Thursday, June 12, 2014

::DAY 13: Pretzels & Falconry::

We finally reached the point in our trip where it was time to slow right down. Slowing down looked a lot like pretzels & falconry. All week long I'd seen pretty twisted dough in the windows of local bakeries, but we never took the time to stop. The time had come.

As for the birds, they were a town over at Schillingsf├╝rst Castle. I've seen bird shows before. But there was something about seeing falconry done in the courtyard of an old castle. Bonus: Animals can't really be scripted. When Yanis the falcon refused to come down from the roof, and Vania the vulture flew off course and landed just shy of the lap of an elderly woman across the way, my day felt complete.
The town of Feuchtwangen is home to an amazing collection of German folk art. I was inspired by how much effort went into making every day things beautiful, from the hand-painted furniture, to the ornate cake tins, to the impossibly details cookie molds.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

::DAY12: Fur & Feather. Stone & Vapour::

There was only so much driving we were willing to do with five children. But, just for one day, we did decide to bolt for the mountains of Fussen, way down near the southern border. We made a pit stop along the way to ease the kids into the long drive. The Augsburg Zoo definitely went a long way to appeasing them.
As usual, I passed out on the drive, and I woke up to mountains. I love mountains. Love them. They energize me, just like the ocean does. I think it has something to with a personal delight in feeling very small. It doesn't scare me. It awes me.

Fussen itself is at the foot of the Alps. I'm not sure what river runs past the town, but it must be glacier-melt because it is a pale blue.  We had hoped to find a hiking trails up into the woods overlooking the castle, but couldn't find a trail map anywhere. The weather really was the pits anyways. Very rainy and dark. But we came to get an eyeful of Fussen's mountains, and that is what we got. Plus, an unexpected gift arching across the sky.
We almost missed the rainbow. I'd gotten a few snapshots of famous Neuschwanstein Castle, and started to walk away. But before we reached the car an excited local ran our way, waving his arms animatedly. "Go back! Go back! Look!" He was making funny arching motions with his hands. We turned and it all made sense.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

::DAY 11: Fairy Tale Village::

Rothenburg on the Tauber is Germany's best-known "fairy tale village." I can see why. The place oozes beauty and medieval charm. But I think our little Dinkelsbuhl still has it beat.  However, the prize for best wall goes to this town for sure. The views!

For good measure, we still climbed the endless, corkscrewing stairs of the Rathaus to the very top, where our shoulders barely fit, and took in the red and green panoramic.