Sunday, February 19, 2012

Germany - Part 2

On my last entry, I left off just as we were going up in the cable car to the top of the Zugspitze.  So let's pick up from there. 

This is what we rode in:

and this is where it pulls in at the top:

Kate taking in the view:

There was some graffiti on an inside walkway where many people left their mark, and one especially appropriate sentiment:

Self portrait and some more from the top:

It was time to leave and I snapped a few on the way back down.  Someone skiied there:

It was quite an experience being up there.  Once we were back on land, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  Sadly I don't recall the name of the place we went, but our server (who was from Italy), was kind enough to take a few shots of us in the restaurant.  Just outside the window there, we saw a woman ride by on a sled with sled dogs.  True story.  I couldn't get my camera out in time to get the shot though.  That was a frozen lake out there behind the fence which we probably could have skated on if 1.) we had skates, and 2.) if we hadn't been drinking prosecco.  Although, the prosecco may have made it even better.

The next day we spent some time in the Marienplatz, which is a quaint part of downtown Garmisch.  Many of the structures have very intricate paintings on them, both homes and shops:

There was this neat shop that had a ton of Christmas ornaments and all kinds of handcrafted items:

Can you tell we're related?  I didn't notice that we basically had the same stance until after these photos were taken:

We went to this place called Kronner's two days in a row because it's so good there.  Kate ordered this Cream Orange tea the first time and told me how amazing it was so after trying hers, I got it the second time we went.  I made sure to photograph the tea bag so I'd remember the name to be able to search for the tea back home or online.  They serve it to you on a tray with your own little teapot, tiny creamer receptacle, cup and saucer obviously, and this amazing sugar.  It's like rock candy but smaller and not on a stick.  The tea tastes like a creamsicle.  It is basically heaven in a tiny cup.

This is what we had for lunch that day.  Both things were very good and I am not much on sausage products but it's not the same type of processed gristle-filled meat as many of them are in the U.S.  That tiny condiment dish has fresh horseradish and it definitely was fresh...and strong!  I don't think my eyes have watered as much from eating something.  So good though.  Fun fact - butter is not served with bread automatically like it is here.  In fact, they charge you extra for it.  While a lot of the bread I had there was good without the butter (which, I guess that's how you know you have good bread?) I'm sorry....I still like it with butter.  Which reminds me of the butter pretzels that I loved...they were SO GOOD and ironically I did not take a single photo of one.  I was too busy eating it!

After a nice day walking around, it was getting to be dinner time so we said goodbye to the little shopping area to go back to the hotel.  A horsedrawn buggy went by and I at least got the rear view of it.  Pretty neat!

.....and so we said goodbye to downtown Garmisch! 

Next on the agenda was our brewery tour that evening which was great fun and I'm glad we did it!  I will be making that the start of the 3rd (and final) installment of my photos from Germany.  What a wonderful experience to have gone and seen all of this.  I hope you are enjoying the recap through my photos! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Germany - Part 1 (of who knows how many)

I decided to split up my blogging about Germany into more than one entry.  It takes awhile to make blog posts, at least it does for me.  So with that being said, let's get right into it. 

I bought a new 16gb memory card especially for my trip and this was the first photo I took - Jacky in the apartment having some relaxation time...such a sweet little face:

We got back to the apartment from the airport, I settled my things in, and Kate, Jack and I went to the Biomarkt (a natural food store nearby).  We felt like baking so we decided to make a dessert for their neighbors!  They don't have sweet desserts in Germany like we have in the U.S. so we decided on these cookie dough cheesecake bars.  Here is a photo of the ones we made:

Those things are killer and people go crazy for them.  I made them once before and took them to work.  There was not even a crumb left at the end of the work day.  So, put the recipe on your list of "something to bring to the next potluck".  Trust me. 

We ventured to downtown Regensburg for a bit where I took these (shadow of clock tower on the walkway there):

We went up in the tower (even though it was roped off inside...we're rebellious) and I took a few from up there, including this one below where the shutters look like barber poles (or candy canes).  Kate told me that during the Christmas season they decorate this building as an advent calendar!

There's the clock tower.  I was shooting through those little windows you see above where the clock is.  The man playing the violin was a nice touch to the atmosphere.  He wasn't wearing gloves.  Either he's really used to the brutal cold or he just doesn't care.  Props to him. 

After a few hours in the downtown area, we went back to the apartment.  The lighting in Kate and Josh's place is amazing.  In fact, of all the scenic shots I took while out and about during the trip, this image was one of my favorites and was taken right in their apartment.  This is an example of one of the most wonderful things about photography for me personally.  Something from every day life, flowers on a table with the light coming in from the window.  I'm in love: 

So cute:

Kate and I went to a quaint little restaurant where I had my first Dunkels beer in Germany (so good!) along with some wiener schnitzel:

I could not eat all of that schnitzel, which says something because those who know me, know I can usually put some food down. 

I had been enjoying the local sights and spending time with Kate and little Jack.  We had a Jude Law movie marathon one day which was super fun and relaxing (and easy on the eyes!).  Josh had been out of town but was back that Sunday so when he got home, Kate and I prepared to leave for our girls trip, just the two of us, to Garmisch!  Monday morning we took the train down.  Katie and Josh had told me about how people in Germany stare and I didn't experience it until we got on the train.  I'm not sure if people there just don't know that staring is rude, or if they just don't care.  But they definitely do it, and for a prolonged time!  Kate challenged me to have a stare down with a local German person but I never did get the chance after we were on the train that day. 

We stayed at the Edelweiss Lodge and it was just lovely.  A lot of cross country skiiers around, so I'd look out the window from time to time and see one.  This was the view from our room:

We took a taxi and headed to see the Zugspitze.  I took these when we got out of the taxi, before buying our tickets to get to the top:

Then we got on the cable car to head to the top!  I had not been in a cable car until that moment and it was awesome!  I took these shots on the way up, through the cable car glass.  It was wild being in a small glass box coasting your way to 9,000+ feet...with only the glass and metal you're standing on separating you from the outside.  You can see the cloudy fog and snowy trees and for the record, I've never felt such cold as I did in Germany.  Living in Maryland, we have 4 distinctive seasons and have had some rough winters.  But this was seriously cold.  Especially when we got to the top.  Although I do understand that this was unseasonably cold weather for them.  Apparently I brought the cold with me to Germany.

So with that, I'm going to leave you here for the time being!  The next series will be from the top of the Zugspitze and more from the quaint town of Garmisch. 

Please stay tuned and thanks for taking the time to look at my photos!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Impossible Germany

This past weekend I returned home from a wonderful trip to Germany.  Despite the cold weather (I'm more of a warm weather person), it was so great.  Not only was I able to visit a new place and take in all the sights, but I was also able to visit my cousin Kate.  She was kind enough to let me stay with her and show me around.  The other day someone asked me what my favorite part of the trip was and my answer was being able to spend quality time with Katie.  Getting to see a beautiful country was just an added bonus.

While I'm still sifting through my photos, I wanted to at least share one as a preview in the meantime.  Kate and I went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is in Bavaria, Southern Germany.  On our first day there, we decided to visit the Zugspitze and from there is where I took this photo.  The Zugspitze is often called the "Top of Germany" and stands as Germany's highest mountain at 9714 ft. 

More on the trip later along with additional images, but for now just the one and also a suitable blog entry title which happens to be a song from one of my all time favorite bands, Wilco.  If you are interested in hearing the song, you can watch the Letterman performance here.  Lead guitarist Nels Cline kicks down a sweet guitar solo around the 4 minute mark until the end of the song.  It's worth watching, but I'm partial.

From the Zugspitze:

Stay tuned for more recap on Germany complete with photos!