Posts made in August, 2012

We’re home!

We’re home!

Well, after a very long travel day on Saturday we’re finally home. Our day started out very early in Füssen where we got out the door by 5:00 a.m. Unfortunately for us it was raining quite hard. Thanks to Andrew for driving so carefully in the pouring rain in the dark on a two-lane highway that we had never driven on before. After about 2 hours we finally arrived safely at the Munich airport and turned in the BMW :( We got on the plane no problem and flew two hours back to London. When we finally parked (after the longest taxi ever) we walked about a mile, got on a bus and drove another mile or so to another terminal to catch our international flight. Unfortunately for us, we had to go through security again at the new terminal and then check in with Virgin Atlantic to make sure they transferred our luggage from Lufthansa to our flight home. We turned in our paperwork and hoped for the best. We had a little time to sit down and eat in the airport and do a little last-minute souvenir shopping before heading to the gate. Once we got there, we had a 30 minute delay due to unknown reasons. By this point is was pouring rain. We finally were able to board the plane and we taxied around for a while and by the time we were ready to take off, the skies had cleared and we had smooth sailing almost all the way to LAX. It was a long flight, but we watched movies, caught up on the latest season of Dexter, and napped a little bit. After landing at LAX it took us another 30 minutes to get to our gate because there was some kind of mix-up and the gate they assigned us to was a little too small for our airplane. They did a little creative maneuvering and before long we were parked. Unfortunately after that the Captain made us sit for a while longer while authorities boarded the plane apparently to remove an unruly passenger although he wasn’t in our section so we didn’t get the full story on that one. We got through security pretty quickly and then it was on to customs where we waited with our fingers crossed that our luggage actually did make it on the plane. Sure enough, after a few minutes there it was. We also got through customs easy-peasy and they even let me keep my tulip bulbs. Score!! Andrew’s dad was able to pick us up from the airport and take us home (thanks Dad!) where the pugs were so excited to see us that they were squealing and jumping around out of breath for about a half hour.

It was an amazing trip and we are sad that it’s over, but it definitely won’t be our last. Thanks to everyone who followed our blog while we were gone. We appreciated all your comments and were glad that you got to come with us to Europe once again. Until the next trip…


Chelsie & Andrew

Travel Pugs

Bavarian Pugs

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Hiking in the Alps

Hiking in the Alps

This morning we woke up around 8:00 a.m. and headed down to the hotel’s breakfast. While it was fabulous compared to most other hotel breakfasts, it didn’t hold a candle to the spread in Salzburg. We are so spoiled now :) We stocked up on protein and carbs because our plan for our last full day in Europe was to do some hiking in the Alps. On the way out of town, we picked up some pre-made salami sandwiches from a local bakery since there wouldn’t be any food options where we were going. We followed a local map to the trailhead which promised Alpine lakes and incredible castle views. The trail started out with about 300 steps up a steep mountain. All along the way were lovely stops with small churches that depicted Catholic paintings of the stations of the cross. At the very top of the summit, there was a large crucifix and a platform that afforded us what were arguably the best views anywhere around. Facing Northwest we could see all of Füssen and the surrounding countryside and facing Southeast there were incredible views of the alpine lake Schwansee and two Bavarian fairy tale castles–Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. We apparently timed it just right because we reached the platform at exactly 11:00 when the church bells in Füssen were ringing out and echoing beautifully all across the valley.

After enjoying the views for quite some time, we headed down the backside of the mountain to the pristine alpine lake Schwansee which was almost untouched by humans. We did pass a few other hikers, but for the most part it was just us and the forest. We continued on toward the castles and eventually reached another lake called Alpsee which was the most brilliant turquoise color you could ever imagine. There was a small shack on the lake where they were renting rowboats so we decided to rent one so we could eat our sandwiches out on the lake. This was Andrew’s first time rowing a rowboat and I have to say, he did a great job. Unfortunately for us, as soon as it was time to return the boat, a windstorm kicked up blowing the exact opposite direction that we were trying to row. We made it exactly back on time though thanks to Andrew’s hard work with the oars. Every so often we would hear the echo of someone playing a horn on the lake. We later found out that it was some older German guy with no pants on (see the picture below). Haha!

On our way back to the trailhead of another, less strenuous hike back to town, we walked right by Hohenscwangau, the smaller of the two Bavarian fairy tale castles. Unfortunately, the bigger one which was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, had scaffolding on most of the outside of it due to repairs. It was okay though as we spent an entire day enjoying the amazingly beautiful Bavarian Alps. All in all we hiked about 6.5 miles with a total elevation change of 2,800 feet and although it was quite strenuous at times, we enjoyed every minute of it. It was a beautiful way to spend our last day here in Bavaria.

When we got back to the hotel we were quite tired, but decided that we would pick up a few last-minute souvenirs in Füssen before heading to the same Italian restarant we had dinner at last night. Since we enjoyed it so much yesterday, we figured it would be a great way to spend our last night here. We ate some more delicious food (pictures below) and wandered the town one more time before heading in to pack our things for tomorrow’s journey home.

Of all the trips we have taken, this one seems the longest (in a good way). Andrew and I both really needed to get away and enjoy some time together as our day-to-day lives with work and school can be quite hectic at times. It was an amazing journey and we’re so glad that you we’re able to share some of the memories with us back home. I doubt we will have time to post anything tomorrow as we will be up at 4:30 a.m. to catch flights from Munich to London and then London to LAX, but I will try to post one final time once we get home. If all goes well, we will be landing at dinnertime on Saturday evening.


Chelsie & Andrew

The start to our beautiful hike

Füssen from the summit

Toward Schwansee from the summit…if you look closely in the background you can see Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles

The downhill hike to Lake Schwansee after reaching the summit (I’m getting a rock out of my shoe, not falling down the cliff)


Lake Schwansee

Lake Schwansee

Lily Pads in Lake Schwansee

Bees enjoying a summer flower in a meadow near Lake Schwansee

To give you a little perspective on how high the trees were on our hike

Our beautiful alpine hike

Sightseeing at the alpine lake Alpsee

Alpsee’s resident horn-blower…yes, that’s right, you weren’t mistaken…he’s not wearing any pants

Drew rowing out to the middle of Alpsee

Enjoying lunch in the rowboat

Hohenschwangau Castle

Our caterpillar friend

We initially thought this sign said “don’t walk on the grass”…the actual translation was slightly different

Bruschetta at dinner

Delicious homemade pasta with tomato cream sauce

Roasted whole fresh fish (Branzino)

Mascarpone and strawberries for dessert

Our last shot of Füssen on the walk home from dinner

Our hiking path for today Read More

The Open Road and Füssen

The Open Road and Füssen

This morning we finally remembered to take the camera down to breakfast in order to get some pictures so you guys can see what we’ve been raving about the last few days. As you can see, describing it in words, just doesn’t cut it. We pretty much stuffed ourselves and then headed back to the room to pack up and check out so we could get on the road to Füssen, another Bavarian town at the very southern tip of Germany. Before we left we thought it would be a good idea to pick up some lunch for the road even though we were far from being hungry after the giant breakfast we ate. We have this really great travel guide that recommended a spicy sausage stand in the old part of town so we headed that direction figuring we could find a parking spot somewhere near the river to avoid having to drive in old town Salzburg. Our guidebook says, “Mozart never drove in old town and neither should you” and based on what we have seen so far, the book is right. Unfortunately we were not able to find a parking spot so we just continued on hoping that the extra yogurts and to-go Nutella packets we swiped from the hotel breakfast would hold us over until Füssen.

The drive was about 3 hours, but it went by pretty fast due to the fact that everything here is postcard perfect and every time you round a bend, another fabulous sight awaits. We only stopped once at a small grocery store so Andrew could get some iced coffee and snacks. The highlight of the store was this bread vending machine where you press a button and bread pops out. Andrew of course was so intrigued that he bought two pretzels. Some of the drive was on the highway (Autobahn) and other parts were on two-lane country roads where inevitably we were constantly getting stuck behind big rigs, RVs, and even cows crossing the road at one point. We didn’t mind too much though as we were just cruising with the windows down. It smelled like cows (in a good way) and freshly-cut grass for most of the trip.

When we we arrived in Füssen, we found our hotel really quickly, but took a few turns in two of the cities roundabouts before we figured out where to park to check in. The guy at the front desk Sebastian was really friendly and helpful. He really made us feel welcome in Füssen. After we unloaded our stuff from the car, we decided to explore the small town which actually has a good amount of things to see considering its size. As soon as we got outside it began pouring rain, but that didn’t stop us from ducking into a few shops and finding a great Italian restaurant on TripAdvisor for Dinner. Ristorante Pizzeria il Pescator was just a few blocks away from our hotel in the pedestrian shopping area of town. The food was absolutely delicious, again surprising considering the town’s size. I posted some pictures of it below in case you are interested in seeing what we ate. By the time we were done eating, the rain had completely vanished and the sun made a quick appearance before setting over the Lech River. We grabbed some quick gelato (again, this being so close to Italy, Italian food choices abound) and headed back to the hotel to call it a night. Tomorrow we are planning to hike to some amazing nearby Bavarian castles so that should be fun.


Chelsie & Andrew

As promised, our delectable free hotel breakfast spread (Part 1)

Breakfast Spread (Part 2)

Breakfast Spread (Part 3)

Andrew enjoying a cup of coffee at breakfast

My favorite breakfast item…dates wrapped in crispy ham

Literally the smoothest and tastiest yogurt we have ever eaten

A lovely church on the road to Füssen

A typical Bavarian landscape

The Alps

A dramatic landscape from the window of the BMW

A church in a small town on the drive to Füssen

Our unique and lovely hotel room at Hotel Sonne in Füssen

A view of the main shopping street from our hotel room window

Dragon-slaying statue in front of the clock tower of the High Palace in Füssen

Doing a little sightseeing before dinner in Füssen

Fun shop signs

Our delicious shrimp starter at Ristorante Pizzeria il Pescator

My homemade pasta at Ristorante Pizzeria il Pescator

Andrew’s delicious ham, chanterelle mushroom, and red onion pizza

Check out those dramatic and ominous clouds

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Lounging around Salzburg

Lounging around Salzburg

Today we had a very relaxing day in Salzburg. We ate another fabulous breakfast at our hotel (again we forgot to take pictures of it) and spent the entire morning and early afternoon reading in the garden. Then we freshened up before borrowing the bikes again to head out on the town. We had a very leisurely dinner (and by very leisurely I mean 2 hours or so) at Cafe Sacher where we enjoyed the views of the river and old town Salzburg. We also did lots of people-watching. It was like we had our own private human aquarium. We ordered local favorites like Lake Char (a fish similar to salmon) and Weinerschnitzel. Both were great, but the cafe is really known for its fabulous desserts. We of course ordered a piece of the world-famous Sacher Torte and we also followed the local trend and had an iced coffee float with homemade vanilla ice cream. Both desserts were delectable.

After dinner we walked to a pedestrian bridge that we hadn’t been on before to take some pictures. From a distance we could see tiny things attached everywhere to the bridge and as we got closer we realized they were little locks. Apparently, the recent trend is to bring a lock with you and your lovers’ initials or names carved into it, lock it onto the bridge, and throw the key into the river. How charming! We looked online later and it seems that this trend started in Italy and has started to gain popularity all over the world. Andrew remembered seeing locks on a bridge in London, but apart from that we have never seen anything like it before. We pretty much stayed on the bridge enjoying the fantastic views until the sun set before returning to our bikes. The route we have been taking back to the hotel every night goes through some palace gardens called Mirabellgarten and since this was our last night, we decided to explore it a little bit more taking advantage of the last bits of light. Good thing we did because on the other side of the gardens, there was a free concert going on. We sat and watched for a little while before finishing the bike ride back to the hotel.

We ended the day as it began, back in the garden on the lounge chairs. We had to pack up and go back to the room though because a thunder and lightning storm was brewing and it started to rain. Every day here rain has been in the forecast, but we have been really lucky. It seems like the rain holds off just until it is time to go to bed every night so it hasn’t affected our travels. It has, however made it pretty humid. Tomorrow we head to Fussen, Germany in the BMW where we will spend the last few days of our trip.


Chelsie & Andrew

Enjoying dinner at Cafe Sacher

My local lake Char

Andrew enjoying his Weinerschnitzel (Don’t worry Schnitzel…this was veal, not fried Dachshund)


The famous Sacher Torte

Iced Coffee Float at Cafe Sacher

People-watching at Cafe Sacher

The view from our cafe

Viva la Ice Cream Revolution?

The view from Makartsteg Bridge at twilight

The sun setting over the Salzach River

“Love Locks” on the Makartsteg Bridge

Enjoying views from the bridge

Riding the bikes through the park

Mirabellgarten at twilight

Looking toward Hohensalzburg Fortress from Mirabellgarten

Musicians in Mirabellgarten

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