29 May, 2012

Munich, Germany

For the four day weekend RC and I took a trip to Munich. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany. We took the Bahn (train) down so we didn't have to worry about driving and parking in a big city. PLUS it was only 62 Euro round trip for both of us! That was much less than we'd spend on gas alone. 

The highlight of the trip for me was our visit to the Munich Residenz, the former palace to many Bavarian royals. This was my favorite residenz to date! Absolutely beautiful. There are over 130 rooms and every single one was stunning. Unlike the Wurzburg Residenz we were able to take pictures inside. Also the Munich Residenz facade was under construction. So unlike my Wurzburg post there are a ton of pictures of the inside of the residenz and almost none of the outside!

Grottenhof, a courtyard
Renaissance Antiquarium
at the end of the Renaissance Antiquarium hall

The following pictures are just shots of the ceilings. Every room would have antique furniture that was hundreds of years old, but my eyes were always drawn to the ceiling. Each ceiling was completely unique.  I feel like the pictures don't do it justice and that I'm running out of adjectives to describe appropriately describe them. Believe, me it was unreal. 

We also went to the marienplatz which is like the central square of Munich. It was a Saturday and beautiful out so it was PACKED. This was the only somewhat decent picture I could get. We also hopped on the tram and walked to Olympiapark where the 1972 Olympics were held. It's a huge area and we only walked near the tennis courts and track field. Again, since it was such a beautiful day there were cyclists everywhere and lots of people picnicking in the park.

Overall I really enjoyed our trip to Munich. On this trip we accomplished a lot of "firsts" and everything went well!  We figured out the train system and not miss any of our stops. (I'm sure we'll be using it much more.) Our hotel was really nice, close to the train station, and the marienplatz. It was fun to be in a larger more urban city. There was so much to do. I'm looking forward to comparing it to another large city like Berlin or Frankfurt. Or maybe just coming back to Munich for Oktoberfest. :)

20 May, 2012

Wurzburg, Germany

RC and I were able to travel to a neighboring city to check out some castles this weekend! Wurzburg is home to many historic sites, a university, and multiple museums and art galleries. During our short day trip we were able to see the Wurzburg Residenz and Fortress Marienburg. The Wurzburg Residenz was built and home to two princes. Even though it was built in the 1700s, much of the palace was destroyed during the bombings of WWII. Since then it was been completely rebuilt and is absolutely beautiful inside and out. During the tour inside no photography was allowed. So, unfortunately I only have pictures of the garden and outside of the palace.

Fortress Marienburg is on the other side of the Main River. Located on a hill there is a fantastic view of the Wurzburg Residenz. Parts of the castle were built in 704 AD, but didn't become a residence until the 1200s. Again, we were not allowed to take pictures inside, but the architecture and interior design of the Wurzburg Residenz and the Fortress Marienburg were vastly different. I guess 500+ years will do that! :) The Fortress Marienburg was also damaged by the bombings of WWII and the United States Army actually captured the land on the same side of the river the Marienburg is located on. 

The next two pictures don't really fit in with the rest of the post, but I still wanted to include them. The first is of a graffiti artist in Wurzburg. Just miles from these historic sites there is an incredible display of graffiti under an overpass. Castles and graffiti within miles of each other are a bit contradictory. Maybe a little old school vs. new school, but seriously it was the best graffiti I've ever seen. This guy is definitely a talented artist! Oh, and this picture was taken from our car while driving by. So believe me when I say there was even better stuff! And the last picture is just in the backyard of a potential apartment. Beautiful, right? Bavaria has some absolutely breathtaking views! 

12 May, 2012

Weekend Photo Dump

1. Waiting in the Baltimore airport boarding pass in hand
2. RC with his favorite type of German beer (so far), hefeweizen
3. Roth Bier, brewed in Schweinfurt
4. Town hall/mayor's office in the marktplatz
5. Random street downtown
6. One of the many pigs spread throughout the city. They were used as a fundraising tool for the city. Different businesses would contribute money to decorate the pig. I mean it is SCHWEINfurt.

09 May, 2012

Update from Deutschland!

It's hard to believe that as of today we have been in Germany for a whole week!
Here we are in the Baltimore airport where we waited NINE hours for our flight to Germany. 
Why so long? Well this guy decided to make a trip to Afghanistan so air control had to delay all traffic coming into the AFB. For us it was a 3 hour delay. Apparently this time his arrival was so top secret and no one knew he was even coming until Air Force One was in the area. Crazy, huh?

    • Monday:  drove from Atlanta to Columbus, dropped off our car to be shipped, stayed the night in Atlanta & spent time with RC's family
    • Tuesday: flew out of Atlanta, arrived in Baltimore, waited and waited and waited, flew out for Germany that night.

    • Wednesday: ARRIVED in Germany, missed our shuttle from Ramstein to our new home, stayed in a German hotel, experienced German food for the first time, and slept!
    • Thursday: at 3 am we were introduced to jet lag and didn't go back to sleep, took a 3 hour shuttle to our new home, met our sponsor once we arrived, checked into our hotel, and ate downtown!
    • Friday: Got prepaid phones, a Community Bank account (which is so helpful when paying rent!), and our APO mailing address. Anyone want to send a care package? ;)
    • Saturday: Continued our battle with jet lag and slept from 3 am to 1 pm. Took a taxi downtown. By this point we were tired of schnitzel at German restaurants so we went to an Italian restaurant in the marktplatz which is where their historic townhall is located. I don't have many pictures of their downtown area yet, but I'm working on it!
    • Sunday: Found out we had a kitchen in our hotel and started cooking dinner there instead of eating downtown.
    • Monday: RC began in-processing and I went to SNAPS, a newcomers awareness program that ACS puts on every month! It was perfect timing and I am becoming such a huge fan of ACS (Army Community Services). They are so incredibly helpful! 
    • Tuesday: Same thing... in-processing and SNAPS. Found out Ross is officially deploying.
    • Wednesday
      • Skipped SNAPS TO TAKE MY DRIVER'S TEST! And I passed. So I can now drive in Germany! Now I just need a car to drive, ha! Our's shouldn't arrive until mid-June so we will probably be renting until then.
      • Went by the housing office and picked 2 apartments to go look at! AH YAY! Due to RC's rank we have to live on the economy (in actual German neighborhoods), aaaand there's a shortage in housing/apartments here right now since their economy is doing so well. So I'm interested to see what the apartments will be like. We're wanting to stay as close to post as possible so we know we'll be looking at less square footage meters. Fingers crossed that we can find something quickly! Some people stay in the hotel for a month until they find something, and we just don't have that much time before RC leaves. Wish us luck! 

All images, designs, and words are intellectual property of Emma Leigh unless otherwise stated.