Castles and cheese in Germany

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Following Luke’s German roots, it was only natural that one of our biggest stops on this trip was Germany. We both had some history in this country, with Luke’s dad’s side coming from Germany and my family living on a military base in Germany when I was a child (where my sister was being born). We both had fond feelings of Germany and were excited to experience the country together.

Our first stop was Cologne, a small town near the border of Belgium. We spent the day walking on cobblestone roads and checking out the majestic Cologne Cathedral. It’s We had some authentic German beer, potato salad, and of course, pretzels.

After just a quick stop, we were on our way via train down the Rhine to Koblenz for Nature One. The Rhine is a stunning route to take and we had no idea what a treat we were in for. Castle after castle popped up on the horizon, each one overlooking the river. It was an unexpected mini tour of the old German landscape.

IMG_20150802_191805From Koblenz we got a shuttle bus to Nature One (but that’s for another post), and then a bus and a train to Ludwigsburg, just outside of Stuttgart. Family of Luke’s, Karin and Peter, live here. We were greeted warmly and treated to amazing home cooked food. Following two weekends of festival camping, it was so good to have warm showers and a healthy diet! We were also absolutely spoiled with a trip to the market where Karin allowed us to pick ANY cheeses we wanted from a local cheese truck. I think it was a dream come true! That evening, we got to meet Oma’s brother and hear story after story about the history of Ludwigsburg.

Ludwigsburg is called “The planned city” because, basically, the city was built to support the creation of the Ludwigsburg Palace. If you look at a map of the city, you can see it’s carefully crafted in its symmetry. Rich with history, this city was fascinating to learn about. We went to the museum before attending a tour of the palace.

Luke and I aren’t one for tours, but Karin insisted that this one was worth our while. Honestly, it was a huge highlight of our trip. Our guide was amazing and instead of telling boring history, she told us stories of infidelities, secrets heard from the servant quarters, and rumors from 300 years ago. Walking through the palace and seeing all of the original things still in place was truly an unbelievable experience. We were so happy we did it and would highly, highly recommend it!

We spent a wonderful few days relaxing, eating, and washing our laundry (thanks, Karin!) before heading to meet Karin’s daughter, Ariana in Berlin. More on that next post!

 

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