Friday, March 18, 2011

But, What About Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Austria!

While this morning seems to bring back many memories of our travels, I cannot leave behind my memories of Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Austria!

Many years ago for our 10th anniversary, my husband had a conference in Garmisch Partenkirchen. We had flown into Frankfurt before to visit our family in the Netherlands, but we didn't get to see the beauty of Bavaria! So, Wim decided to let me join him on the trip! Our children stayed with his parents.

Our hotel had a balcony that looked upon the place where the Olympics were held for skiiing on year previously and our beds had feather coverlets that we found luxurious at the time! But one of the best memories was the buffet breakfast! I have not had one similar anywhere! It was the first time I'd tasted fresh squeezed carrot juice. Carrot juice was only one of many choices that we had! The yogurt was delectable and I could never put in words the view of the resturant!

While Wim was attending the conferences, the organization had different tours for the spouses to go into Innsbrook, tour where violins were made and see all the many Churches in the area. The tour bus had big windows so we could take in the views of the Autrian countryside!

One night we had dinner while a Bavarian band played. Not the most relaxing music by far, but a "taste of culture"! The food was traditional sausages, saurkraut and potatoes.

The Czech Republic was a vacation we took with Wim's sister's family and our kids. I remember taking the road into Germany and entering Eastern Germany. This was in 1995 and we couldn't grasp the difference between the East and the West! The scenes were dour and depressing, though there were many grand buildings where the "communist" had held control!  We arrived at a campground where many of the Dutch decided to "lay their tent" and we found many open to talk.

Everyday we went to get bread for the morning. And it was hard to know what anything was, as everything was written in a language we couldn't read.

The most memorable part of our trip wasn't long enough. We took a half day trip into Prague and saw art in tilework all over the ceilings and floors! We saw the tower where the 12 apostles comes out on the hour. And we walked the Charles Bridge where many artists and musicians "sell" their wares. I wished I had known more about the history concerning the Jewish background, as it would have meant more!

Switzerland has often been a stop on the way somewhere, so we have stopped there many times. Wim's old room-mate grew up in the Italian speaking side. He owns a chalet in the Alps and teaches part-time in another city. Everyone doesn't need to have me tell them what to expect in Switzerland, but to actually see it, is too hard to describe!

I think that all of our trips have held special memories and touched our hearts in different ways! I am so thankful that I have had these opportunities! Now, I am trying to catch up on learning about the history behind my experiences! That adds much more depth to my experience!

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