A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: erincadden

Strasbourg: The Alsace wine region

3 girls...1 tiny car

45 °F

Have you ever dreamed of driving all through the countryside of France, exploring the many wine regions and discovering small French villages? Well, we did, but apparently you need to book a car and hotel weeks in advance. Clearly our trip has been everything but planned so we ran into a bit of trouble. We perservered however and selected 1 wine region with an available hotel...thank you Mr. Eutsler!!!!!! and rented a car for one day to drive around the Alsace wine region.

After having trouble starting the car, getting lost, and getting lost again we found ourselves surrounded by the French countryside...vineyard after vineyard, cute village after cute village...WOW b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! We stopped in a few small villages and did some wine tasting... and dessert tasting of course. If you ever have the opportunity to drive through France...take it! Because then you too can say, ´At least once I have driven a car in France.`

Posted by erincadden 10:13 Archived in France Comments (1)

Freiburg, Germany

a peek into Kat's college life...

sunny 57 °F

After our lovely stay in the city of lights, we hopped on a train and headed to Frieberg, Germany to stay with Kat's friend from college, Sheena and her boyfriend Matthias. Highlights included: hiking through the BLACK FOREST, delicious home cooked meals, ´Surfin USA` playing in an Irish Pub in Germany, Friends marathon, tour of downtown Frieberg...it really was a delightful and relaxing few days. Thank you Sheena and Matthias, you were lovely hosts. If you ever need a place to stay in Philly, Virginia or Portland...you know who to call!

Posted by erincadden 10:02 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Germany

Swei frauen mit wein (All the phonetic German we could muster)

sunny 42 °F

Guten Tag Damen and...Gentlemen! We have made a real effort to learn the language here in Germany. We impressed our host in Berlin, Scott, by saying such things as, "Did you wash your hands" and "I am having heart attack."

We arrived in Berlin two days later than we had planned, due to our impromptu trip to Slovakia. We were blessed with a home stay in Berlin from Sean "S'gonna" Naylor's friend, Scott. Scott is a native German who spend some of his formative years in the US and is very much a smart-ass. (Betty-Jeanne, you might be smitten.) He is responsible for writing a blog post about our time in Berlin, but in the meantime a few highlights include, doing Scott's grocery shopping, bowling with Scott, his sister, Laura, and her husband, Travis, and visiting the topography of terror museum about Nazi rule/occupation.
radical teachers in Nazi Germany

radical teachers in Nazi Germany


Actually, after visiting the topography of terror, we had one of the most exciting conversations of the trip, about the idea of a teacher cooperatively-run school. Fellow educators, do you know of schools like this/do you want to be part of starting one? Let us know because we're putting serious thought into this.

From Berlin, we went to visit Erin's boyfriend's parents, Val and Brad.
Brad Val in Park

Brad Val in Park

Brad Val Erin

Brad Val Erin


What wonderful hosts they have been. Val took us on a lovely walk when we first arrived through the city of Kassel and then we went to a beer garden where we ate pretzel, schnitzel, and potatoes and chatted with the owner.
Puertan Rican American German who runs Wolpertinger

Puertan Rican American German who runs Wolpertinger


On Halloween Val organized a private tour of Kassel for us which was probably the best tour we've been on. Andrea gave us a great history of the city and was gracious enough to share her family's experiences with WWII. She also showed us around the Wilhelmshohe Park (GORGEOUS!) and got us a sneak peek at part of an old castle.
Andrea Erin Val Brad over Fulda River

Andrea Erin Val Brad over Fulda River

Wilhelmshoher Park Pond

Wilhelmshoher Park Pond

Erin and Val Park

Erin and Val Park

Wilhelmshoher Trees

Wilhelmshoher Trees

Castle Tree Arch in Kassel

Castle Tree Arch in Kassel

Megan Erin and Andrea our tourguide

Megan Erin and Andrea our tourguide

700 year old tree

700 year old tree


Today, we drove the beamer out to HannMunden, a classic German village in Hesse. Lots of fachwerk houses, babbling brooks, pedestrian streets, and the like. Val told us about her time working on the school board, which really got some wheels turning.
Street in Hannoversch Munden

Street in Hannoversch Munden

Brad Erin Val on bridge

Brad Erin Val on bridge

Erin Megan door from 1500

Erin Megan door from 1500

Fachwerk houses

Fachwerk houses

Erin Val Megan Hannoversch Munden

Erin Val Megan Hannoversch Munden


It must be said that our time in Kassel was filled with beautiful scenery (yay for fall!) and lots of good food. We had coffee and kuchen everyday and really wonderful breakfasts, dinners, wines, Sects, Proseccos, beers, and "schnapps". Thanks Val and Brad!!!!

Tomorrow we're off to Amsterdam where we will finally meet up with Kathleen (see excited blog comments from previous posts). woot woot!

Posted by erincadden 13:10 Archived in Germany Comments (3)

Bicycling around Lake Balaton

all seasons in one day

One of the best parts of the trip so far! This was last week in Lake Balaton, Hungary.

Posted by erincadden 03:21 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Opera in Vienna

overcast 31 °F

We went to the opera tonight! In Vienna! Austria! We got really cheap, standing room only tickets. And while our feet may have been sore, our souls were uplifted. The name of the opera is Nabucco. Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabucco
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Also today marked the beginning of winter...in fact there may or may not have been a few snowflakes. We got outfitted for the weather.
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After walking around and taking in some unknown sights, we stopped and had a delicious fall meal.
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rock candy and tea :)

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pumpkin soup

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erin excited about chocolate mousse

Tomorrow the Imperial palace...

Posted by erincadden 14:59 Archived in Austria Comments (6)

24 hours of travel

A tale of getting to Istanbul

sunny 121 °F

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How do you get from the Greek Islands to Turkey, you might ask. The short answer is:

  • 6 hour ferry from Mykonos to Lesbos
  • Wait 3 hours, meet 2 Brazilians and have some hot chocolate
  • 1 1/2 hour ferry from Lesbos to Ayvalik, Turkey, meet Canadian and marvel that you made it to Asia
  • 9 hour bus ride from Ayvalik, Turkey to Istanbul that includes a freak out because your bus drives onto a boat in order to cross the Sea of Marmara...seriously it was really weird.
  • Cab ride w/ new found friends to Taksim Square
  • Meet Irishman in Taksim Square and have him lead you back to his flat

There you have it...so far Istanbul is GREAT! More to come soon :)

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Friends

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Throwing up deuces, Brazilian style...

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Yes, our bus really was getting on a boat

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And this made it all worth it! Istanbul!!!

Posted by erincadden 11:41 Archived in Turkey Tagged transportation Comments (3)

Naxos and Mykonos

Beaches Beaches everywhere

sunny 75 °F

Our second full day in Naxos included a trip to the southern most beaches of the Pyrgaki aka the windless beach. We're not sure why they call it the windless beach since it was in fact, very very windy. We got duned! In other words, 4 days later we're still finding sand...Megan in particular finds a nice pile on her pillow every morning. We were nearly stranded between Pyrgaki and Naxos when our quad back decided to die. It shut off completely a few times but managed to sputter slowly the rest of the approximate 15 kilometers back to Tony. Tony promised us a free quad back rental next season in Naxos...we will hold him to his word.

For dinner we decided to return to our favorite spot, Trata Bar and Restaurant, overlooking the St. George's Beach. We witnessed yet another amazing sunset while eating lovely food and drinking mediocre but cheap wine (2.50 Euro for the biggest glass you've ever seen!)

Our waitress offered us some free Baby Guiness shots and we became quick friends. Her name is Marja and she is from Estonia but lives in Dublin and is in Greece for the island season. She brought us 2-3 more shots over the evening and we thank her kindly! Marja, if you ever need a place to stay in the US, you know who to call!!

We also had our first cigarettes due to European persuasion...yuck! The evening was low key, full of chocolatey goodness and Zac Efron, yum.

The next morning, we ran along the windy beach before boarding our third ferry to Mykonos. Mykonos=cool. We didn't see much of the island, save the town and San Stefanos beach, but it was pretty glorious. See photos. Clearly the highlight of Mykonos was Megan's engagement. Read below!

The Greek Islands...total hit, loved it, all should go!

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Killing time before the ferry...w/ our backy packies on!

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The streets in Mykonos are small and windy to confuse pirates! Seriously, we read it in a book.

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A nice French couple took our pictures in front of the windmills.

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Lunch on the beach.

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Mykonos!

Posted by erincadden 11:00 Archived in Greece Comments (1)

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