Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What is today?

We're in Prague and get stuff done, I'll post more later, but here's some pictures, because that's what everybody likes anyway.  

In between Ansbach and Prague, we stopped in Pilsen, so there are some shots at the brewery - which was our only destination.  

View of Rothenberg from exterior wall.
View from Sarah's backyard in Ansbach.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery

Pilsner Urquell Old Brew Room
Unpasturized Pilsner Urquell 
Prague from the Castle Wall.
Astrological Clock
Jess & Sarah @ Jama Bar
St. Vitus - Castle Prague.  

Monday, May 27, 2013


Sorry about the lack of posts so far, but we've kind of got over here and just got to it.  

First thing: there is a lack of internets in the town we are staying in (Ansbach), so if you want a residential connection, you have a cellular connection in your home which is a limited plan - meaning, no pictures for until we get to Prague.  I purchased a limited data package for my phone over here and I don't want to eat up our kind hosts monthly limit as well with a ton of photos.  

Alright, our travels on Friday went well and we made it into Nurnberg as scheduled around 10:00 in the morning.  Jessica's friend Sarah was at the airport to pick us up as we arrived and came back to her home in Ansbach, which is about 45 minute drive away from Nurnberg.  Sarah and Phil have been stationed here for the last year and one of the perks is that they have their own car here and are able to live off base.  

Ansbach thus far is just a highly scenic small town that we haven't had much chance to check out yet, because we have been running around to other highly scenic little towns.  

We powered through our first day by driving south(?) to Rothenburg.  Rothenburg still has a wall around the city center and is full of shops, churches, and views that will crush your mind.  It provides a million if the "o shit, (sorry mom's) I'm in Europe" moments!  You instantly feel like your quality of life would be greatly increased if lived in a place so beautiful and full of character.  In order to balance that feeling, we went to a Torture Museum!  As expected, it was weird, but strangely in an unexpected way - I think we all agreed that it was mainly unusual that so much craftsmanship was put into these devices used for inflicting pain.  It's not like they threw a CAD drawing into a machine and crapped these devices out like modern day, these were hand crafted by carpenters and blacksmiths.  It just made the intent seem a little stranger that it obviously took some high level of skill to manufacture some of these thumb smashers or witch catchers.  Aside from that, the most wild thing was possibly the "Shame Masks".  Large steel masks that were worn and made for people who needed to be shamed for actions - pictures coming soon!

After the Torture museum we did what most reasonable people would do and ate!  Our first experience with German food was a meat plate - hard not to like a plate of meat, cheese and vegetables.  Aside from that, Sarah has been cooking us home cooked meals, which is just insanely awesome.  She is a fantastic cook and to have home cooked food while traveling is such a treat.  I always dread eating out every meal when traveling, so that has been a great treat.  

I would like to tell you more about the rest of the day, but I'm getting really wordy and basically I was falling asleep all over the place.  A few hours of sleep on the plane and trying to power through was falling me.  This ended with me falling asleep talking at the diner table and then being told to go to bed. 

12 hours later (no joke), we got up and started moving again.  Yesterday, Which I think was Sunday, we took a trip back into Nurnberg.  We took a train from Ansbach right to the city center and then a tram to the outskirts of town to the Museum of Documents.  Quick side bar: it started raining yesterday with apparently no plan on ending anytime soon.  This has not and will not stop us from getting out travels on.  Back on track: the museum is inside of a huge congressional hall that the Nazi Party started building in the late 30's.  It is the largest building in a massive land space that contains multiple areas that the party used for demonstrations.  If weather and time permitted, there is a huge outdoor area that you can ride a bike around to see the Zeppelin field and other areas that are iconic from some of the first international televised demonstration/speeches by Hitler.  It is freakishly huge.  I never realized how important Nurnberg was to the Nazi movement.  Learning what I learned at the museum, it makes sense that it was the location of the trails at the end of the war.  The museum is focused on how the Nazi party and Hitler came to power.  It was very straight forward, highly informational, and came with plenty of solemn moments.  Totally worth the time and 5 euros.  

After the museum, we hit up a fantastic Ceylon restaurant - Mount Lavinia.  This place was great and a favorite of Sarah's.  Our waiter looked like an Indian version of Robin Williams and Sarah totally dumped a steam basket of red rice all over the table.  

The rest of the night was spent at an Irish pub playing a trivia game.  Sarah set it up and Jess, her and I made up a 3 person team among a dozen other teams made up of 3-4 people.  The trivia nights are put on by a fine fellow named Daggsy who reads the questions in German and English.  Team "Red Rice" started off rough, but then a bonus round hit and we were actually able to name quite a few of the 10 largest rivers on the world, along with finishing strong in the final music/movie/television category.  All in all, we had a respectable finish in the middle of the pack somewhere.  This is fun, but serious business.  If you got 1st, you had a change to answer a question that would have awarded 417 euros - that's some serious scratch.  During the trivia I was also able to show the table full of Americans that we where sitting with how to properly put down a carbomb (it's a drink - half glass of Guinness with a shot of Baileys or Jameson dropped in + chug).  It was not my suggestion, but the others insisted, so I was forced to show them how to properly put one down.  The trivia nacht was sweet.  

Alright, I've got to bolt, where hitting up some bathhouse with salinity pools.  It should be interesting.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Europe 2013

Europe Trip 2013 is about to begin tomorrow with a flight staring out of Bloomington, IL and then eventually ending early Saturday morning in Nuremberg, Germany.

Sarah, Jessica's friend, is picking us up from the airport and then we will make a short travel to her home in Ansbach, which is where we are staying for a few days.  I believe we are planning on heading back into Nuremberg for an evening and have a few day plans to travel out to some places Sarah has identified around Ansbach.  From Ansbach, Sarah is going to travel with us to Prague,  in the Czech Republic were we have a few days planned of checking the city out.  After Prague, Sarah is going to head back home and Jess and I will continue on to Wien (Vienna for you Americans), the capital of Austria and then finish the trip back in Germany in Munich.

We are super psyched up and ready to roll.  I'll try to post as internet is available.

Saturday 29/10/11

Whoops!  Just saw this thing sitting in the pending slot because I apparently let Paris get the best of me and didn't finish it....anyway, here's an incomplete post!

I'm writing this as we are getting ready to head towards the airport on our way home. It comes with mixed reviews, but we are certainly excited about seeing our family, friends, dogs, and home. I think we can both definitively say, we could stay longer, but will be glad to be home.

Saturday was a day on our own. Some of the other folks on the tour we present in the morning and we got to say our goodbyes again and wished them all well.

Being we didn't have to wake up specifically for a tour, we slept until almost the ended of breakfast, making it down in enough time to eat.

Our stop was at Napoleons tomb which is built on the back side of Les Invalides, which is a massive military hospital built by King Louis XIV (this guy had stuff popping up all over the place).....