Blog

Münster and Moving

Posted on February 22, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Nun on a bicycle in foggy Münster. It's hard to believe we only have another week here before we begin our grand adventure on the road. Udo said that if he doesn't find a tenant by March 1 we can stay a little longer, but it's not looking very likely. He said he's already turned one person down and a young couple came over to view the flat yesterday...

Scenic Drive along the Romantic Rhine

Posted on February 16, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Today we took a nice drive along the Romantic Rhine, a stretch of river that begins about an hour south of the "industrial Rhine" where we live. Also known as the Middle Rhine, this riverside scenic area is absolutely loaded with castles, villages and vineyards. It was a great day for a scenic drive, as it was brilliantly sunny but freezing cold...

Sunny Days in Cologne

Posted on February 14, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Last Saturday started off really nicely, with sunshine and a delicious breakfast of rösti - the Swiss dish we learned to love in Bern, although this home version is admittedly not that much different from hash browns. Bellies full and happy, we then took the tram into Cologne for some more explorations. Our first stop was St. Gereon Church, which we hadn't visited since our 2005 trip with bad cameras...

Days Out in Worms and Mondorf

Posted on February 10, 2008 by Holly Hayes
We have had a busy last few days and boy am I tuckered out. But we have had some glorious sunny weather lately and we have really been enjoying it. Thursday: Worms On Thursday we went to Worms - great name for a city, although in German it's pronounced "vorms." It's a two-hour drive south along the Rhine River, not far from Mainz. We had a great time...

Good Times at a Local German Karneval

Posted on February 6, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Our front door We didn't end up going to the big Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) celebration in Cologne. It was cold and raining and one million people were expected to be drunk on the streets. We can see how it would be fun, but based on our experience of Oktoberfest (read: trying not to get puked on by Italians) we decided it probably wasn't worth it...

Travel Plans and Karneval in Bonn

Posted on February 2, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Now that we're into February we have a better idea of what we're doing next, so I thought I should post a quick update. Today we decided that we will move out at the end of this month (Feb. 29). The plan after moving out is to start with some more Germany sightseeing further afield, mainly Berlin and the Luther towns in the east and center. Since we'll have to stay in hotels for that longer journey anyway, we thought we might as well wait until we're not paying rent here anymore...

A Great Day Out in Bonn

Posted on January 29, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Thursday was a rainy day but we felt like going somewhere and taking pictures, so we drove into Bonn to check out the Rheinisches Landesmuseum (Rhineland Regional Museum). It was FAN-TASTIC. Here's some goofball munching on a pretzel outside the museum and apparently staring at a garbage can. Actually, it's a historical marker about the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago that passed this way...

Maria Laach, Take Two

Posted on January 25, 2008 by Holly Hayes
On Wednesday we headed back to Maria Laach for a chance at enjoying it in the daylight. We spent several hours there and had such a good time. The church is so awesome and in such a beautiful scenic location on a lake. The weather was iffy but we got sufficient sunbreaks for nice photos and nature walks. Maria Laach Abbey was founded in 1093 by Count Heinrich II von Laach and his wife, who lived in a castle across the lake...

This und That

Posted on January 21, 2008 by Holly Hayes
I've been mighty lazy about blogging lately, and it's been really wonderful to have David taking over a bit! But now it's time for me to stop procrastinating and catch up a little too. We haven't done a lot of traveling in the last week, since it has been gray and rainy most of the time. But it has been a whole lot warmer (highs in the 50s!), which makes daily life more pleasant...

A New Rental Car (by David)

Posted on January 17, 2008 by Holly Hayes
Hello David here again. Today it was time to make a trip to the Bonn Airport and change out our rental car. We have been going back and forth from Avis to Hertz, choosing the best online deal at the time. Generally I have been amazed by how sporty and fun the cars have been. Only once have we gotten a complete turkey, a 1.6 liter Ford Focus, which was promptly exchanged for an Audi A3 the next day...

Aachen Revisited (and a Few Cologne Snaps)

Posted on January 11, 2008 by Holly Hayes
This week's excursion was to Aachen, which is quite handily located about 45 minutes directly west, near the Netherlands border. Like Trier, we had visited it in 2005 but felt was well worth a re-visit. The weather was generally grey and cold as usual (what is this, winter?) but fortunately nearly all of the attractions were indoors. The Aachen trip was the first real test of our new camera and new lens, and they performed very well! David used his "old" zoom lens on the new camera body and I used David's old camera with the new 50mm prime lens and also carried my standard wide angle setup...

Trier

Posted on January 4, 2008 by Holly Hayes
{ph12334} Sunset on Trier Cathedral Happy New Year! On January 2 we drove down to Trier, which is southwest of us and close to the Luxembourg border. We have been there before (during a 2005 Christmas trip), but we missed a few things and it deserved a repeat trip with better cameras. And the weather forecast was clear and sunny, though it turned out more like partly cloudy...

A Visit to Limburg Cathedral

Posted on December 28, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Yesterday we drove to Limburg, which is an hour down the Autobahn on the way to Mainz. We had seen its cathedral from the road on the way to Mainz and had to go back to check it out. We found convenient (just downhill from the cathedral) but somewhat dingy parking at the City Parkhaus and ventured out into the cold. Limburg is a great town. It's on a hillside overlooking a river and the old town is very well preserved...

Solo Church Crawling in Cologne

Posted on December 21, 2007 by Holly Hayes
David has been sick with a nasty cold all week, so we haven't been on any further car trips since my last report. And as bad timing would have it, we have had beautiful weather this week - clear and sunny every day, although very cold. Highs are only in the 20s F and the frost is building up in layers so it looks like snow. Blue sky is hard to come by in the winter, so on Wednesday and Thursday I took the tram into Cologne by myself and visited as many of the city's 12 Romanesque churches as I could...

A Sunny Day Out in Bonn

Posted on December 17, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Yesterday we were ready to take a break from all our busy photography trips, but it was a beautiful day so we took a short trip into Bonn. We drove this time, mainly to avoid waiting for the tram in the cold. We had lunch at the Christmas market (David tried some Hungarian Paprika Gulasch in a bread bowl and loved it) and I took lots of pictures of the east end of the Munster, and then we headed back home...

Day Trip to Mainz

Posted on December 17, 2007 by Holly Hayes
On Saturday we took a day trip to Mainz, a cathedral city about an hour and a half southeast of our place in Bornheim. David really enjoyed the drive, as it was on the famous Autobahn the entire way. We drove along at about 85 mph most of the time, with people whizzing by us in the fast lane at 120 mph! It didn't feel very scary, though, since (knock on wood) German drivers seem to pay attention and do obey the speed limit when there is one...

A Splendid Day Out in Cologne

Posted on December 14, 2007 by Holly Hayes
We had a very nice day in Cologne yesterday. It was even sunny most of the day! We rode the tram all the way there, which was smooth and not very crowded. We hung out in several different Christmas markets (Cologne has at least five, I think), and tried a new dish: This is schupfnudeln: potato dumplings fried in a pan with sauerkraut and topped with sour cream...

Romanesque Churches of Bonn

Posted on December 13, 2007 by Holly Hayes
It is great to have David back from London (where he went to see a Led Zepplin concert). His flight was smooth and 20 minutes early, his baggage showed up on the belt as soon as he arrived, the car rental process was efficient, and he was home after less than 15 minutes' drive on the freeway. He said it was so good to be back in Germany. We had considered various long-term options for our German car rental but decided to go a week at a time, since we may not always need to have a car...

David in London, Hobnobbing with the Stars

Posted on December 11, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Kate Moss, Mick Jagger Rock at the Led Zeppelin Show David and his friend Ron were in some pretty famous company at the Led Zeppelin concert last night! In addition to the two pictured above, the audience included Paul McCartney, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Michael J. Fox, Juliette Lewis, Lisa Marie Presley and Pink. David had a very good time and said Led Zeppelin sounded great...

The Week in Review

Posted on December 7, 2007 by Holly Hayes
Here are some brief highlights of our rather uneventful, but nice, week. Wednesday In the late afternoon on Wednesday we went for a longish walk (about an hour) along the Rhine. It was cold and windy but very enjoyable. We hope to walk all the way to Bonn sometime soon, which would be about 3 miles. Then we can take the tram back! Boats, ducks, and the village of Mondorf in the distance Warning: road ends, rather abruptly...