Garmisch, Germany Day 3

Sunday morning we had classes again, but we finished around 11 so that those who were heading back to Italy could check out of their rooms.  We were lucky, Doug had taken some leave and we were able to stay an extra night.  We asked at the desk where we should go and Partnach Gorge (or Partnachklamm in German) was highly recommended (and low cost as well!).  The base of the hike (and several other hikes) is near the 1936 Olympic Ski Jump site, so we stopped in the arena and took a few pictures.

Olympic Ski Jump in Garmisch, Germany

Olympic Ski Jump in Garmisch, Germany

                         
After exploring the stadium, we headed out the other side toward the hiking area.  We opted to walk up to the entrance to the gorge instead of taking one of the horse drawn carriages.  The kids complained a lot about being hot, I think they have forgotten how hot it was in Texas!  It was quite a walk up the hill though.  We passed lots of little snack shops and souvenir stands before we got to the entrance to the gorge itself.  Some of us didn’t last as long as others and needed some assistance.
Doug carrying Alyssa up to the gorge entrance

Doug carrying Alyssa up to the gorge entrance

We saw some horses in pastures, and some little waterfalls along the way.  We followed the river that formed the gorge.  The hike up there was about 20 minutes or so.
Checking out the river

Checking out the river

little bitty waterfall

little bitty waterfall

The hike up the actual gorge is really cool.  Mostly because there is water dripping on you at any given time (there are warnings to watch for falling icecicles in the winter) and there isn’t much sun!  The gorge is really narrow, so much of the trail is actually drilled through the mountain.  Short distances though, which is good because we didn’t have a flashlight!
Doug and kids in the gorge

Doug and kids in the gorge

In one of the small tunnels

In one of the small tunnels

When we finally got to the other side, it opened up into a beautiful area with lots of rocky beaches and the river lazily running through.  From here you could either turn around and go back or you could head out on another hike.  The options were almost endless.
Me and the kids on the other side of the gorge

Me and the kids on the other side of the gorge

We opted to turn around and hike out the way we came in.  We stopped for beer and eis (ice cream) on the way down.
Beer!

Beer!

Then we caved and took the horse carriage back to the bottom (well, it didn’t take much to convince me to take the carriage of course!).
horse carriage

horse carriage

 

This is post is getting long, so I will write about the rest of our Sunday adventures in another post. 
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Garmisch Germany, Day 2

We were in PREP marriage classes most of the day Saturday, so nothing really interesting to report here, other than now we have some new tricks and tools to make sure we keep each other happy!

We were off for the evening but by the time we were done and ate dinner we didn’t really have time to go out, and we had to be back early in the morning for our next class so we just all went swimming.  Then we got ready for bed!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We were all set to head out the door around 8 a.m.  Then Alyssa threw up, so we didn’t get out till 9.  We were armed with lots of plastic bags in case she was sick again, but luckily we didn’t need them.  In fact, if you hadn’t seen her puke, you never would have known!  We headed towards Brenner Pass and enjoyed the scenery on the small mountain roads.
View from sunroof in Italian Alps

View from sunroof in Italian Alps

We stopped in Austria for our road tax permit (you have to pay 8€ for a 7 day pass to drive in Austria, in addition to autobahn tolls) and for lunch.  The menu was all in German so we just pointed to things that sounded like we might like them and ended up with two kinds of schnitzel (Doug and I traded, mine had a mushroom sauce) and fries that reminded me of In-N-Out burger in California!  The kids had spaghetti (go figure), schnitzel, and brats.
Austria

Austria

Since everyone’s bladders (and stomachs) were holding, we didn’t need to stop again.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the drive up, the Bavarian Alps in summer are about the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.  Like storybook beautiful.  The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort was beautiful too, so we got settled and checked the place out.  We were there for a marriage retreat through the base chapel, so we didn’t get to do much sightseeing till Sunday.  Here is a view from our room.  The grassy area is over the indoor pool downstairs and the hot tub is outside next to the indoor pool.
Edelwiess

Edelwiess

Leave a comment

Filed under Driving Adventures, travel

Wine Tasting

Today was an open wine tasting day for the Friulia Venezia Guilia region.  What does this mean exactly?  Local wineries were having all-you-can-taste tastings as well as offering additonal things, like special vendors, snacks, and tours.  Oh, and archery.  Because wine and arrows mix so well.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

First we went to the Luciano Bessich winery in Roveredo in Piano.  We have driven by it a lot, it’s on the way to the flightline side of base when we go the “back” way, which saves us a whole 2 clicks I think.  We’ve bought their wine at the Shoppette before, but hadn’t bothered to stop in at the winery.  So we thought we’d check it out.  They took us on a tour of the vineyard.  Some of the vines are as old as 50 years old.  There were others they just planted this year that will take about 5 years to be productive.  They also grow corn, mainly for fuel purposes, in the past it has been for animal feed.  And they have kiwi trees.  Kiwi season is in the Fall, and you can get a Kilo of kiwi (not the cream of the crop, but definitely edible) for 1 Euro.  Oh, and they had asparagus too, asparagus season ended yesterday.  Then we came indoors and they showed us the different vats they use to ferment the wine.  Then they filter the wine and bottle it.  Bottling time is based on the moon believe it or not.  If you want your wine frizzante (with bubbles), bottle it at the 1/4 moon.  If you want it regular, bottle it on the full moon.  If you want to age it, bottle it at the 3/4 moon.  But whatever you do, do NOT bottle it on the new moon.  According to the tour leader, your wine bottles will explode at some point in the future.  He also said the average Italian drinks a half liter of wine a day.  Two glasses at lunch and two at dinner. 

After we were done there, we took off towards home and revisited the Rive winery.  They had cheese dipped in honey to try and a roast pig with no bones.  Not sure how they did that, but it sure was good!  The kids were bored and getting whiney (hee hee), then they discovered that they could shoot bows and arrows.  The owners of Rive don’t speak a whole lot of English, but the person they had doing the archery apparently is an Italian airline pilot and so speaks English and plenty of it!  The boys had a blast trying to hit the target, and Doug had a try as well.  They finally convinced me to shoot despite me feeling a little tipsy from all the wines I had tried.  I didn’t do too badly, perhaps stone cold sober and with a little practice I could actually be pretty good!  Or at least hit the broad side of a barn.  My photographer (Brandon) needs a little practice with his photography though.

All in all, a day well spent though it would have been fun to find a few more wineries to visit.  Who knows what other things we might get to see and do!  Luckily for us, there is always next year!

Leave a comment

Filed under Everyday, recreation

Brandon is 9!

9 years ago today I was laboring and swearing I was not going to do this again!  Fast forward to today and, well, we have a 9 year old kid.  Halfway to being out on his own.  We hope anyway!

We started the morning with biscuits and gravy, one of his favorite breakfasts.  Then he opened his presents.  He got an erector-set type building kit to make a tractor and a Ratchet and Clank video game.  The problem with being overseas is the toy selection base sucks, the toys off base are too expensive, and shipping takes at least a week, meaning one must know in advance what one wishes to order in order to have it arrive in time.  Needless to say, his “main” gift will be arriving in a week.  He’s also waiting on gifts from family and friends, so his birthday may last and entire month!  I have not been able to schedule his party yet either, mostly because I don’t want to do it a the house.

Anyway.  He spent most of the day playing the PS2.  Not my preferred way for him to spend the day, but it was a new game after all.  We went to Aviano Inn for dinner where we all had pizza, even Zach.  They have a gluten-free pizza there that he can have!  We stopped and picked up some gelato in Cordignano and then went home where we had cake.  And gelato.

I can’t say 9 is very different from 8 so far.  Which is ok.  As much as I look forward to the day when they all move out, I know I will miss them all tremendously and wish they were back home. 

Happy Birthday Brandon!  Mommy loves you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Scouts-Tool Box Building

Brandon’s den meeting tonight finished up Bear Acheivement 20 which was working with tools and wood.  They put together their tool boxes and got to use a saw (eek!) and a hammer.  Brandon was very proud of his work.  Their den leader even gave each boy a saw, hammer, a flat head screwdriver, a phillips head screwdriver, and a hand drill.  They were all just tickled.

add pic of B with box

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Il Mare (The Sea, not a female horse)

So Friday Doug mentions he thought maybe we could go to the beach on Saturday.  My mind starts whirling.  “Well, we’ll need to buy a cooler (our old one had developed a leak and didn’t make the move with us), we’ll need drinks to go in the cooler, and ice, we don’t have any sunscreen, I’ll need snacks because I don’t want to buy food there, and oh, yeah, I DO know where all the beach towels are!  But what about swim trunks?”  Nothing is easy when you’ve got kids to tag along with you. 

We spent what felt like half the day just getting ready.  Buying a cooler and sunscreen (and a map of Northern Italy), buying drinks and snacks, forgetting to buy ice and having to go over to the shopette, then trying to figure out what beach to go to, and then getting the GPS all set up.  I don’t think we left the base till almost 2 p.m.

We headed towards Lignano.  The kids and I went to the zoo there a couple weeks ago.  One of the other moms that was on that trip mentioned that last summer they would go to the beach in Lignano every Sunday after church.  Sounded good to me!  It was a pleasant drive, though the autostrada can be kinda scary.  Two lanes each way and you have people in the slow lane sometimes as slow as 45 mph and in the fast lane you have people whizzing by at twice that!  Makes passing scary because you can look and no one is there and then pull out only to find someone on your bumper.  It cost Euro 1.40 to use the autostrada.  One of these days we’ll get a Telepass so we can just zip on through and get billed once every 3 months.

We got to the beach and had to drive around for a bit to find a parking space (which we added to the GPS “favorites” file lol).  The parking reminded me of going to the beach in Southern California.  The beach itself was actually on the other side of a wall.  There are shops and caffe bars along the wall, along with bathrooms/showers.  It was kind of strange to me, because you couldn’t see what the beach looked like or how crowded it might be till after you committed yourself to being there!  But it wasn’t crowded really, and the water was so pretty.  There were umbrellas you could rent, along with chairs and lounges.  And some guy, who did NOT look Italian, tried to sell us beach towels.  Another guy was selling what looked like large sections of raw coconut, but I’m not certain because I didn’t have my handy English/Italian dictionary to look up the Italian word for coconut.  If you don’t want to pay to rent an umbrella, you just set your stuff up on the beach.  Oddly enough, the “free” beach area is the closest to the water!  That is what I want so I can watch the kids!

The kids had a blast, digging in the wet sand and catching crabs and hermit crabs.  The water was on the cold side, not many people were swimming.  But there were people playing games of soccer on the beach, and a few couples hitting a volley ball back and forth.  There were only a few topless ladies, I don’t think the kids even noticed.  They did notice a lot of the girls about their ages didn’t have tops and they thought that was strange.  We explained it’s just a cultural difference and not a big deal.  So they went back to catching crabs and finding shells. 

The water was calm, the breeze was blowing, the sun was warm, all in all a relaxing time.  I try to forget how much I dislike sand and sandy children, who somehow seem to cover EVERYTHING in sand that is within 3 feet of their person.

I don’t know how it is at your place, but you know it is summer in the Springer household when there are three little white butts attached to otherwise brown bodies,  We are on our way!

Leave a comment

Filed under Everyday, recreation