Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 5)- Heidelberg, Germany

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Hello Everyone!

I hope you’ve had a good start to the 2014! Did anyone set any New Years Resolutions?

Today I’ll be sharing Part 5 of the Honeymoon Journal Series and I’ll be sharing my experience in Heidelberg! It’s one of my favorite places in Germany not only because of the beautiful castle, but also because of it’s quaint and charming feel.

Heidelberg, Germany

“We left Moselkern rejuvenated, embarrassed, and excited for our next adventure. Why was I embarrassed you may ask? During our hike to Burg Eltz we had lost track of time and returned an hour after check out! I had washed some of my delicates the night before and left them to dry on the balcony.

The first thing I thought when the bartender showed us our bags was, “Oh…where’s my underwear?” My panic must have been plain on my face because the man (bless his heart) pointed to the side pocket and stated, “They are in here.”

With our bags on our backs and looking similar to mules, we spent the day confined to hot, stuffy trains. But alas, we arrived finally when the sunset was setting. For having sat on a train all day- we were exhausted!

Samuel booked us the most amazing hotel room close to the Old Bridge and if you stood on the bridge you could see Schloss Heidelberg in plain sight. It was perched on a hill above the small college town.

Because Rick Steve’s recommended to bypass Hiedelberg, Samuel was urging us to pick another city instead. However touristy it may be, some places people flock to for good reasons! When I last came here in 2006. We spent almost six hours in this small idyllic town. When I left I still didn’t get my fill of it.

It’s near a university, so it’s bustling with college folk and has many restaurants and outside seating. Our hotel was right by an alleyway that had restaurant outside seating lined on both sides!

Wherever you look people were socializing and drinking beer. It was an amazing thing to experience. Although there was some occasions at 3:00am I wanted the people to disappear so I could get some rest.”

TschĂĽss!
Alyssa

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 4)- Moselkern, Germany

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Hello Everyone:

Hope your weekend was awesome! I know mine certainly was. My little brother Kai turned one today! I can’t believe how much he’s grown. He walked to me for the first time on Saturday and boy let me tell you what…I had to hold back the avalanche of tears. 🙂

Onto the next part of the Honeymoon Journal series!

Moselkern, Germany

“My intentions for this journal was to record all our adventures on our honeymoon, but it has become clear that it has developed another meaning- a food journal as well. Samuel and I are foodies! We love food. Personally, eating is my favorite part of the day. It makes me so unbelievably happy and I thank God for being able to experience such tasty treats.

Hotel Moselkern, by far, has blown me away for breakfast! They served the typical German breakfast but for some reason, they just nailed it.

I love everything about the German breakfast- the eggs, the toast and jam, the mini cold cut and cheese sandwiches, the fresh yogurt, the selection of fruit, the muesli and of course, the yummy orange juice and coffee. I feel like I get a small taste of everything and never end up over stuffing myself. It’s a wonderful way to start the day off right!

This was the day we would hike up to the Burg Eltz- Rick Steves’ favorite castle. It is still perfectly intact because of its hidden location and its many connections with surrounding families (we later learned this going through the tour). Now in this journal I’m not going to go through much of the historical aspect of things, just a record of the activities we did. However, if you did want to learn more about the castle I would suggest visiting this website:  http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/germany/rhine.htm

We began our adventure towards Burg Eltz with a stroll through what remained of rural Moselkern. Scattered signs directed us to our destination along a lone, country road. We were held up a few minutes because we stumbled upon a cat that resembled one of the family cats, Scout. We took some photos and then went on our way.

About 30-40 minutes later we arrived at the trailhead. Up and onward we journeyed into the forest alongside the vanishing Eltzbach (creek). We hiked for an additional 30 minutes and were awe-stricken as the castle unveiled itself to us.  For being such an old castle, the upkeep was immaculate. When we arrived they had a whole team of workers doing maintenance on the grounds. I even had to dodge some gardeners and leave blowers as I bounded up the castles steps (with Samuel right behind me).

As you can see from the pictures we were ESTATIC!

Because we were still experiencing severe jetlag (more on my part- I was up till 4am that same morning), we decided to get there before all the tourists. Thankfully, they had a guided English tour available. Our tour included a walk through the family treasury and a preview and brief history lesson of some rooms in the castle. My favorite part was the bedrooms and their gorgeous view of the scenery engulfing the castle. At that moment I decided when we get a house I want to balcony!

Our visit was short and sweet and we made the trek back to the hotel and arrived around 12pm. The hotel was a ghost town. A man who I recognized as the hotel’s bartender was waiting outside the hotel…for us. We missed the memo that check out was at 11 am! We explained that we had lost track of time and the bartender was very forgiving. After paying he sent us on our way with HUGE bottles of water. Water can be like gold while traveling abroad. We hopped onto our next train that would lead us to our next destination- Heidelberg.”

Tschüss Everyone!

Alyssa

Honeymoon Journal Series (Part 3)- Germany’s Rhine River Valley

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Next stop on the Honeymoon journal series- Rhine River Valley! Just a word of caution- it was extremely hot that day and we washingtonians don’t do well in hot weather. My tone might reflect my  anger with the scorching sun and my heavy backpack. You have been warned… 🙂

Rhine River Valley, Germany

“Wednesday morning we cleaned the apartment, packed our bags and headed down to the train station. Because we’re on our honeymoon, I conceded to going to McDonalds for breakfast with no argument. Samuel was thrilled!

We bought the Quer-Durchs Land Ticket, which gave us unlimited train passes for the day. There is no one to check your train pass before you board the train, but they do conduct spontaneous, random pass checks every now and then. Samuel and I had rode many trains by now and our passes have been checked three times. However, you don’t want to be caught without one because 1) its embarrassing and 2) the penalty for not having a pass is a €50 ticket!

We did a lot of traveling that day, so below is the stops we made and adventures along the way.

Frankfurt Süd > Frankfurt HBF >Mainz > Bacharach…

O’ Bacharach, it was a lovely town with a quaint, medieval feel. We had lunch there and ordered a big salad with flammkuchen. After being here for three days I’ve collected many food recipes to come home with and flammkuchen is one of them! Flammkuchen s an Alsatian dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thin in the shape of a rectangle (traditionally) or circle, which is covered with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons.

Next, we hiked up a very steep hill to reach the Bacharach castle. The view was amazing and we could see the entire city from our lookout. Visitors can’t explore the castle much because it was converted into a hostel. Afterward, we were exhausted from all the hiking and traveling, so we decided to take a nap in a park with our hammock. Yep, we took the hammock to Europe too. How could we not?

Samuel had planned for us to get to our next destination, St. Goar, via boat cruise. When we awoke from our nap, we had about 20 minutes to kill before the next boat arrived. It was blazing hot that day and I wanted so badly to jump in the river, but the water was brown and swift, and I noticed the natives weren’t swimming off of the banks. Again, the natives probably knew something I didn’t so I just followed their lead and didn’t follow the impulse to cannonball into the water, but only dipped my toes in. I remember seeing the boat coming and thinking, “My, that boat is crowded!” I scanned for available seats on the upper deck, but couldn’t find any. We would have better luck grabbing some seats when people left at different stops. I was just fine with sitting inside though. I wanted a break from the hot weather and ordered an apfelschorle inside. Samuel ordered the most tasty grapefruit beer. I’m hoping to find it when we get back to the states. It’s called Schoffhoffer Grapefruit beer.

When we arrived in St. Goar we had been traveling for seven hours (9am-4pm). We had planned to hike up to the castle in St. Goar, but we didn’t have the energy left in us. All we wanted to do was to get to our hotel ASAP and relax, plus, of course, I was hungry.

At this point my weird aliments had not subsided. I was truly sick and had the works- congestion, runny nose (had to wipe my nose every 2 minutes), dizziness, nausea and lethargy. I’ve got an amazing husband who is so patient and takes care of me. I know I’m one lucky lady because I know how grumpy and unpleasant I can be when I’m sick. Man, I love my husband.

St. Goar > Koblenz…

We made a pit stop in Koblenz to pick up some cold medicine and tissues for my cold. I was so grateful the pharmacist spoke English. At that point we hadn’t picked up a German-English dictionary and it would have been terribly difficult to translate. We made an attempt to find food, but that ended in frustration and tears, so we were holding out and praying that Moselkern would offer some dinner options for us.

Koblenz > Karden…

Oops we took the wrong train and ended up in a town a little passed Moselkern.

Karden > Moselkern…

The owner of Hotel Moselkern was very warm and welcoming to us. He recognized us and knew we were Rick Steve’s fans because usually only Rick Steve fans come to the small country village of Moselkern. Our dinner consisted of a hearty salad with a vegetable pancake. It was scrumptious and resembled a thicker French crepe.

All the travel and train hopping was getting to us and our energy levels were depleting. Samuel and I headed for bed and praising God we made it to our destination safely.”

And that was our adventure through Germany’s Rhine River Valley. I hope you enjoyed all the pictures.

Have you visited Germany before? Leave me a comment on the highlights of your trip! I would love to hear all about it.