I bought flowers the other day. Real, plant in the dirt and help them grow. This is funny for two reasons: first, I don't plant. Second, a friend just informed me that you don't plant flowers here until after Mother's Day if you want them to stay alive. And yes, they are dying as we speak. Thank goodness they were cheap! Our nights are still below freezing but the days are getting up to 50 degrees and it feels so glorious! One of the things that I love about living in any new location is the opportunity to explore. And this is particularly awesome in Bavaria where there is SO MUCH to explore just within an hour of the house! I'm keeping a list of places we want to go and how far they are from the house so that on a Saturday with good weather and healthy kids (which apparently is asking a bit much lately -- stupid colds), we can jump in the car and go!
A week ago we went out to some more castle ruins in the middle of a forest IN OUR SHIRT SLEEVES! Ok I wore a jacket. I am cold by nature I think. Also, not surprisingly here is picture overload again. I'm trying to find a publisher for last year's blog posts. It's been difficult since I have 1299 pictures on my blog last year . . . no lie!!!
The forest going up to the ruins was just beautiful. We are all falling in love with moss which sounds really weird but it's just so cool!
Great rocks for climbing and at the top of the hill / mountain you have:
Burgruine Kurnburg!! Unfortunately graffitied. At least it didn't say "love the nature" . . .
Great ruins nonetheless. The moat is still there (but dry) and you can climb to the top and get the great view.
Chopper found that somewhere, awwwww. I didn't even see it. That gives you an idea of who the romantic one is. Or the one who pays attention to details. But not who plans the details. That's totally me.
I love the floors missing but you can see how cool it would've been.
Abby is a great selfie partner!
At the back of the ruins were trails that went off into the woods. We followed an educational trail that gave us a lot of information about the forest . . . I think. It was all in German. It didn't really matter. Most of the activities we could figure out with a little brain power and a little Google Translate.
This one was a pair of hollowed out trees with that sound thing where you speak in one end and the other end can hear you. The girls say it worked. I think it's because they were shouting into it.
Megan was crawling around the rocks and pulled a whole hat of moss right off of one when she slipped and went to catch herself. Then she SMILED for a picture because I asked her to take them showing Grandpa that we could use this hat moss to cover up his lack of hair. And she willingly did so!! Smiling for the one's she loves!
Castle in the background
Pinecone throwing contest
In the parking lot was this small chapel? I don't know what they call the little "houses" that have religious statues in them. But then these were all memorial markers. They were each dedicated to a musician, dancer, or artist but I didn't get if they were from the area or not. And they were all born in the early 1900's -- about 1910-1935 -- and died in the 90's mostly. Makes me wonder what the whole story is here.
After our great day we decided to go get dinner on base and may have driven out of our way to the other side because PENGUINO'S IS OPEN! Last summer we ate gelato here about every other day. It's that good and cheap. This year, we won't live close enough for that but I'm sure we'll find reasons to go! Seriously the best gelato in Germany. We try a lot of gelato just to make sure!
Then another week of school and kids getting sick again. What the heck? It's a cold AGAIN although a different breed. They're all staying home tomorrow because of the fevers they're sprouting in conjunction with gross noses and hacking coughs. So yesterday we didn't really go anywhere but I wanted to get out. Spring and watching everyone else's trips starting up again has me itching to travel! So we traveled around town.
We followed a Natur Wanderweg - nature trail loop - that I came across on a run the other day (yes I ran! Once!) I didn't know how long it was and the girls were super troopers since it turned out to be 4 miles. Some of the things we saw and learned:
These looked like pussy willows to me but I've never seen them on an actual tree, just always as cut branches. The girls just loved the -- doesn't everyone?! Chopper didn't believe me that they grow here so I looked them up and found some interesting information. In Northern Europe, pussy willow branches are often used on Palm Sunday and blessed in church because palms don't grow this far north. Maybe on our next circuit we'll have to cut some. Hopefully we're ok doing that!
This weird tree log with people cutouts?
On a side road going into Hahnbach are a series of doorways. Turns out they are underground cellars that were dug in the 17th and 18th centuries and used by brewers to keep the beer cool and also for their winter vegetables. During WWII the residents used them for shelter from cannon and fire. After that they installed some cement tiles in the ceiling but they've mostly been left to decay and are gated and locked.
This one had a gate you could've gotten through but that's a big snakeskin draped across the top. We didn't try. I don't think I would've even without the snakeskin though -- they're kind've creepy looking. But I'll bet in the summer they're cool!
Ok one more thing we learned that was awesome. Beavers are a protected animal in Germany and I guess are pretty common in Bavaria BUT it's because years ago (hundreds), a Catholic pope decided that Beaver was ok to eat during Lent. Traditionally you don't eat meat during Lent except for fish on Fridays. But beaver live in the water and have a tail like a fish (??) so they were ok. Beaver were hunted so much that by the mid-1800s they were pretty much extinct and so are now protected. Fun trivia I thought!
Abby wanted to do the loop again today but with fevers we opted to stay at home. But it's still fun to learn more about where we live!