Thursday, August 15, 2013

Europe 2012 day 6: Train to Munich

The next morning (Sept. 9, 2012) has us saying goodbye to Switzerland and hello to Germany!  

Guten tag Germany

We took a train from Interlaken to Karlsruche (Germany), did a very quick transfer (as in running to catch our train!) then Karlsruche to Munich.  The trains were really nice and comfortable and we watched Game of Thrones for most of the 6+ hour journey.

no direct trains to Munich, the Alps are in the way

We got into Munich at about 4 p.m., found our hotel and got settled in and then set out for Marienplatz in the center of the city to do the Rick Steves walking tour.  It was a beautiful, warm afternoon.

A fun German band playing in the square

Asam Church

We just managed to catch the 5 PM Glockenspiel along with the rest of the big crowd there, and walked the 306 narrow stairs to the top of St. Peter's to see the panoramic view of the city.  As we were walking down the huge bells started to ring right by us shaking the whole building (slightly terrifying).  

making our way up the steep and narrow steps

made it to the top!

panorama from above

New Town Hall + glockenspiel

and back down

We only made it about halfway through the self-guided tour, stopping at the Frauenkirche (the one with the big onion domes) and then we saw a cute restaurant with outdoor seating right on the square, so we grabbed a table at the Augustiner am Dom.  While we loved Switzerland, it was a very expensive country so the prices in Germany were a welcome sight! 

We enjoyed beer, brats and our first dinner outside in beautiful Germany.  

perfect outdoor seating for our dinner

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Europe 2012 day 5: Swiss Alps and Schilthorn

Better late than never, I am determined to finish up my posts about our Europe trip from September!

Day 5 (Sept. 8, 2012) was another great one - and what made it extra special was that we got to hang out with our friends from Seattle!  Breakfast at the Schilthorn (9,744 ft) and hikes all day!

My travel partner for life!

From our hotel in Lauterbrunnen we took the gondola up to Grutschalp, then a train to Murren (about 20 minutes total from our hotel up to Murren...

Looking down at Lauterbrunnen

Up we go!

In Murren we met up with our friends Nicole and Eric and took a gondola up to the Schilthorn

So fun to be reunited with such an amazing friend halfway around the world!

Going wayyyyy up

Long way down...

Arriving at the Schilthorn, we went straight up to the Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant that appeared in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

That top level is the restaurant

We had a yummy breakfast, champagne and a blast chatting with them!  Background: Nicole and Eric had planned a similar trip around the same time as Nick and I and as luck would have it, we realized that we were going to be in the exact same place on the same day.  Eric and Nick have been good friends since college and Nicole and I became fast friends.

Champagne at 10,000 feet!

Trying to get a picture with the 007 logo as the restaurant rotated

After a yummy breakfast at the rotating restaurant we went out to the observation deck and took some pictures.

top of the world!

We didn't really have a plan for the day, so decided to take the cable car from the Schilthorn (point A) to Birg (point B) and then do some hikes from there!

From Birg (point B) we hiked a route to Allmendhubel (point C).  I have no idea how many miles it was, but the whole day was 12 miles of hiking!

Stopped at a cute restaurant owned b a California expat surfer named Steve and his European wife.  We chatted with Steve for a while after our lunch

not a bad lunch view

our lunch spot

After lunch we hiked with Eric and Nicole for another three hours, making a loop away from and back to Murren.

unreal scenery

We even met some friendly cows on the trip

guten tag Mr. Cow
Debating approaching the cow

Nicole fed him some grass, while I decided to stay back
view approaching Murren

After our full day of hiking we made our way down to Interlaken where we were spending that night. Nick and I were taking a train to Munich the next day so it was easier to stay down in the "city"

The big Jungfrau Marathon was taking place that weekend so the train was packed full of marathon runners! In Interlaken, we walked down the main street of town, past all the marathon festivities and the marathon starting line itself, to find our hotels on the other side of the river near the West train station.

We actually just had a low key night from there - it was such an amazing day, our last in Switzerland and I will always remember this beautiful country with a smile on my face.  I don't think I have ever been to a country with so much natural beauty that really made you stop and think what a amazing world God gave us. I feel so blessed we got to see this amazing place.  Until we meet again Switzerland!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

3rd anniversary - Jay Z/Justin Timberlake concert

Nick and I spent our third wedding anniversary (July 31) at the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake concert in Vancouver, BC!

biggest stage I've ever seen

A group of 9 of us made the drive up from Seattle to Canada to see the Legends Of The Summer Tour.  It was worth the long drive and I have to say, best show I have ever been too.  We all are Justin fans (the main reason we went), but I have to say - we all liked Jay Z a little better!

We saw this picture on US Weekly the next day from the concert:

image: US Weekly
Here is the setlist from their concert in Brooklyn, pretty similar to ours.

We then did our anniversary dinner that Saturday at Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen followed by ice-cream at Molly Moons.

fried green tomatoes + catfish po'boy
A wonderful celebration all around!


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