A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: TB_Ddizzle

Thank god for friends in Germany

I need a break and a currywurst, please.

sunny
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By the time we made it to Rottenburg, I was in major need of relaxation and the kindness of friends. I got that and more at Sandie and Kai's house. Sandie and I have been friends since college and have, amazingly, stayed in touch with each other through the years.
Sandie and Kai extended the full hospitality of their home to both Anthony and me. I am forever grateful for all that they did for us. We were completely spoiled with good food, all the comforts of home and their good company.
We spent a day in Tubingen (wrong spelling I am sure) which has a university there and all of the typical university town accouterments. I love university towns because they typically have interesting quirks that are unique to that particular place.
For Tubingen, it was the currywurst graffiti. First, currywurst is a typical German junkfood. It is a type of sausage which is cooked then smothered in ketchup and generously smothered with curry powder. The associated graffiti is a mystery at least with regards to the author/creator. At any rate there are these stenciled graffiti messages spraypainted about town with various sayings regarding currywurst. For example, 'Penguins iss currywurst', which roughly translates to 'Penguins must eat currywurst, now' also in association is the allusion of penguins which is a nickname for nuns. Thus there is an interesting play on words and a tongue-in-cheek humor.
There were these stenciling all over the place the humor is wicked funny. I have several pictures of different currywurst statements and am planning to do something with them for my own enjoyment and extension of tongue-in-cheek humor.
The last evening of our stay in Germany I learned to make kassespetzla (phonetic spelling). This is a homemade thick noodle similar to gnocchi. Once it is made then it is smothered in cheese and topped with sauteed onions. Yum! It puts mac and cheese to shame. Kai, Sandie, Tina, Russel, Anthony and I sat down to a great meal of this and other excellent dishes and made complete pigs of ourselves. What a great way to end a wonderful week in Germany with good friends.

Posted by TB_Ddizzle 08:34 Archived in Germany Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Switzerland

HanginĀ“ in Heidiland with the swiss boyz

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Anthony and I met Matthew (not how he spells it) and Luc (not how he spells it) during the tour in Tibet. They invited us to come and visit and we took them up on the offer. Let me tell you, Switzerland is absolutely beautiful! It is expensive as all get out but the view is worth it. The exchange rate is relatively equal to the US dollar but everything is twice the cost. Our saving grace was that we stayed with Matthew or Matthew's parents, Rene and Ida.
Rene and Ida live in Frutigen and have an apartment connected to their apartment, which is where we stayed for 4 of the five days we were in Switzerland. They are really sweet people. Ida is 70 and Rene, who is wheelchair bound due to a climbing accident, is 67. We really got an inside view of everyday life in Frutigen and Ida cooked some typical swiss meals for us.
The most outstanding experiences for me were staying the night at a dairy farm on the side of a mountain then helping to make cheese the next day and climbing to Oeschinen Lake with Ida and her sister Margaret.
The night in at the farm was an unexpected invitation from Matthew's Aunt and Uncle who live at this summer farmhouse. They have several dairy cows (10) and all are milked in the morning and in the evening. Each cow has a bell attached to their neck and I fell to sleep with the chiming of the cowbells. The process of making cheese was labor intensive for approximately 3 hours. Everyone was bustling about and I got to help.
The hike to Oeschinen lake was great and Ida was amazing. If I am able to hike like her when I am 70 then watch out world because I will make this trip again.

Posted by TB_Ddizzle 14:52 Archived in Switzerland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Salzburg, Austria

Anthony! Please, stop singing 'Climb Every Mountain' for gawd sakes.

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Salzburg is an attractive and interesting city. Strangely, most of the tourists were there to do the 'Sound of MusicĀ“tours and the tall portion of the dynamic duo was there for that specific reason, as well. To be fair, Anthony was there for his sister Jen. What a good brother!
We stayed at the YoHo hostel for 28 per night. This was our transition country into western Europe prices. We really had to start thinking about how and where we spent our money. Eating cheap and finding cheap entertainment. Anthony ate a lot of peanut butter and I found a cheap falafel spot. Needless to say or rather as you can tell I did not use the internet to much either.
The hostel was interesting in that it played the 'Sound of Music' dvd twice everyday. That sounds really corny but I watched one evening and was able to pick out places in different scenes that we had been to previously. I was a lot of fun being able to relate that to my experience in Salzburg.
If you decide to go to Salzburg, I recommend renting a bike to get around town. Walking is relatively easy as well but you can cover a lot more ground and the city is very bike friendly. The fortress overlooking the city is a must but plan on being there most of the day. If nothing else go for the view of the city and surrounding countryside. Do not forget to try the chocolate!
Later,
Diane

Posted by TB_Ddizzle 14:23 Archived in Austria Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Kutna Hora

Anthony, is that church alter made of human bones?

sunny
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Sorry for the absence but we have been in places that were not convenient for sitting at a computer for long periods of time. Plus, as you know, I broke my camera and have been having a hell of a time solving that problem.
I thought I would give you a little more detail on Kutna Hora.
There are two fairly large cathedrals and a small ossuary church in this town. The really cool thing about the historical buildings is that we were allowed to take pictures inside and did not have to pay for permission to take pictures.
The two most distinct places were the Ossuary and St. Barbara Cathedral. The ossuary is a small church and graveyard in which the bones of people were used to decorate the interior of the lower chamber within the church. As you enter into the ossuary the walls along the stairs are decorated with various designs using human bones. In the interior, there was a pyramid of skulls and femurs in each of the corners that stood about 9-10 feet in height. Centrally located in the ossuary was a chandelier composed entirely of bones. It was very odd to be standing in this church surrounded by human bones but apparently this was an accepted pratice and in 1870 this ossuary was created from the remains of people in the area. There is a lot of info of this on the internet if you are interested. Just type in 'Kostnice (Church of Bones), Kutna Hora, Sedlec Ossuary, Prague' and read to your hearts content.
St Barbara Cathedral is in the style of high and late Gothic architecture, whatever that means. Just let me say that it was the most beautiful and unique church that I have seen, yet. The outside is amazing and the interior is as impressive.
Apparently, the wealthy silver miners in the area wished to outshine the more humble Cistercian monastery at Sedlec, which was at that time the only cathedral in the area. Compared to the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, it is quite opulent. Do not get me wrong, the Assumption of our lady is impressive as well. Kutna Hora is a must see if you travel to the Republic of Czech. It makes Prague's churches pale in comparison.
All in all, it was the highlight of my time in Czech.

Posted by TB_Ddizzle 05:40 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Prague, Republic of Cezch

'No, I don't want any herion but do you have any LSD?'

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Prague was a bit of a disappointment due to all of the tourists crowding into this city. We were in the old town center which was beautiful but the hostel was little seedy. Little Richie's was one of the cheaper places to stay at $20/night/person. They charged for everything and it adds up after awhile.
The city was beautiful. Lots of very old buildings and the history was very amazing. The herds of tourists were just unbearable and I would recommend going in the off season. To further dampen the experience, our room was facing one of the busier party streets. Thus from 12-5 am there was a lot of illegal activity going on below our window. The drunken or drugged out converstions were interesting but slowly became maddening. My sleep schedule changed-up a bit.
Anthony and I got out of Prague for a day and went to Kutna Hora. I am so happy we did because we saw the most amazing churches and were able to take pictures freely within the churches. The most outstanding church was Saint Barbara Cathederal. After that is was the bone church! I will upload pics if I can get my camera fixed. I dropped it and have broken the port on the camera for downloading.
Take care

Posted by TB_Ddizzle 12:04 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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