Usually I do my trip posts day by day. But, this time I’m condensing into 3. Munich/Salzburg, Berlin, Neuschwanstein/Munich. I wrote all the entries on the plane home. I’m going to try and condense and use only my very favorite pictures and see if I can get this thing done in one hour. Timer starts now….. (Update: I failed. It took like 6 hours and there are definitely more than 3 posts. Once I get going I just can’t stop myself!)
After 9 months of waiting, the day finally came! We had originally planned to spend a bulk of the trip in Stuttgart, but Rad Michael Bird Schofield was showing signs of wanting to arrive early, so we played it safe and changed our itinerary to Berlin so Carlie could stick close to home. And we’re so glad we did! We had the best time.We flew into Munich and hit the Christmas Market that was at the airport center. It was SO FUN. We shopped at the little stores, got brats, pretzels, chocolate covered fruit, and tried our first glass of kinderpunsch. It was the perfect way to start our German adventure. It was just as magical and festive as I had imagined it would be.We were all pretty beat, so we hit the hay early and slept in late. But, after we got to the hotel we discovered Simon’s bag was missing. Michael tried to get through to the airport about a million times, but no luck. Nat and Michael decided to drive back to the airport to see if they could track it down. And luck was on their side. They found it! After eating a traditional German hotel breakfast of salami, cheese, pretzels, fruit and Nutella tarts we were just getting ready to hit the city when Jack threw up everywhere. Totally out of the blue. Leo also said his tummy hurt. Rusty saved the day and cleaned up the barf while the rest of us waited in the hall.
Jack recovered quickly but Nat stayed back with Leo. First stop—the Deutsches Museum. We saw some fun things but I wasn’t in a very museum mood. The time change was catching up to us all. Blake and Simon really loved the kids exhibit. We were all ready to go far before they were. We then saw Marienplatz, and then climbed St Peter’s tower. Rusty opted to stay back with Blake and Simon. The top was crowded and slow. The attendant kept speaking into a microphone and saying, “all Wizarders please keep moving.” After the third time Mom turned to me and said, “What in the world is a Wizarder??” I chuckled and said, “visitor. He’s saying “visitors” with a German accent.” We all had a pretty good laugh imagining all the wizards that might have been on the platform with us.When dark hit (at 4:30pm) we made our way to the Fairy Bazaar. By this point Leo was feeling well enough so he and Nat joined us. The Fairy Bazaar is the circusy, grittier answer to the traditional Christmas Market. There were three big circus tents and inside were all kinds of delicious food and drink. We got our first taste of Kaiserschmarrn (basically german pancake covered in powdered sugar and dipped in apple sauce) and I got a Flamm Loch. Salmon cooked over an open fire. Delicious!The kids were ready for a break so we set them up in the hotel room with the Nintendo Switch while the adults and Halle went downstairs to play games. We played Hearts and The Game of Phones. We all (well, mostly Natalie, got a little punchy and couldn’t stop laughing.)
Day #2 we were off to Salzburg. But first, Nat, Rusty and I rode Lime Scooters to the grocery store to stock up on candy and salami and cheese and baguettes for lunch. Due to the giant vans, parking was tight and Michael has to park a million miles away. Also, this is how he had to get out of the car in the hotel parking garage.We wanted to tour the fortress but we were short on time so we just decided to wander around downtown instead. The kids found a big bunch of Seagulls who loved to snatch food out of the air. I had some crackers in my bag and they had a grand time feeding the birds with the beautiful bells pealing in the background.
We climbed a little ways up the hill toward the fortress and ate our salami sandwiches while admiring beautiful Salzburg from above.Now it was time to make our way to the salt mine in Berchtesgaden. The kids had really been looking forward to this activity. We donned our mining suits and climbed aboard the train to take us deep into the mine. We learned a lot about how the salt is mined by filling the mined caverns with water and then letting the salt leech out into the water. After like 30 years, the water is evaporated to leave behind the salt.But the kids didn’t care at all about the mining of salt. They were here for the slides! And they were so fun. We sat down with two or three of us together, lifted our feet and off we went! Pictures were only for purchase, and we didn’t want to pay for too many, so this google photo will have to do.
When we were done the sky was just starting to get pink over the Austrian Alps. The sight was stunning.We wanted to go to downtown Berchtesgaden for dinner, but again—Van parking troubles. Rusty and I found a spot with not too much trouble, but Michael’s van almost called it quits and turned back to Munich. But we’re all glad they persevered because we stumbled on the most darling market we’d seen yet! One of our favorite things was the Christmas Tree Maze. Like a corn maze, but made from Christmas trees. So cute! We tried freshly made potato chips and waffles on a stick and admired all the darling wooden decorations.