Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bayreuth - More Exploration

The girls always want to go with me when I run (ok which is not very often right now), Abby especially.  One of the USO's on base did a glow run the other week and glow runs are so fun!  So we went as a family.  We took plenty of glow sticks and they had black light paint (warning -- it does not come off well.  There were tears at bedtime).  We ran/walked together and did the entire 5K in just under an hour!  

I had taken my parents to Bayreuth when they were here and we enjoyed it, even if it wasn't a lot.  So this past Saturday we went back as a family and had a really good time.  We started at the Old Hermitage and had a picnic lunch and then drove into town and explored a little bit there, including the new palace. 
The kids loved the sun temple because of all the rocks

We decided to picnic at the lower grotto so that we could see the fountains go off.  

We were all a little surprised when the fountains did go off and not only was it noses and mouths spouting water, but the woman's breasts!  Abby said to me, "Well mom that is what the milk does!"  They got a big kick out of it.

We wandered the grounds for a little bit and then decided to take the tour of the Hermitage.

When we took the tour with my parents, they didn't allow any pictures.  But our tour guide this time didn't care because everyone was!  The kids favorite part were the waterworks and they are impressive but the overall grotto where they are is just an interesting piece of architecture with the stone and the shell sculptures. A tour guide at the new palace (they have a grotto there too) said that grottos were popular in the 1700s as a place to keep cool.

Part of the waterworks

The inside of the Hermitage isn't terribly elaborate except for the paintings and stucco work.  It falls under Rococo style and I love it because of how delicate it is.  This is the ball room or assembly room -- the small alcove at the top was for the musicians.  Megan is a good example of what we did during this whole tour because all the ceilings are beautifully painted.

My favorite is this one: Margravine Wilhelmina had more obscure ancient stories painted but that little black and white dog is her favorite pet.  She's also had her face done as some of the women in paintings.

I just love this!

In Bayreuth we stopped first for ice cream and I think we found a place BETTER than Penguino's!  Opera Eis is amazing!

This is from the palace church - very light with lots of pastel colors used.

Dinosaurs in Bayreuth!

Bayreuth is also known for being the place where Richard Wagner finally settled down.  His house is now a museum (that we didn't have time to tour) and he has an opera house there that is supposed to be spectacular but it's under renovation at the moment.

Just some gorgeous flowers

The back of his house with the flowers and his tomb in the foreground

The new palace

So I kind've snuck some pictures.  I loved this ballroom!!  Not overdone but so lovely.

And the palm room.  Pictures don't do it justice.  I really liked this palace!  I think it might be one of my favorites!

The front

Bayreuth will probably be a city we go back to often.  It's got great history and interesting things to see that we still haven't covered!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bavarian Summer

The Bavarian summer is a little different than what we've been used to.  I don't really count last summer because we missed half of it and then were in a hotel for the other half waiting on a car and trying to find a house.  So this is our first summer of really having a summer and it's a little different!  
First of all, the weather is back and forth.  Tomorrow should be 94 degrees -- the hottest day we'll have had so far.  And we get some hot weather, but maybe for a few days and then it cools off for a bit.  Or we get really cold weather for a few days and then it warms up!  I'd had really high hopes of getting the kids in swimming lessons but I don't know that it would've worked with weather and rain.  So in many ways we've had a lazy summer, playing at parks when it's nice and staying at home when it's not.

A few weeks back we finally tracked down the pirate park with some friends.  This is a pirate ship basically in a sandy pond.  The water isn't deep and there are fun things other than the ship but the kids had an absolute blast.  And got really really cold in the water.  It was worth it.

 We took a Saturday to go to the Maximilian Grotto and explore.  The tour is all in German but I had been there before with some friends and we had pieced a good deal of it together.  It's a small cave and pretty self-explanatory really.
Abby under the eagle rock

And William

One of the narrow passages

A rare smile

There's a restaurant by the cave -- food's ok but the kids thought the bike parking sign was fantastic!

On a map of the area it looked like there was a castle ruin not too far so we set off in search of it and found that it's a partial ruin.  It had been a restaurant and then a hotel for a while but was too expensive to keep up.  You can't explore too much but it was fun to walk around and imagine what it was.

And it had some great views!

The kids loved the giant snail shell in the wall of course.

We had a day where we went back down to Regensburg to take William to a doctor's appointment.  Since I'm not familiar with the area, it helps to have another adult around rather than herd the kids myself!  The appointment went well and then we spent some time in the city.  One of the best things about living here is being able to explore places over and over.  We really like Regensburg and went to St. Emmeram's and toured the Thurn and Taxis palace (no pictures of that).  They are the wealthiest family in Germany and built their empire and nobility/royalty on the mail system!
Organ at St. Emmeram's