Sunday, September 11, 2011


We left Ethiopia late Saturday night around midnight, heading back to Frankfurt, where we planned to spend a few days to unwind, soak in the most incredible week we just shared with our son, and take in Germany as a "babymoon."
We rented a car in Frankfurt.  Awwww, shucks!  The car rental place had to upgrade us from an Audi to a BMW.....drat!  Ha!  Nice ride.  Very nice ride!
THANKS to our dear friends, Kerry and Anna, who were basically our own personal travel agents (Anna lived here for ~5 yrs), we immediately hit the back roads of the German countryside.  Our first stop was St Goarshausen, which is on the Rhine River, and we then headed north, along the east side of the Rhine river to Koblenz.  We had lunch in Koblenz and quickly learned that English was known by more peeps in Ethiopia than in Germany!  They did have an English menu, thank goodness.  We then walked around the quaint town before hitting the road again.  Germany is so QUAINT!
       Beautiful church in Koblenz.

Our destination for our first night was Castle Hotel Auf Shoenburg.  Nestled atop a hill, this intimate middle age castle was built in the 10th century and overlooks the Rhine.  We arrived and had time to check out the many floors of this spectacular masterpiece before dinner.


This magical place had many old antiques throughout, carrying with it the history of its ancestors.  As guests, we were allowed to inspect every inch of the castle ~ both inside as well as outside on the grounds and fortresses!  Here are some pictures of our room.....
My honey in our room

 This was the old school room. 

 Cute window from outside the castle. 

 Sitting down to a 7 course meal!

We tried to enjoy this amazing dinner that evening, but somehow a seven course meal (after having just left Ethiopia, where we know many people struggle to provide their family ONE MEAL a day), the two extremes left my heart in a quandry. 

 View from our room after dinner......

 I have a thing for doors.....

"Auf wiedersehen, Auf Shoenburg!"


View of Auf Shoenburg from the vineyard.

After a sweet morning of driving through vineyards just outside of Oberwesel, we headed north again, back toward St Goar.  St Goar is where we toured the Rheinfels castle.  Well, what was left of it, that is.  The ruins were open ground for us to roam.  We found many dark tunnels to explore that eventually brought us to its other entrance.  I would often be holding onto Jeff's shirt, as I literally could not see a THING, and neither could he!  Nothing like having the saying, "see the light at the end of the tunnel" develope literal and real-life meaning!  It was great fun to imagine the grand lifestyle of those who once lived in this amazing castle!  It made me want to put on a dress with a big hoop skirt! {smile}

After our Rheinfels adventure, we continued north and then west ~ now following the Mosel River to BERG ELTZ Castle.  Now this castle made me think of Disneyland! ~ though it is not the one that Disney designed their first castle after (that is in another town).  Never tiring of history and castles, we toured this one as well.  The guide walked us through and gave us great history of the families that once lived there, and each room was kept much like it was originally created and decorated. {they didn't let us take pics inside of it.....bummer}


Continuing up the Mosel to Kochem, we then crossed the Mosel river and took in the beautiful and serene backcountry/countryside for a couple of hours.  The views were breathtaking and the peace of it all quenched our souls.  We then came to a place where we had to cross the Rhine by ferry, taking us to Rudesheim.   We arrived quite late that evening and were welcomed with complimentary champagne.

Did I mention that our breakfasts in Germany were spectacular?  Wow!  Both ET and Germany know how to put on a spread for breakfast!  Of course I was in heaven, being the breakfast girl that I am, always have been ~ always will be!  {smile} 

The next day we went on to Heidelberg, where we toured the Heidelberg castle and took in the town.   This castle was incredible (of course each castle blew us away!).  The hundreds of acres for their garden had walkways and various areas with flowers and structures that were just majestic!

 Break time in the courtyard (above and below pics).

 This part of the castle struck by lightening and never repaired.

Jeff was feeling pretty poorly by this time, so he could hardly eat anything for dinner, but we did manage to take in some stores and sites and enjoy a relaxed evening together.  We spent the night in this town and enjoyed a Starbucks (yes, a REAL Starbucks!) the next morning.   After trying out an authentic German pastry shop, we drove to Rothenberg and stayed here for our last two days.

Poor Jeff slept that day while I shopped and took in this quaint town.  They have this huge, HUGE Christmas store that has any possible Christmas decoration you could possibly think of!  In remembrance of our childhood days, we bought a candle chime to bring home with us.  Remember those?  The heat from the candle flames gets the fan-like part to slowly rotate..........this one is so precious!  It will be so fun to bring this out every year and remember the trip ~ and better yet, the REASON we were in Germany in the first place.....we had just met our SON!!!!!!!

Rothenberg had so much to offer it was fun taking it all in.  Jeff was starting to feel better after a two hour nap, so we attended the night watchman's tour ~ where this man dressed as a watchman and gave us a tour of the city while sharing with us it's rich history.  Quiet informative and entertaining!

The second day we did more shopping, took in the mideival crime and punishment museum (which creeped me out, truth be known), climbed the look-out tower, and walked the city wall ~ which was the old fortress that soldiers tended to keep the village safe.  Here are some snapshots of Rothenberg.....
 Entering Rothenberg.

 In the courtyard of Gasthof Greifen
(where we stayed ~ WILL go back!)

 Center Square.

 Our hotel was the green one!
Right in the center of it all!

 We visited a beautiful church one of the days.

 We said a prayer and lit a candle for Baby K.....

 Jeff asked if they had a big beer (thinking liter).
They brought him TWO Liters ~ 
biggest beer we have ever seen!

 View from the tower.

Sweet window that reminded us God was with us.

 We bought Baby K a precious teddy bear from a teddy bear specialty shop.

  Enjoying the day turn to evening.


 Pretty picture along one of the entries into the town.

 The fortress wall (looking out one of the windows).

Outside The Christmas Shoppe.

How sweet.  It was our last night in Germany.
We stopped for a cappuccino, and this is how our waiter made it for us.

For a trip whose soul purpose centered around 


We LOVE you, our sweet little Baby K!!!!!


erica said...

Gorgeous photos!! I would LOVE to visit Germany someday! :)

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