August 03, 2012

when Dad came to town

In May/June my dad came to visit.  I know he's not a going-public kind of guy, but since this is a semi-anonymous blog frequented only by personal friends and family, I figured I should take the opportunity to show you what a great time we all had.

First of all, I have to state for the record that my dad is an intrepid traveler. He's gung-ho and ready to go! He got the knack of the bus system (and got to know one bus driver well enough that they'd wave to each other whenever they crossed paths - not literally, she was driving a bus, after all) and took off for downtown whenever the notion struck.

In town he offered us the chance to try out different restaurants and Dan remembered that he'd spotted an intriguing French crepe shop. We found a new favorite!

The general reaction looked a lot like this:

We celebrated Merlin's birthday with a lot of jumping up and down on a spiffy new trampoline.

We also commenced the introduction of two new household members, Tibby and Sherlock, who transplanted happily from a local animal shelter.

We took two local trips, one by train and one by car.  Eisenach (which I posted about in November and December of last year) has a lot going for it. Not only is it near a national park and home to Wartburg Castle, but it's also a famous composer's hometown.

 We visited the Bach Haus where they have a really nice museum - with old instruments, a live performance, samples of recordings and some really cool suspended bubble-chairs where you can sit back and listen (which I didn't take a picture of - maybe that'll inspire you to visit).

The displays were bilingual and included delightful tidbits of info that made it a lot of fun to visit.

Apparently Eisenach has even more to see, but we left Dad-inspired, automobile fixation for another day (and another post).

June 13, 2012

Wir lieben Lübeck! (We love Lübeck!)

For spring break (I know, ever so long ago, but let's just pretend it was, say, last month), we traveled north to Lübeck on the Baltic Sea.

On the map, we started out in red-circled Göttingen and ended up in gold-circled Lübeck, past both Hannover and Hamburg.

Lübeck was the capital of the Hanseatic League, the trading alliance of Northern European cities that lasted from the 13th to the 17th centuries, and as such is called "The Queen of the Hanseatic."   Katharina invited us up to visit her family and we had a great time.  There was only one downside to the whole trip and that was that having seen the beauty of this compact town, we returned to Göttingen, and no longer felt it was as beautiful as we'd once thought.  It's ok, we've since rekindled our affection for Göttingen, but truly Lübeck is a visual feast.

Though I took a lot of pictures, they don't seem to do it justice.  We had gorgeous weather, sunny and warm, and if we weren't walking  the small facade-lined lanes with glimpses of cathedral spires (think red brick with accents of pale turquoise - a favorite color theme we saw over and over), then we were out at the coast with sparkling water and colorful fishing buoys.

The old city is an island

yes, that's a dragon

I usually make a distinction between being a tourist and a visitor - by my definition, a tourist visits a place where they have no personal connection. In spite of my constant use of the camera (very tourist-like), we were lucky to be visitors, given a great tour and shown a great time by Katharina and her mom.

Here are some more of my "touristy-visitor" photos:

Merlin took this one

Among our other discoveries:

1. Lübeck has some sort of prohibition against zombies

but that didn't keep them from making an appearance.

2. Horses are awesome

and maybe a little strange.

3. When your culture and livelihood are dependent on the elements (in this case, the sea), they're bound to show up in your religious icons.

yes, that's a sea monster, in the church

4.  And, after a day of playing...

...everyone tends to fall asleep on the person in the middle.