It’s been a long time coming! One of Jordan’s good friends threw down roots in Germany, and it’s been up for discussion about visiting since around when Jordan and I started dating. Early in this year, possibly still in 2016 even, I started planning out how to use our vacation time and deemed 2017 THE year we go Germany! And you better believe we made it happen!
Our friend’s live in Bad Homburg, just outside Frankfurt. We stayed with them and their 18 month old daughter almost the whole time, grilling dinner most nights and playing with the baby till it was bed time. It was awesome to finally spend so much time with friends we were only able to video chat with for years.
This trip for us was more about spending time with them instead of doing any hardcore touring. We aren’t really the touristy type anyway. We have our moments of course! But we prefer going to where the crowds are smaller, and getting a more intimate view of where ever we go. Since we were with our friends who live there, we certainly got the locals only experience quite a bit!
Our plane landed on Friday morning in Germany. We had just been up for a full day and now trying to stay awake through our jet lag to get on the new time zone faster. So we stayed close to home and got the tour of the very quaint little country village they live in, where the bakery was (very important information), and then wandered around the park for a bit looking at sculptures scattered around.
The next day was our first full day. We were still plagued with some jet lag, but that wasn’t gonna stop us from heading into Frankfurt. It started out a little overcast, rained a little bit, then cleared up and turned into a gorgeous day. It was a Saturday, so people were out and about. There was a festival going on, with rides, carnival games and food stands. We meandered around there, then crossed the bridge and found lunch on a boat close by. Afterwards, we just continued to wander around the walking paths around the river and enjoyed catching up with one another.
On day two, our friends took us to Hessenpark. I would liken this to Williamsburg, VA. It’s an open-air museum with old timber houses that show and teach what life used to look like in Northern Germany. A lot of the structures were deconstructed and rebuilt here to preserve them. My favorite things were the two wind mills. The second one had a sign outside about how you could get vertigo in there and how the wind makes it sway. I climbed the steep steps, and only got into the first floor and had to come back down! The swaying freaked me out and it wasn’t even windy that day. I can’t believe a family used to live in that thing!
That same day, we also squeezed in a visit to Saalburg, a Roman fort. It was reconstructed more than 100 years ago, but was once stood watch over a section of the Roman empire.
On our third day, our friends took us to Heidleburg. This is a bustling little town with winding streets, a cathedral in the center, cafes everywhere, castle ruins on the hill and views for days! Oh! And the fanciest gelato place that makes your ice cream look like a flower. I wonder how much the houses along the river there go for….?
After having such a beautiful, warm day in Heidleburg, mother nature decided she wanted to be chilly and rainy. It wasn’t really that bad all things considered. And yet again, we weren’t gonna let a little water stop us. We all put on our rain coats, baby included, and hit the road to Braunfels Castle! We first stopped off in the little cafe while we waited for our tour to start, then enjoyed the sights inside. Our friends translated for us since they only do English tours on Saturdays. But it was still something awesome to see regardless. And I enjoyed the oversized slippers we wore over our shoes to protect the flooring!
The next morning, Jordan and I got on a plane again for a quick trip to Vienna, Austria! We landed in the morning, caught an Uber to the cutest AirBnb. If you are going to Vienna any time soon, I highly recommend this little place to stay. Our host was so nice, gave us a quick tour, it’s walking distance to so many things, had a mobile wifi hotspot we were able to take with us everywhere (WHAT!!!!), and if that wasn’t enough… it was just so damn cute!
We were only a couple blocks away from Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest open air market with tons of restaurants and other goodies. We ate there for almost every meal for the two days we were there. Absolutely amazing food every time.
After we got settled in at our room, we headed to Naschmarkt to get a lay of the land. Then we walked to Castle Belvedere and passed the beautiful Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) along the way. Both were breath taking! Then we ended our evening with small treats we got at Naschmarkt.
Our next full day in Austria was something we were really looking forward to. We were heading to Kahlenberg, Austria. The stories go, this was my husband’s family land way back in the day. But things happened, what they are we are not sure of. We got an Uber to take us up there. It’s totally beautiful from the top of the hill looking down on Vienna. There is a restaurant there, where we got an amazing lunch and highly recommend. However, we weren’t able to find any information like we hoped, and no one seemed to know any of the history. It’s now just a nice place for locals to visit when they want to escape the city for a day. We will have to do more research on our own of the area, but it was still a great day hiking on the trails and enjoying the views. We also may have left with a few souvenirs with the name “Kahlenberg” on them…
The next day, we were gonna be flying back to Germany in the afternoon. We had a few hours to kill, and Jordan wanted to go see the Natural History Museum. This was actually my second time in Vienna, and I had gone to a slew of the museums before. I was happy he chose that one 😀 It’s not a part of the Vienna Museum Quarter package pricing, but it has my favorite thing to see: Venus von Willendorf. The most famous early human image, estimated to be 29,500 years old. Just think about that for a second…
We weren’t able to get all the way through the museum, but what we saw was worth it and a great way to kill some time. Then off to Germany again we went!
Our first day back with our friends in Germany, it was chilly and everyone was worn out. So we went for a relaxing time shopping at a mall. We each got ourselves something nice, and I had to buy myself a jacket cause I was not prepared for that amount of chill.
On our last day there, we decided to hit up one more town close by called Wiesbaden. It’s another town in the state of Hesse with some sweet architecture, hot springs and a casino with an amazing park we walked around for an hour. To our surprise, there was a wine festival going on that day. And where there is wine, there is food… and OH.MY.GOD was it good! I got pork schnitzel with some potatoes and mushrooms. I can still taste those little mushrooms in whatever the sauce was they cooked in.
And that’s all she wrote folks! We spent the evening relaxing with our friends one last night and were off to the airport the next morning. It never feels long enough for vacations, or to catch up with good friends. But it’s enough to remind us what is important in life, and traveling gives us a new perspective. I feel so grateful we were able to do this trip and am so thankful to our friends for putting up with us!
Now the question is, “where to next!?”
Last modified: September 20, 2017