Monday, 28 July 2014

Harvest Time

We had rented a cycle for Mom to be able to show her our backyard and our favourite place by the river Kinzig. She did a great job pedalling through the valley. And of course, we had to dip our feet into the refreshing water. The river level was quite high, so Roland made sure that Mom wouldn't be accidentally torn away by the strong current. (He was counting on dinner after all...)

Mom became quite excited when she discovered all the low hanging fruit. There were apples, peas, yellow plums and purple plums. And before we could say stop, she was already in the orchard harvesting, or better "collecting samples" (well, scrumping isn't exactly legal but widely tolerated by the farmers).

Caught red-handed!
Another fruit, another stop.
Mom's pickings

Saturday, 26 July 2014

One Mum and All Saints

It's summertime. And living is easy. Especially this week, because Sonja's Mum has arrived. And while others tend to spend their vacation expecting us to entertain and feed them, Mum has made it her mission to spoil us rotten. No cooking, no cleaning for us. We come home from the job and all the housework is done and dinner's on the table.

In return we showed her our most favourite places, one of them being Castle Staufenberg, located on top of a hill, surrounded by vineyards, and overlooking the Rhine area. Roland was successful in acquiring a local white wine, and together we enjoyed the view.

At your service
View getting blurry already?
Mum & daughter
A view from castle Staufenberg

The following day we went to the waterfalls and the ruins of All Saints (Allerheiligen Wasserfälle). Mum had no problem to ascent the 221 steps leading on top of the falls, and was willing to follow us further even to the ruins.

The abbey ruins are always worth a visit, and we are still marvelling at the mystic and beauty of this place.

Photographing a dog owner photographing his dog. What a beautiful border collie, such a friendly, disciplined and active breed. Roland wanted to adopt him in an instant but for some reason the owner wouldn't agree.

Our descent was an easy one downhill and down the 221 stairs again. Shortly after it started to rain cats and dogs and did cut short our little road trip but there sure will be another time for small adventures. So we were heading back home were Mom would whip up another wonderful supper.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Another Summer Evening

Even after a year in the Southwestern part of Germany we are still amazed about the fantastic weather in this region. Being used to rainy and humid summers in the area around Cologne (the so-called 'Rhineland') we enjoy the warm and relatively dry climate down here a lot. So - between two World Cup quarter finale matches - we strolled around with our bicycles again, mesmerized by the beauty of our surroundings.

At the Kinzig river

Like holidays!

We love the noise the water makes at these small rapids

The branches of the apple trees need support already, because the apples are too heavy for quite young trees already.

A few more weeks, and these beauties are going to be ripe and juicy!!

Less juicy, but at a ripe old age...

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A long Weekend - Part Three: In the Pentagon

There is no possible way of describing Wiesbaden, the State capital of Hesse, in one word, or even one sentence (except we make it a very long one...). Well, maybe in short: Surprisingly awesome!

Spa House & Casino

Relatively unscathed by WWII the city is bursting with architectural grandeur and historical landmarks. Of course the Romans (again) settled here first and cultivated the area, attracted by the many hot springs and the almost Mediterranean climate.

The medieval period defined the city core and somewhat resembles the shape of an uneven pentagon, hence, the name: The Historic Pentagon. Today, part of it is a pedestrian zone with nice restaurants, boutique stores, antique shops, cafes and beer gardens.

The Pentagon

Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa cities in Europe, some even claim it is 'Europe's wellness capital', and many celebrities, from royals to artists, frequented the area quite regularly, and still do. For that and for legal gambling, of course.

And why did we end up in Wiesbaden? We didn't bring bathing suits, we don't gamble and we are not famous. We came to meet with fellow blogger Nikos and the wife again, and this time it was planned!

Blogger Selfie

We arrived in the afternoon, conquered the Pentagon to grab a coffee-to-go (YES, finally!), to shop for vegan chocolate and have a refreshing Radler in the beer garden at the Market Church in front of the Hessian Parlament while waiting for our hosts to arrive.

Market Church

The beer garden was about two hundred meters away as the crow flies from where Mr and Mrs Nikos live, yet Nick managed to get lost, and couldn't find us... He definitely needs to work on his navigational skills, and this is where Mrs Nikos took over.

First we got free parking in their garage, which was nice as downtown parking is quite expensive, but it turned out to be a bit of a challenge to get into the designated spot. However, Roland managed despite Nick's help.

Kochbrunnen (Boiling Fountain), a hot spa

We were reasonably hungry, but Elektra (the wife) had other plans. We had to walk up and around the Pentagon first. From Rheinstraße in the south, and west along Schwalbacher Straße, then north down Röderstraße and along Taunusstraße and Wilhelmstraße in the East, or so... we kinda lost track after a while.

The guys were getting really grumpy from starvation... but finally we arrived at Thai Banyan, to quench our thirst with funny cocktails (Nick had Sex on the Beach) and were served an excellent dinner. After this it was football time for Roland, and another walk in the park after dark (actually it was just around the block) for Sonja and Nick.

On Sunday all of us slept in, while Elektra's mom was already busy with breakfast. We felt just like being in a B&B. What a lovely treat.

After breakfast we walked some more, and Nick's wife, a true ambassador of her hometown led the way to Neroberg. Through a lovely park with picturesque villas we strolled, and to the boys' relief we entered the Nerobergbahn, a water powered funicular railway from 1888, instead of climbing the hill.

On Neroberg, the guys were hungry (again), and got fed with curry wurst and fries. But not before adoring the view over Wiesbaden.

Beer and Wurst

We had some Radler for refreshments, before we opted to walk downhill. Elektra procured a pound of cherries from a food truck, and while strolling through the shades of the forest we carried out a spitting contest.

Russian Orthodox Church St. Elisabeth

Nick's mom-in-law had meanwhile been busy with late lunch preparations, and again well fed we chatted the afternoon away. Eventually it was time to part ways. Nick had to get to the airport, Elektra needed to pack for a gig in Northern Germany, and we had a two hours drive getting back to the Black Forest.

Thank you Nick, Elektra and Gudrun for a fantastic weekend. We sure had fun! (Pics below: courtesy Nikos).