Saturday, October 13, 2012

Deutsch Abenteuern

"Part 3" of Stephen and Alison's International Exploration ("Part 1" being teaching in Khon Kaen and "Part 2" traveling in Southeast Asia) has held a multitude of grandiose adventures for us. I can't believe it was just last month we were in Thailand. The vast differences between Asia and Europe and having to re-adapt to a western culture and lifestyle (no need to second guess what to do with that toilet paper anymore!) has made it feel like it was ages ago. I am still astounded by how little karaoke we actually enjoyed in "The Land of Smiles and Karaoke". Nonetheless, many smiles (and tears, too, if I am to be honest) have made their appearance throughout and I feel blessed by all of the gifts this experience has given me.

We've made quite a few trips by train here in Germany. I've attended an EAGALA conference in Kaiserslautern, visited Stephen's Omi in her historical hometown of Straubing, visited Stephen's cousin in Neumarkt, took a stroll through Nuremberg, visited Roßtal to witness the home of my Nüchterlein ancestors, saw Tenacious D in concert (dream come true), swam and rutschte (slipped) down slides at a waterpark, and of course, explored the beautiful city of Munich. We've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to stay here in Germany as long as we have. We're very appreciative of Stephen's family here in Regensburg, who have generously allowed us to stay with them.

 EAGALA Equine Assisted Therapy Conference
 Up close and personal.
 Downtown Kaiserslautern.
 Being silly.

 Enjoying a beer on the platz.

 Stephen and his Omi walking along the Danube in Straubing.

 Picturesque Straubing.

Old architecture.
 Revisiting old stomping grounds in Munich.
 Where Stephen and Kyle lived a few years back.
 Biergarten in Munich's English Gardens.
 Beer, a super-sized pretzel and some beer cheese.

At the Augustiner-Keller Biergarten.
 Overlooking Kati's city, Neumarkt.

 Always scramblin'.
 Wolfstein Castle ruins.

 Climbing up the tower.

 From the top.
 Looking down on the ruins.

Looking down the well.
Stopping in Nuremberg on our way to Roßtal.

 How German.

 Day trip to Roßtal.

 The Lutheran church where we found 3 Nüchterleins.

 Friedrich Nüchterlein, the husband of Ruth, who welcomed us into her home to help us learn more about the Nüchterlein family.
 Inside the church.
 The surrounding town.

 What's happening in Roßtal.
 Rather cute.

 Ruth Nüchterlein's house.

Ruth and I. It was so nice to meet a distant Nüchterlein relative and discover more about my Nüchterlein ancestry. Ruth married into the family, to Friedrich, who did a lot of research on the Nüchterlein family. Ruth showed us a book about the history of the Nüchterlein family (including their movement to America in the 1800's) written by Hans Nüchterlein, as well as some other documents. What a unique experience. She even sent us on our way with a bag full of apples and chocolate!
A trip back to Munich.

 Nuts and fruit for sale!

 Over the entrance to the Asamkirche.
 Doorway to the Asamkirche.
Stunningly ornate Baroque style.
 The ceiling.

The Frauenkirche.
 Stephen and I walked up a very steep tower to overlook the city of Munich (Frauenkirche on the left, Glockenspiel on the right).
 Beautiful Munich.
The Glockenspiel from up high.

Two tickets to see Tenacious D in Munich!
 Wearing my dirndl to the concert like a true American.

 The D!
No words.
 Our last day in Germany was spent at Therma Erding, a waterpark/spa.

Germany has been amazing. It has not only met my expectations--but exceeded them. I am really sad to leave. stop--Austria!


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