Bavaria, Germany

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July 29 – August 17

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 It was so much fun to see the kids again and now the boys, aged 9 and 7, were very willing to talk to us in English.  Funny how it just happened – out of the blue!  We spent the first week at home, going out on hikes and bike rides as the weather permitted.

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Or taking a stroll through a village.

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HEPPENHEIM

Then we drove, in tandem, the 5 hrs south to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area, stopping several times to kick the ball and chase each other around on the grass.

They were staying in her parent’s small apartment, which was just big enough for them, so we found an AIRBNB in the beautiful village of Farchant.

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It was an attic apartment in a house on the edge of the village,

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  with a magnificent view from our balcony! In the distance is Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain.  Over the next week we were enthralled by the constantly changing views over those mountains.

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The small village was like a postcard.  So neat and clean.

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“1777” worked into the decoration on a barn.

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A typical Bavarian home, with flowing window boxes and artwork painted on the walls.

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Soon enough the bad weather set in for a few days.

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But the rain didn’t stop us from going on a hike through some fields and up along a waterfall.

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Along the way we played some fun games in the forest.

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Julian and his older son decided to climb further up the along the waterfall, but Jouko, Kerstin and the other two were quite happy to climb up to the bridge and wave at poor Mimi – way down the path!

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The next day, during a break in the clouds, I could see the waterfall from our bedroom window.

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We did have a few good days when the kids were able to go swimming and row their inflatable boat (Kerstin & Julian have asked me not to show close up pictures of the kids).

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Walchensee is an idyllic small lake but one of Germany’s deepest.  So way too cold for Mimi and Ukki to swim in!

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Aaah – sunset over Zugspitse.

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One of my favorite hikes is above Mittenwald, the Krenzberg. The kids enjoyed running over the fields before finding out that it wasn’t allowed  – “verbotene”!

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“Yes, Mr Goat, we plan to hike up your mountain!”

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One can see why he might feel a little territorial – it is just gorgeous.

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Benjamin is surveying the mountains spread out before us; we are planning to climb the one in the far distance on the left of the “V“.

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The restaurant up on the mountain had closed by the time we arrived, so we were ready for a hearty dinner by the time we headed back down.

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Our last hike took us above Walchensee, to Hertzogstand.  Julian & Kerstin climbed up with the boys, while we, along with Alina, took the gondola up.

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Once up there, we all continued to hike around.  These kids are so used to hiking, that it is a joy to be with them.  Occasionally the youngest will complain, but on the whole, they love being in the outdoors.

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Then we enjoyed a good lunch at the mountain restaurant nestled on the ridge.

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Too soon it was time to say good-bye to these treasures and to move on.

But not before getting a picture of our host’s father.  It was Sunday and he was dressed in his finery.  I presumed that he was going to church.  “Oh no” she said.  “That is for the women folk.  He is going to meet his mates in the pub”!

Julian was leaving on the same day for a trip to the US, so we took him to the Munich airport and we continued on to Nürnberg for a few days.  Of course it was a very difficult good-bye  –  as is always the case.

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The Pegnitz River that runs through the city of Nürnberg.

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Nürnberg was heavily bombed during the 2nd WW, so some of this has been rebuilt.

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The building in which the Nürnberg trials were held.  Unfortunately it was not open while we were there.

-♦-♦-♦-

Next:  England – London

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