Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vacation Memories: Part Two

**Another flashback**

As we grow older, our memories inevitably begin to fade. But despite our fading memories, there are always a handful of precious ones that stick with us. My brothers, sister, and I were very lucky to have spent some of our childhood in Europe. Living in Germany allowed our family many opportunities to have extraordinary vacations (and even more mini day trips). Although I cannot recall all the details of these vacations, the memories I do have are worth treasuring.

As I start writing part two of this post, my mind is shuffling through the countless fun experiences we had in Germany. My family and l visited too many places to describe in such a small space, but I will share my favorites in hope that some of you may be able to visit Germany one day. There was always so much to see and explore in Deutschland. Although we barely scratched the surface, we traveled from mountains to caves and from castles to forts.

As you would expect, there are many castles in Germany. Perhaps one of the most recognizable castles is Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Neuschwanstein, a 19th century Bavarian Palace, was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland. Although I would love to say I remember everything about the castle, I can actually only recall a few minor details. I remember how beautiful the castle was (but that my dad liked the mountains in the background better) and I remember some of us kids whining that we were tired of walking! :)  Oh how I wish I could go back and enjoy it through new eyes. But for now, our family pictures and videos will have to do.
Our favorite castle in Germany can in no way compare to the beauty of Neuschwanstein, but my memories are much more vivid (probably because we went so often). Nanstein Castle, or Landstuhl Castle as we called it, couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes from our house. My parents took us there often to “explore” the ruins of the castle. Our favorite activity was probably finding dungeons to lock each other up in!

I also have a lot of great memories of visiting the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden (near Salzburg, Austria). Before beginning our exploration of the Salt Mines, we all dressed up in “authentic” miner’s clothes. We may have looked ridiculous, but we had fun. As kids there was so much to love. We took a short train ride to start our journey into the mines. Then after following the tour guide around we went further down into the mines by sliding down a dark tunnel. I remember my mom being very anxious. At the time I thought she was scared, but now that I am a mother, I realize she was probably worried about one of us freaking out. If you want to check out the slide, go to this YouTube link.  

Germany is such a beautiful place to visit. Wherever you go you are surrounded by beautiful nature and architecture. If you ever have the opportunity, I would definitely encourage you to go. Please feel free to share any great memories of your childhood vacations. I would love to hear them all. Tomorrow I will continue with my memories of our trip to Holland.

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion.


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I've never been close to Germany!! Thanks for the 'visit'.

Robin said...

I went to Germany in 1999. I spent part of the time in Berlin and the other part in Heidelberg. Two very different places for sure! We spent a lot of time looking at castles and the like in Heidelberg. Plus, we had a college friend who lived there, so we got to see how people really lived. THAT was enlightening. We then spent a week in Italy. It was an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences. I would love to go back to Europe. Of course, my next trip would be to the British Isles. I would love to see Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. Ah... someday.

Kel said...

I would definitely love to visit the British Isles as well. The only time I've been to England was because we had a layover from Germany to the States.

Jana said...

Oh goodness....the salt mines. I traveled to Germany while in college to visit my man. he was serving in the army prior to us getting married. We laughed about the salt mines and how that would never be allowed here in the states...we are too litigious to have any tour that was that crazy!

Thanks for the memories!