Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Swiss Getaway

Switzerland was LOVELY.

I have never been around such beautiful scenery that ranged as small as the details on the houses as the enormous Alps that surrounded us.  Though it was a short 4 1/2 hour drive, there were differences in culture, which surprised me because we often think Europe is just one big country.

For one, the food.  Good LAWD, German food is way better and considerably cheaper.  You know, I've always known that Switzerland wasn't famous for being an affordable place to visit..well they ain't KIDDIN'.  I would say the average meal, very in a roll and a sausage..ran you about $36.  Not to mention, Francs aren't cheap.  The food was just kind of "blah", too.  I know they are famous for chocolate, cheese (which, we had both) but it really isn't anything to be "wow-ed" about.  Here's a picture of a meal I ate at the top of the Alps.  Traditional Swiss mac n' cheese with potatoes, bacon, and a good ole' dollop of APPLE SAUCE.  Who does that?

One of the stranger experiences of the trip is on our last night we weren't starving, just looking for a quick bite to eat.  We literally stayed in the smallest village (pictures to come), leaving this cute little bistro.  We thought, why not?  We walk in, we were greeted in some sort of language and we respond "Hello" and alllllll eyes slowly turned towards us.  We sat ourselves, which is normal in Europe, and it was literally the most uncomfortable dining experience.  It was so unwelcoming and I couldn't really give you a specific answer besides, it just was.  It's almost like we walked into this sacred "local hangout".  The cuteness of this "Bistro", which by my book, was TOTALLY NOT A BISTRO.  It should've said, "We have heated up sausages and hard bread".  Anyways, live and learn!

Before I ramble are a few shots.

Our hotel lobby!

This little town, not sure of the name, is a non-driving city.  You can't have a car, or rather, it can't be here.  This looks like it's at the base of a mountain.  No.  It's ON the side of a mountain, maybe 5,000 feet-ish?  How fun is that?  Mike doesn't agree.  Anyway, it's cute!

Our plan was to ski but "unfortunately" (see what I did there?) it was closed and open only on weekends.  It's not that I didn't have the desire..I'm not ready to die just yet.  I don't really feel the SWISS ALPS should be my first ski attempt.  They do have beginner routes but…I mean, how beginner can they be?  Maybe another time!  Instead, we ate (my applesauce mac n' cheese) which was more up my alley despite the weirdness.

Before I wrap it up, Mother Nature decided to surprise us with another cold gift.  I figured, well, it wouldn't be the Alps if it didn't……

A little different of a view from the day before, huh?

It was just magnificent!  So happy we had this opportunity.  

Next post, Christmas markets!  Love to all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Germany's famous Black Forest

Our weekend trip!

We always knew that we wanted to take a trip to the Black Forest before we left, primarily to get a famous "CooCoo clock" they are known for.  The Black Forest covers a substantial amount of land, somewhere in the realm of 2,300 sq. miles.  We visited the city of Triberg, specifically, which is home to the "House of 1000 clocks".  No, there weren't 1,000 BUT it was still so overwhelming to just chose one but then you see the price and think "Can I just break a piece off of one?"

Getting to the actual city was fairly easy and probably ranks as the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.  The drive looked a little like this (although, pictures don't do it any justice at all)..

That's a random castle we passed!  Best shot I could get.

The problem came as we were trying to find our hotel.  Seems easy, right?  Wrong.  It seems that Google Maps doesn't entirely aline with Germany.  Who knew?  We sure do now!  We probably looked for over an hour, weaving through mountains, in and out of tunnels.  The frustration was building, Danny was throwing up from car sickness in the back, Shep's on the other side of the backseat looking at me like "Um, we've got a problem."  So, we decided to stay somewhere else & it all ended up working out. seems as if a GPS is on our list of upcoming purchases.

Triberg was so cute and quaint.  I really loved this little city!  One unexpected thing happened (besides getting lost and Danny puking), our cold, white friend visited us!

We decided to visit the famous Triberg Waterfalls.  Don't feel too bad for Shep..he was LOVING IT.  Oh, and just ask my handy "map-man" how lost he got us trying to find this waterfall.  

We had a great, relaxing time.  If you ever happen to be in Germany, I would say the Black Forest is a must-see.  The fresh air, sweet atmosphere, and beautiful sights is enough to pull anyone in! 

This coming weekend we are going on a boat/restaurant on the Rhine river.  Hoping to have a few pictures of that!  If not, I'll blog after our weekend in Switzerland.

Till next time...Chao!