The sun is shining as I sit on our 4th floor balcony with a cup of tea, enjoying the view amongst the vineyards. It is so peaceful. We spent today enjoying our local playground, and taking a cruise on the Mosel from our town, Enkirch. The cruise went for about an hour down the river to the town of Zell. Zell was filled with lovely old buildings and is much more touristy than our town. We wandered around the town for 1.5 hours, sampling something Josh has been looking forward to all trip- spaghetti ice (ice cream in the shape of tubes with strawberry topping and peanuts, made to look like spaghetti with tomato sauce and parmesan). Apparently, it lived up to the high expectations set. Our cruise back was just as idyllic as the one there. Vineyards were everywhere (with their trellises up straight in the air rather than along a horizontal line as ours are), swans and ducks cruised on the river, the sun shone off the pretty Mosel, and we saw cute old German houses in all the towns we passed. There was an amazing looking bike track all the way along, with plenty of people out enjoying their rides. We passed a number of caravan parks where the vans were parked right up against the water. A retirement trip maybe for Tim and I? I’m sure Tim would love it here.
The language competition continued today. Josh was a clear winner two days ago; Daniel took the prize today (we did not do anything while we were with Maike’s family). Daniel and Caleb have become very competitive with it, and each of them fights for the chance to ask someone something…anything! Daniel even asked for a beer for Dad today. I’m hoping for more sun tomorrow, as I am keen to try hiking up to the top of the mountain behind us. I wonder how far we will get with Matty!
We had a great day today. We met up with Maike and her family in Koblenz. This was very kind of them, as it was theoretically only an hour away for us, but 3 hours for them. We had a lovely day, with a cable car ride, visiting the enormous fortress on the opposite side of the Rhine, and lunch out in a restaurant. Koblenz is a pretty town, positioned on a bend where the Mosel river joins the Rhine. Maike’s family are extremely easy going and friendly people. It was wonderful to see them again. I do wish that we didn’t live so far away! Hopefully, they will visit us again one day in Australia.
Yesterday was not a lot of fun. Most things worked perfectly – we got up at 5am for breakfast at 5:45, and then headed out of the ship, expecting there to be a huge wait on taxis for so many passengers. We were delighted to be able to load straight into a maxi taxi, and be painlessly whisked away to the airport. Copenhagen almost feels like an old friend now; we passed our old apartment on route. Our efficiency meant that we had a long wait at the airport for our flight, but at least we were there with no stress! We sadly bid goodbye to Tim who was heading for Melbourne, and then flew to Paris to pick up our hire car. That is where the day took a turn for the worst! We had trusted Google that our drive to Enkirch, Germany, would take 4.5 hours, but later realised that Google must have decided that we would have been traveling at the speed limit of 130kms per hour. We also had not really thought about the fact that our flight did not land until 3:30pm, and by the time we organised a hire car it was 5pm. It took us 7.5 hours to get to our town, and we arrived at 12:30am, having encountered numerous roadworks and got lost several times trying to exit Paris airport. A first for me – I helped drive our way through Luxembourg and into Germany! Without an accident! Overall, it was not a great day. At least the home we had booked in Enkirch was straightforward to find and get into (although tricky for Mum as it involved negotiating narrow medieval streets).
We awoke to a picturesque and very quiet little village on the banks of the Mosel that has been inhabited since the Stone Age. There are homes here dating from the 13th century. We’re not sure how old ours is, but it’s a cute and comfortable home on 5 stories with a sauna! As usual, there are games and toys around for the kids, plus a wii and lots of DVDs and books. I love going in to an Airbnb place and discovering what it holds!
Our home is surrounded by quaint old houses, and we have the occasional tourist group wandering past. We had a very low key day, as everyone was still tired. The manager of the house, Anne-Marie, arrived at 9am when we were still all in our pyjamas. She was astonished that we were there, as she had been expecting us next week. It seems that the rental communication is a bit lacking! Anne-Marie is Dutch, and we had an interesting conversation with her about the house. Apparently, it was bought a few years ago, and the locals were amazed at how much it sold for – the owner paid 130,000 euros for it (with nothing to renovate or fix). This was considered outrageously expensive. Anne-Marie’s own home (bought 4 years ago) was 17,000 euro, however it needed renovation. How cheap are houses in this part of Germany!
Our investigation of the town took us to the local award winning butcher (whose delicious sausages we sampled tonight), the bakery (where Josh introduced us to his favourite German rolls), and a number of wineries. There are masses of vineyards covering the hills surrounding us. It seems that we have gone from a top French wine producing region to a top German one – Enkirch is known for its Riesling. The unbelievably cute houses lead down to the Mosel, where the boys found a soccer field and playground to their delight. We enjoyed a cup of tea gazing at the Mosel with the vineyards in the background. It reminded me strongly of our time camped at St Goar next to the Rhine on our first European adventure, which is hardly surprising since it is only 45 mins away. Dad was also rapt to find that this weekend Enkirch is hosting a wine and music festival. He wandered down tonight to have a look. Autumn is a great time to be here – all the vines and deciduous trees are beautiful oranges and reds, and it was lovely and warm today. We hope that the great weather that we have had holds for one more week! Our afternoon passed uneventfully but peacefully with mundane things such as washing and shopping. We barely need to leave our village (preferable after our long journey yesterday) to find things to do. What Anne-Marie claims as the ‘longest walk in Europe’ runs literally past our front door and up into the hills behind us. We can catch a boat to cruise along the Mosel from this town, or ride bikes along the banks (there are 4 in the garage here for our use). Tomorrow we must travel a bit further afield however, as we have organised to meet Maike and her family at Koblenz, about an hour away.
Hi all. When I first wrote my blog I had decided that I would write my blog every two days so that there would be more action in the blog for people to read. But again I have been forced to write. I am starting to think it is a capital crime for a mother to force their child to write a blog. I was given the same options as yesterday when being asked to write my blog. To write my blog or to help make dinner, set the table, do the washing and then finally to write my blog. Again I choose the first option.
Today started off with an early start for some, but for me this was a late start because we had to start beginning making preparations for the day at 7:30am (rather than 5am). Today, our drive was only meant to take 1 hour but it ended up taking 1.5 hours because of navigation problems as of course, Mrs Mug was directing us. After arriving at a beautiful spot along the Rhine river, we waited for our former au pair to arrive with her family. Maike and her family were caught in a traffic jam so they were about 1/2 an hour late. We took a 2 minute cable car trip while being entertained by Caleb (where he was discussing that if one rope snapped we would start plummeting down into the green bushes, gaining speed to a gruesome death). All we could respond with was, “Pleasant isn’t it?” with teeth clenched together. After walking around the fortress for about 1 and a half hours while discussing what had happened since we saw each other, we asked ourselves whether the fortress had ever been attacked. The walls were about three meters thick, and there were barricades everywhere. Our answer was ‘we don’t know’ as most things were in German. After this interesting trip up the mountain, we were hosted by the Bonger family to lunch. As we all had large appetites, (including Mrs Mug who ordered an espresso), I can imagine that this lunch probably would’ve costed quite a bit. After an Italian meal, my beloved companion Mrs Mug decided she would not come back to Australia but she would in fact stay in this Italian restaurant. Yes, you heard me. No Mugs left. Mr Mug plummeted to his death, and Mrs Mug decided she would stay in an Italian restaurant. After wishing her well, we continued on our journey with one less passenger than before. Then the dreaded rain started. We all rushed back to the car, said our well wishes, and drove home to a freezing house. When my body hit the cold I realised that Denmark and Germany have very wide heat differences. In Denmark, they like to crank the thermostat up to around 30* but in Germany they decide that 12* is too hot so they make it cooler. Well maybe not, but it still was very cold.
After losing a traveller, I have still decided to write about Mrs Mug. Just before we parted she asked me if I could upload the texts that I was receiving from her. Being the nice person that I am, I said yes.
Today we went to Koblenz for the day, and saw our German au pair that we had 3 years ago – Maike, and her family. Koblenz is quite a pretty town with a cable car running up over the Rhine and up onto a mountain that is obviously a strategic place (there is a fort built on it). The fort was interesting, it had been invaded in 1918 by the British and then was used as a anti-bomber base during the Second World War. We visited this fort and the park adjoining it with Maike and her family and then had lunch in a restaurant (a rare treat for us). I had a pizza Margherita. It was delicious! After that we began walking to the altstadt (old city/town), but as it started raining we decided to go back to the car and drive back home (a mere hour away, nothing compared to the terrible 7 hour trip from CDG airport to Enkirch). Tonight we are having chicken with cheese and tomato, it should be delicious.
Today we saw Maike and her family in Koblenz. It was very nice and the Ecke marking the end of the castle was lovely. We climbed a mountain via cable car and were rewarded by a beautiful view. After this the Bonger family took us out for lunch at an Italian restaurant, and paid for it all. Sightseeing beyond this was impossible as it was raining heavily. We said goodbye to the Bongers and headed home, at the end of another nice day. What a shame we do not have that long left in Europe!
Hi all. Once again I have been forced to write a blog. After watching a ‘thrilling’ movie called Rio, I was called downstairs to the kitchen bench where I was usually given jobs but this time the result was much much worse. The task that we were given was either to write a blog or do the washing, help cook dinner, and write our blog. Mrs Mug and I obviously chose the first option which included only writing a blog. After unsuccessfully writing the first paragraph of my blog because the keyboard split, I was called down to dinner after exhausting day.
We started our exhausting day with a turn about our town. This town dated back to the Stone Age. After getting to our small little house at 12am in the morning we were all exhausted, especially Mrs Mug. After being told by our mother that, “we were getting food supplies,” this statement was soon smashed into the ground when we walked down to the local park. The next thing we knew they were ordering cups of tea and coffees. As Dad wasn’t here we didn’t get a hot chocolate. Suprisingly, the park was actually quite enjoyable. After rescuing Mrs Mug from the Mosel we made our way back to our petite home. You might be thinking, ‘how can a day be so quite and calm for busy people like the Andersons?’ Well, as I explained before, we went to bed at 1am, so we were tired.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching a movie and of course 98% of our free time was spent doing our blogs.
If there is anyway I can improve my writing style please tell me and I will fix it.
Hopefully this blog has given you a little humour or if not hopefully it crafted a smile on your face.
Well, by for now.
Day 1 in Germany
Today we woke up after half an hour’s rest. I say that because some genius thought it would be a good idea to land in Paris, instead of Frankfurt, hire a car, and drive 8 and a 1/2 hours to our destination, Enkirch, along the stunning Mosel river. Today was exploration day, checking out the town and buying left, right and centre for our meals this week. When we reached the end of the town, we found the Mosel, and a gorgeous mountain that literally took our breath away. I spent a minute trying to recall where I had seen a better view, than realised that this one was the best I had seen in my entire life. The weather helped too,warm air whispering through the trees and the sun shining. We stopped at a huge playground that had a flying fox for morning tea, and then commenced a short walk along the riverbank. 100 metres later we found a brook babbling cheerfully through the countryside, and a caravan park. What a place! Leaping the stream, we walked through our town full of beautiful half timbered houses, and found our home away from home, nestled next to a church spire and a hotel. Our house has a balcony through which amazing views can be seen, and four levels of rooms (although each level is tiny). It seems the only thing missing here is Dad, so I hope he can FaceTime us soon! At the moment I am sitting down writing this blog while aromatic smells of dinner waft through the air. I am looking forward to tomorrow, and our time in Enkirch promises to be an absolute blast!
We are in Enkirch now. After a 7 hour drive and a 6 hour wait at the airport plus a flight time of around 2 hours. Yes, yesterday was a long day. We got to bed at 12:30 am, after getting up at about 5 am. Plus the stress of moving countries. I was tired and I wasn’t even driving!
Enkirch is a really cute town situated in the Mosel valley. It has lots of timber framed buildings, with overhangs and little terraces dotting the picturesque view. Today we had a walk around town, and bought some bread and sausages (in German). I don’t know if you have heard about our language points competition. I will assume you have (from reading my previous blogs), and so I’m proud to say that I’ve won today.
I also have to point out that I had a great breakfast on the last day of the cruise ship – a triple waffle stack with maple syrup and whipped cream. It was delicious! Loaded with sugar though. Unfortunately.
It was another sea day today. Tim and I felt justifiably righteous after spending some time at the gym, and then it was straight on to breakfast. Our day included food, visiting the library, a game of mini golf, a table tennis tournament with others on the boat, the ropes course (which included a terrifying walking of the plank out into the open sea- all three boys did this, with Matthew on the mini ropes course), more food, table tennis, the pool and waterslides, rock climbing for Caleb, a music trivia competition for Mum and Dad, more food, and then a final game of cards (with more food). There’s certainly lots to do on this ship! Tomorrow, we arrive at Copenhagen at 7am. Somehow, we need to disembark with 4000 others, then get to the airport by 1 pm for our flight. From there, Tim unfortunately needs to make his way home. The rest of us fly to Paris, pick up a hire car, then drive to our town by the Moselle river in Germany, about 4.5 hours away. I can’t say I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!