Sweet and Spicy German Adventures
We were traveling, floundering, struggling, growing, succeeding, failing, laughing, crying, yelling, discovering, smiling...all of it. Together. Always the good with the bad, and always it is how we approached things that made the difference.
I think I originally wanted our travels to be a bit ideal, a bit magazine-like, whether or not I would admit it, we strive for the ideal right? It seems that others can reach it. But of course reality is almost never like we imagined, sometimes it is far better! And sometimes, it is soooooooo much worse, in ways that would never have occurred to us as we blindly tried to prepare for something so completely new and unknown.
I choose to be glad that sometimes the journey is horrible, and sometimes it is amazing. At least it is never boring. And all of that failing and struggling and floundering made the good moments all the more sweeter. Truthfully, life is messy, and travel with a rather imperfect family of 7 into unknown terrain was definitely messy. A complete mix of every emotion in the pot, and what we are left with in time is a motley stew of memories that are delicious to recall. We did something cool! We have funny and crazy stories as a family in some weird and wonderful places all over the world!
We spent quite a lot of time criss-crossing Germany and exploring different areas. We collected some interesting ingredients to the mix of our travel memories in this country, some are horrible and frustrating - like the never-ending battle to find a place to pee! Our epic drive in scorching temperatures on the infamous Autobahn, and our total fail of a family field trip to The Eagle's Nest...
but... there are also some super cool experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything, such as the Medieval festival in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and our hilarious trip into the Black Forest. We were drawn back to this beautiful country many times and always there was something to love, and something to challenge us.
Here are a few snapshots of our wild, adventurous, crazy and fun moments in Germany the second time round; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the total stewy, spicy and sweet mix of it all.
1. Stripping off for a swim!
This was a hilarious and rather common national phenomenon. Maybe it's not a national thing, it's more of a European thing perhaps. It's easy;
1. Find a lake or river
2. Strip (regardless of who might be around)
Hahahaha!! I will NEVER forget the shocking first time that we all innocently went to the local public outdoor swimming pool in Austria and were given the opportunity of trying to just casually walk past an older couple who were changing into their clothes after their swim...on the front lawn!
Over time I came to appreciate the general confidence and lack of body shaming going on in Europe, it seemed that people were just so much more comfortable in their own skin.
So what did we do on a hot day? Find some water and jump in! No, not totally naked, but we became a lot more relaxed about changing. Such as that time under the freeway...watch out drivers, there might be a naked bum in your peripheral vision! Lol
The land is so gloriously green in Germany, in the Summertime we were always having picnics and running through the grass...in between shedding clothes and shocking the odd driver here and there.
2. Adding a dollop of historical significance and humour
On a day that I was going stir crazy and needed a break, Ross whisked the kids away and they visited a bridge. Not just any bridge, but the largest brick built bridge in the world! The Göltzsch Viaduc was, for a time, the tallest railway bridge in the world.
It is always so fun to see or experience the biggest or best of something in the world. Like the time we