden bridge, the Holzbrücke Tatzwürm. For me is great because for one— it is really wood! It makes a squeaking sound and swing a bit once we run and walk. I heard that its one of the longest suspension bridge in Europe and span along the main Danube canal.

Designed by Architect J.Dietrich, the 200 meters long wooden bridge is the greatest contrast in the beautiful landscape of Altmültal valley.

I have read that this type of suspension bridge is quite common in the Altmühltal valley eversince the Roman times.They already made it in history when they built a large rope slope bridge over the Danube in Weltenburg.With so many modern bridges nowadays, I find it fascinating that they have kept their tradition and they maintain it through the ages.The total length of the bridge is approx. 193 meters, the clear width of the walkway is 3.20 meters. The construction is designed for a traffic load of 500 kg per m².We have enjoyed this bridge alone without any other people so we really had a wonderful view of the calm waters of the Danube, the rock formations, and the quaint row of houses along the canals.The scenery actually reminded me so much of Innsbruck, Amsterdam and Utrecht where they also have rows of houses , cafes and restaurants.

This place is definitely a place between limestone rocks and river. It´s like the early civilization here forged their way of live and history from the mosaic of Bavarian Jura , from Castle ruins to nature valleys to lakes, Danube river, and limestone bedrocks. Take for example their historical fountain located in front of the Town Hall ( Rathaus).This old fountain is the root of Essing since it is the first well that they have drawn fresh spring water.Decades ago, this fountain was the well of life of the people who lived here. They even preserved this legacy up until now by providing the story of this fountain as an integral part of this town.

At the other side of the other bridge ( Bruck and Bruckturm) besside the town city hall is a statue of a civilian soldier named Josef Deifl ( 1870) who wrote a diary (Tagebuch) about his gruesome experiences about the Napoleonic wars and his wish for eternal peace. He wrotes that he taught himself to write and read and that writing is not an Art, that he only need it for reading.

Writing about wishes for eternal Peace
The town´s city hall (Rathaus Essing)

We continue to explore the scenery beside the river and the majestic view of the mountain rocks. They also have a very nice art installations along the river.We were trying to look for a nearby playground but we are already getting hungry so we decided to try one of the Biergartens along the river. Biergartens are opened once again but let me tell you what has been changed. We chose the Schneider Biergarten which happened to be a hotel and Brewery as well. Of course we need to make distance, wear masks when going inside aside and provide our contact data to the reception.This is actually our first time again to eat out eversince the Corona Lockdown begins. We were always cautions about the infection so we are careful of the places we go.It feels weird actually, it is not the same anymore.

One thing still the same, a great ambiance and food makes the journey even more worthwhile.The Biergarten is not that full when we came in but then at around lunchtime, more and more people , mostly with reservations are coming in. There were also people waiting outside picking up their take away orders. I guess the great weather and the calming view of the waters is a great factor. We had a nice time, the food was great and the charm of this lovely little town is heartwarming!

How about you, how was your weekend so far?

Until next time my friends, thank you for stopping by and see you again in our next adventure! Tschüss!

Field of Figures in Hessental

Rock Sculptures as memorial for war and violence victims in Figurenfeld in Hessental ~ Eichstätt

May 21 is a special day for Germans because it is Father´s Day (or Vatertag) and also a public holiday commemorating Ascention Day or Christi Himmelfahrt. We have long weekend ahead and the perfect weather gave us again the chance to explore nature and do our routinary Wanderung and spaziergänge. During Corona times, we got used to go to the “greens” instead of wandering in the city. The control measures are more relaxed now here in Germany and since schools and playground were opened,it´s human nature that more and more people go outside, but still with restrictions. That is why we always choose secluded places like this.This time we decided to drive over the hilly landscapes of Hessental in the direction of Eichstätt. We get on early as usual to avoid the crowds and make most of the beautiful weather.


I have never been to Eichstätt so I don´t have any idea what this town offers.Throughout the trip I noticed once again the ample amount of bikers. There are so many motorcycle riders in these area same as in Riedenburg. Probably because of the nice winding road through this vicinity. I have heard that its a Universitätstadt, meaning a home to one prestigious Catholic University here in Bayern. The drive going to Hessental is actually quite smooth, no traffic and the hilly fields amuse us along the way. The Hessental lies in a gentle hollow on the slopes between Eichstätt and Landershofen in Bayern. Finally, we reached the Figurenfeld in time and great thing to know that there is an ample place to park. We saw a small pathwalk that leads us to a vast hilly field, and without any orientation, we just follow the sign of the first Sculpture that we saw and thats it. Just like what my daughter says ; just go with the flow and start an adventure! And so we did..

The first Sculpture in the Figurenfeld in Hessental

The place is really spacious, with every shades of green that you can imagine. It´s ideal to have picnics, and just a quiet walk during these times. If you love hiking, this path between Eichstätt and Landershofen is a great start to explore the beautiful nature in the surrounding areas of Altmühltal. The artist and sculpturer Alois Wünsche-Mitterecker, is a native from Eichstätt, created a captivating memorial against war and violence. I found these solid sculptures really worthwhile to visit and see because it depics the ugly truth of war.For many, it is the ugly version of Art and yet can be emotionally moving. I have watched so many movies about Holocaust and for a moment I´ve perceived one of the figures as a scary visualization of a Holocaust prisoners. There is so much tragedy, sadness and grief, and yet, it is also a depiction of the extent of evil of humanity can do.

I am fond of sculptures and I love researching about them. When I visit any new place, I always look for extraordinary sculptures or any piece of art that represent that place . I have learned that every great art or a statue tells a story. From the unforgettable Holocaust memorial in Berlin to the Trains to death, Trains to Life , the Figurenfeld is no exception.

In this large field, there are 78 larger-than-life sculptures that are unrecognizable from a far. I thought for a minute that they are dinosaur bones, or fossils since this place is the barren Jura landscape. Most of them looks like they crouch, rear up and crawl and on struggling state. Individual figures first point the way into the hollow, where the figures come together to form a bizarrely frozen battlefield. This makes me wonder how this place looks like in Winter. I have read that the Artist, Alois Wunsch-Mitterecker worked on these figures made of Portland cement, granite and basalt grains for over 20 years. He himself never saw the completion of the work, he died before it was finished.The figures were erected according to his plans only after his death (December 1975) in the years 1976-1979. Come to think that the field is still unfinished.

Figurenfeld in Hessental

I guess the artist wanted to create a “Monumentum perpetuum”, a memorial to eternity, a warning of war, in which there are no winners and vanquished and he succesfully achieved that through this. The erection of the figures lasted from 1958 until the artist’s death in 1975.

I saw some children climbing and playing along the figures and it made me wonder how do parents explains to their children the meanings of the figures. I have read in the signs that it is prohibited to climb on it because there has been many damages already on some of the statues.My daughter loved dinosaurs so she thinks that they are dinosaurs, or rather looked like them. But them if you play a closer look, every figure is never the same. Every single one is really different and unique in its own shape.

Walking through the field is quite manageable but I think for elderly people, there are paths that are quite steep and would be challenging. The whole place is green, wild nature and full of overgrown heather grass, hedges and juniper bushes, which is full of hollows and hills, which contributes to the impression of a battlefield. I think that it can be scary at night because of lack of lighting but i think it is actually safe.But anyway, how would you appreciate the figures in the dark?

We explored the whole field in approximately an hour and then we decided to explore the rest of the inner city of Eichstätt.If you happened to be in the nearby vicinity, I highly recommend to check out this place. More information of other fascinating things to see and explore can be found here.

Have you done any walk lately?

See you next time in our next Spaziergang! Stay safe everyone.

Spaziergang– the one with mystical flair

After the rain where mists and dew become one

Let me share with you a really nice German word that I personally love, it´s Spaziergang. For non native German speakers like me, Google provides a simple and easy to digest definition of this word.

Spaziergang means ” a walk, taking a leisure walk ” or a ” stroll”

Etymology : Spazieren ( verb) + gang (spa*zier*gang)

Spaziergang ( M) (genitive –Spaziergangs or Spazierganges, plural – Spaziergänge)

Example when used in sentence : Viele Menschen machen am Sonntag einen Spaziergang mit ihrer Familie. / On Sunday, many people go for a walk with their families./

This morning I gazed outside the window and I saw a familiar face of one old man walking. He really takes a walk everyday, maybe 1-3 times a day and today was no exception. This is probably one of the word where I can perfectly describe my German neighbours and almost general here.They just love to be out, any time of the day, regardless of the season, in quarantine or not, people here loves to go for a walk or ” spazieren” . The other day, I was talking to some relatives in the Philippines and I have learned that they haven´t made a ” walk” for quite some time, all for various reasons. I have no time, I am too busy today, not allowed, too lazy, it´s raining, it´s hot …excuses are there and so on. Sometime its understandable, quite logical in these dire times of Pandemic. I just realized that there is really a huge difference between characters and lifestyle issues here and over there that I would not want to reiterate since its not the call of the hour.

Trying to recall my dreams from the day before today.

Now back to my story about this word .Spaziergang in other places where I lived is quite different, especially when the weather is quite challenging.In Kuwait, I often take long walks along the seaside. When I was pregnant, I walked in the seashore many times just to ease my aching feet . Seaside is very famous that almost everyone knows it, you can never get lost. Its a long strip of beach , the Arabian Gulf, beaming like diamonds in a blistering 48 degrees summer heat. It´s a nice scenery there especially during mild winter days, and also on very early summer mornings as well as when we don´t have dust storms. I missed those days where the only music I hear is the waves…. I have watched the tides being low and high, calm and clear…now going to the beach for me is quite a luxury.We are surrounded now with different kind of bodies of water which is also another paradise.

Here in Germany, people loved to take leisure walks. It is really a lifestyle that stands out everywhere. When people doesn´t cycle , you know they are walking. Sometimes I feel like if you don´t get out at least an hour a day, you are commiting a sin.I watched people of all ages do this, including myself. Germans takes walks for various reasons as well, but mainly, they loved to be out.Walking along the Danube river, in a park or forests can be a daily adventure trip. Walks are used for relaxation, recreation for families, or just simply observing and thoughtful leisure…or killing time, especially on Rühetag Sonntag ( Quiet Sundays).When the sun is out, people go out and take a walk to get under the sun, having a friend beside you walking and chatting is quite extravagant.Breathing fresh air, exercising in a form of ” brisk walking” is like a common changing your ” wallpaper”. You see,walking helps you see a different backdrop from nature especially during the change of seasons. A walk in the city is totally different experience from a walk from a quiet valley or countryside. A walk done through the weekdays is probably feels different when its on weekends.Here in Bayern, its very normal to see people walking with sticks, they say it makes walking easier, although I see it more frequently with old people.

Looking on the bright side side of life
Mornings reminds us to be grateful, to be thankful of life´s simple wonders

All of the above reasons, I did it all, all for the sake of ” walking”. In the early days, I would take a walk with my daughter in the stroller. In this way, I´ve got to know my new city and meet new people. Through “Spaziergang” , I have alearned to appreciate nature more, and made more pauses just to linger more with nature. It´s some kind of therapy as well. It´s a form of relaxing yourself aside from it is naturally healthy. I ´ve took a walk with my family, with friends, with my daughter, and yes, most of the time, I treasured the me-times or alone. There is a great consolation that I get when I took an early morning stroll and having a place all by myself. Most of the photos and inspiration from this Blog are the product of my daily Wandertags ( or strolling).

These photos are the ones I´ve took last week when we took a walk in the nearby town here in Ingolstadt. We were so early ( we always go out early to avoid crowds) that the trees and shrubs still have wet stems and misty. I totally got excited to take many photos and experiment with my camera.

When was the last time you took a walk? Have you enjoyed it?

Until next time friends, Stay safe and have a great week!