Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are fine. Mom (Nel) arrived last Thursday, and we have been busy every since. Visited Gunzenhausen, Ansbach a couple times, and Wurzburg. We will be leaving on Thursday to go to Holland for a few days, so I won't be posting until we get back. Jacob has been having lots of fun with his Oma, showing her his kindergarten and his many toys.

I have a cold so I'm sure I could post more, but my head feels a little fuzzy. Maybe after Holland I will have more to write.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

good weather 

I think you should all be able to assume that if I don't post too often, all is well. This past week the weather kept me away from the computer! It was beautiful and warm, so we stayed outside every afternoon and evening. Over the weekend it proceeded to start raining, and didn't stop for about 24 hours. Kenny went fishing twice (in the rain) and Jacob joined him one time. I had the good sense not to stand out next to the lake in the rain, but probably missed some fun. We also went to Gunzenhausen (a nearby town) to admire the lake there, it is huge. There are quite a few lakes in the area, this one is popular with windsurfers and sailboats. There was a slight pause in the rain, so we walked part of the path around the lake and watched the watersports. There was a little indoor cafe so we had some lunch and then headed back to Ansbach. While in Gunzenhausen we also checked out a nice fishing supply store (Kenny was thrilled) and a bike shop. I would like a new bike, mine is just a pile of problems. But I think they are pretty expensive! I may end up getting one at the PX, unless I find one that is more reasonable. I'm not racing the thing, just riding alongside Jacob to kindergarten, and sometimes doing local errands. So it doesn't need to be fancy, just functional.

Last week Jacob went on a walk with his kindergarten to the next village, where they ate lunch and played on the playground. I was surprised he made it that far walking, he usually gets Kenny to carry him on his shoulders when we are on a long walk. His teacher said he was getting tired on the way back to kindergarten, complaining that his legs were tired... but he made it!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Seehof Palace and more 

Saturday morning we drove to a palace near Bamberg we had been wanting to visit, the Seehof Palace. (Did you notice Jacob standing next to the potted trees?)It was really very striking, set near a lake and on a beautiful piece of land. We looked around and walked through the gardens, waiting for the fountain to have it's hourly display. There are even statues in the lake next to the palace that come on when the fountain is running!

We also saw a critter we have not seen in Germany before (Jacob actually found it), a legless lizard. I have some pictures of it, when I get all the photos up on the photo album page I'll let you know so you can check it out. We are always excited about the interesting animals we find here, it doesn't happen too often. Usually just rabbits, birds, deer... all the usual types of animals. Jacob was pretty amazed by this critter.

After we left there we drove to Pottenstein which is a cute little town set within some cliffs and beautiful scenery. It is set in an area called the Fränkische Schweiz, or Franconian Switzerland. (Franconia is a region of Germany) The drive was absolutely beautiful, we had no idea how pretty it was there. We were headed to the Sommerrodelbahn. I had posted this article once before, to help describe the rodelbahn we went on in Garmisch. The one in the article is the actual one we went to this time, it was so much fun. Much bigger than the one in Garmisch, higher and longer. Plus they have two of them, one can run in both summer and winter. The multi-season one runs on tracks, not in the "chute" like the summer one. So it can handle the snowy weather! We rode each side, and all decided that the multi season one on tracks was the most fun. Next to the rodelbahn was stream and a lake full of trout (no fishing signs everywhere) and we were able to get some food to feed them. These fish were leaping out of the water to get to the food, it was really fun. We also had lunch at the cafe there, and went out on the pedal-boats for a while.

This is a picture from the boat, looking toward the cafe.
After we were done there, we made our way over to the Teufelshöhle, (Devil's Cave) and decided to tour that as well. We went deep into the cave, on very nice paths although there were a ton of steps. Lots ostalactiteses and stalagmites, and also bear bones. Jacob really thought it was great that he was hiking through the cave. It was of course quite cool in there, but not freezing. We realized why we had so many steps, when we made our exit we were at the top of the rock formation that the cave is in.

This is the view as we walked down, you can see the trout farm in the distance. We had an easy walk back down with sombeautifulul views.

Right next door to the cave was a trout farm, that of course we had to go see. (Kenny is making plans for his very own trout farm.) We fed the trout again, there were all sizes in there. Some were pretty big, and some jumped onto the bank after the food. You could also eat the trout at the restaurant, we saved that for another time. (That actually worked out well. The next day Kenny went fishing and caught some trout, so we had trout for dinner Sunday night. Seeing all those fish inspired him to go fishing!) It had been a fun-filled day, and we were ready to head on home. It really was only about 1 1/2 hour from our home, so it was great for a day trip. We all had such a great time the whole day, and Jacob slept really well that night. :)

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