They had a very eventful trip from Milan to Stuttgart, that involved 17 hours, a train, and three hours in the Munich train station at midnight. We picked the girls up at 5:30 last Tuesday morning. Needless to say, we arrived at the train station to find two very exhausted girls!
It probably wasn't a big deal to them that I was working that day, because following our morning bakery run, they proceeded to spend the rest of the day sleeping!
Sadly, I couldn't spend much time with them their first night in Germany, as we had a dinner for the leavers at work. I had to make a speech for my friend Stefanie, who is moving to Switzerland.
Of course, on Elizabeth and Carla's second day in Germany, I had to again go to work. After I got home from work, we headed to Reutlingen, known as the "Gateway to the Swabian Alb." The town has and adorable center, and we had fun checking it out! We even "met" my aunt when we were there:
On our way home, Joern headed up the hill outside of Reutlingen to check out the view: it was beautiful!
Before heading home, we drove in Neckartailfingen, to Joern's grandmother's fields. The view from there is always impressive:
We sent the girls to Stuttgart for the day. They checked out the Mercedes Museum, and then downtown Stuttgart. Being design students, they enjoyed the architecture and design of the museum even more than the incredible cars there! We met the girls downtown after work. Once we met them, we headed over to the Markthalle, which has been voted one of the most beautiful market halls in Europe. It is one of my favorite places in Stuttgart.
On Friday, Joern took the girls to Tuebingen, a very old university town. Sadly, it was raining, so I am pretty sure it wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been in better weather. We took it easy on Friday night, as Saturday was set to be a long day.
On Saturday morning, we headed southwest, into the Black Forest and over to France to Strassbourg.
Our first stop was in Hornberg, the home of the traditional cuckoo-clocks.
And the girls decided to immerse themselves in the Black Forest culture:
We were pleasantly surprised by the House of Black Forest Clocks in Hornberg. Not only did they have lovely clocks, but they were reasonably priced. Joern fell in love with one clock, and wants to go back when we move into our house!
And before we left, Elizabeth and Carla got to try a delicacy, Black Forest Cherry Cake!
From the House of Black Forest Clocks, we headed over to the House of 1000 Clocks in Triberg. It is known for housing the world's largest cuckoo clock!
We also stopped at the Triberg Waterfall, which is the highest waterfall in Germany. It was beautiful, but sadly, due to extesnive errosion from a storm two years ago, you can no longer see the waterfall in its entirety.
From Triberg, we headed further into the Black Forest. Joern surprised me again, and pulled into the Vogtsbauernhof, which is an outdoor museum. It is an actual "Black Forest" farm from 1612, that was working until the 1900s. In 1963, the museum was opened with a few original buildings, and over time, more buildings were moved from other farms.
The Vogtsbauernhof was really interesting! From there, we headed into France, to take the girls to Strasbourg. We love it there, because it is very French with German architecture.
We went into the cathedral, which I have not done before. I am always in awe of the architecture and decoration in churches in Europe. The soaring ceilings, and stained glass windows are just breathtaking. Strassbourg proves to be no less impressive.
We arrived just in time for the fireworks in our town. Sadly, my pregnant self could not stay awake any longer, so Joern dropped me off, and he took Elizabeth and Carla to our lake to see the fireworks.
Sunday was another early day. This time, we headed west, towards Bavaria. Our destination was Neuschwanstein Castle, better known as the "Fairy Tale Castle."
Because Sunday is apparently the best day to visit the castle, and EVERY tourist was there, by the time we got there, tours were booking for 3 hours later. This meant we had 3 hours to kill before our tour of the castle. So, Joern decided to use the time to drive over to Austria, because it is so close, and Carla wanted a picture standing between two countries.
We stopped by a beautiful waterfall/ lake area. One of the things I find most striking in the Alps besides the awesomeness of the mountains is most certainly the amazing green color of the water:
From there, we headed into Reutte, Austria, which is a quintessential Austrian town.
Then, we headed back to the castle for our tour:
Before heading home, we had to make an obligatory stop in Munich, to have dinner at the Hofbräuhaus. Yeah, its cheesy and touristy, but sometimes, cheese is enjoyable :)
We wandered around a slightly rainy Munich for a while after dinner. Munich is really a lovely city!
What a busy and enjoyable week!