A Travellerspoint blog

February 2009

Garmisch, Germany

28 February 2009

sunny 50 °F

Our first impressions of Garmisch, Germany were not great as it took us 90 minutes to go the last 4 miles in to town due to a car accident. This trip we were here mostly to stay in the igloo but also because the military makes a big deal of Garmisch with its recreational resort there. Edelweiss is always full so we were staying in Mercere hotel for this visit. It is much nicer than our usual digs and also much more expensive.
I loved the paintings on the houses everywhere.
The weather was like spring so we found downtown Garmisch and did some shopping. But the best was sitting outside drinking a beer and having pommes without being freezing cold.
For dinner we found a guest house that I think was frequented by locals. It was in the neighboring town to Garisch called Partenkirchen.
They had a DJ of sorts and people were dancing. There were also a couple of boys that did the dancing while jumping and slapping their feet.

Posted by ErinDriver 06:04 Archived in Germany Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

From Sun to Snow

16 February 2009

sunny 50 °F

We started the day in Sunny Nice!
Another antique market goes on in Cours Sayela on Mondays so we went down to check in out. Our thoughts were that it was rather like a VERY expensive flea market. It didn’t take long for us to realize we didn’t want anything bad enough to pay those kind of prices. The rest of the morning was spent shopping and having lunch at a doner place. We had sandwiches along the street in the sunshine of Nice!
From there everything went downhill. We reached the airport alright but the flight was delayed due to bad weather in Munich. Luckily it left only 40 minutes late. We were home and back in the snow by 2400!
We ended the day in snowy Germany!

Posted by ErinDriver 04:25 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Citrus Festival in Menton

15 February 2009

sunny 50 °F

I saw an article in National Geographic Traveler magazine about this place in France where they make huge sculptures out of oranges and lemons. It just so happened to be occuring over a four day weekend for us so that is how we ended up in the French Riviera this weekend.
The bus ride to Menton was about an hour but we stopped in Villa Franchese for an antique market. We only lasted about 20 minutes there because there was nothing less than 100 euros.
Menton was very crowded and their sculpture park was full of people trying to take photos of all the art. The theme this year was music but it was anyones guess what some of them had to do with music.
Anytime this kind of thing is going on on sunday inEurope you can expect it to be crowded. It was craziness and we could't bring ourselves to stay for the parade. We hit it back to the bus for fear that if we waited longer they would be too crowded.
We relaxed on the pebbles of Nice beach after lunch. Dinner was the same place as last night because we loved the crab salad and creme brulee so much. ( Blog of yesterday still to come - I haven't had a chance to get thru all the pictures :)

Posted by ErinDriver 00:06 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Highrollers in Monaco

14 February 2009

sunny 50 °F

Day two in the French Riviera had us zipping along the highway on a bus headed for Monaco. One of the girls that works at the hostel recommended we go via Eze Village between Nice and Monaco.
For about an hour we walked around and hit some shops. For a snack we got a stick of that yummy French bread.
The bus dropped us off near the Monte Carlo casino which is a beautiful building with gardens out front.
While we were checking out the flowers and views of the casino there was an accident right in front of us!
Luckily it wasn’t one of the Ferraris or Mercedes or Roles Royce vehicles and no one was hurt.
Monaco is separated into 3 areas so we strolled from Monte Carlo with the casino to the port area.
The yachts are unbelievable with some having its own boat on the boat!
Others had exercise equipment or jet skiis! Lunch was paninis by the water of the port. The weather was chilly but still comfortable to be outside.
On the way to the Oceanographic museum and aquarium we passed the tunnel where the Monaco Grand Prix goes. The walk comes around a corner and there is this huge building coming right out of the rock face.
It is the aquarium that Jacques Cousteau directed for 17 years and has 250 different species.
The Mediterranean fish are some of the most impressive I have seen anywhere.
After a few hours of roaming the aquarium we headed up by the Princes Palace which over looks the port.
An hour bus ride has us back in Nice where we found Chez Freddy for dinner. We had crab salad, salmon and crème brule that was fabulous. The walk back toward the main square was buzzing with floats for the Carnaval parade. You could walk around and take pictures of all the floats even before the show started.
The floats are pretty neat with moving parts and people with music.
The French were going crazy with silly string and grafitti, hitting anyone near them, including us.

Posted by ErinDriver 04:01 Archived in Monaco Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Nicer weather in Nice

13 February 2009

sunny 44 °F

The weather in Germany this morning included about 5 inches of snow and was still falling so its good to be out of there. It was touch and go for awhile when the train left Ansbach 10 minutes late. This was exactly how much time we had to make our connection to Munich. Luckily we asked the DB worker and he called to have them hold our train so we made the connection that would keep us on time for our flight. In Munich we had to get on the Subway to get to the airport. Once again lucky for us one of the other passengers told us that train split and we were not on the half that ends up at the airport. Needless to say we switched at the next stop.
The 1.5 hour flight from Munich to Nice was uneventful and since France is in the European union we didn’t have to show passports or anything. Our instructions from the hostel were to get on Bus 23 to Saint Maurice. The bus was very slow and stopped A LOT! It took about 50 minutes to get to Saint Maurice. Then we called the hostel from a pay phone and they would give you a free ride. Unlucky for us when they came they had a van full of people they were taking downtown – the direction we just came from. So we got a bonus 30 minute ride around town before getting back up to the Hostel – Villa St. Exupery.
Transportation is cheap in this town – each tram ride is 1 euro so after a brief stop in the room we took the tram downtown.
We strolled down the Promenade des Anglais by the water which was gorgeous to see. At one end of town is Castle Hill (Colline du Chateau).
We walked to the top and got some beautiful views over Nice before heading to dinner.
Cours Saleya is the main market square of Nice and where we had dinner. I know we are in France but we had Italian for dinner at La Stiva. We strolled the street intending to stay up to watch the start of Carnival at 2100. However it was much colder than we thought and we were exhaustred from getting up early. We didn’t make it – maybe tomorrow!

Posted by ErinDriver 12:16 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Tongeren Antique market

8 February 2009

overcast 41 °F

The market didn’t seem to start quite as early as 0600 but they were in the process of setting up. We bought an old sled with a painting on the front from a woman before she was even set up. It was from France about 1830’s.
The market is set up in a gym, on floor of a parking garage, and up and down lots of streets. We seemed to like a lot of stuff from france. We scored with a buffet from Belgium. The timeframe can’t be nailed down but it was made somewhere between 1875 and 1915. We plan to use it as a bar. We also found a lamp table that matched the design of the buffet. We did pretty well and had fun bargaining…yes, mom – I did!
We have to go back in 8 weeks to pick up our furniture (oh darn) so we left for home with a relatively empty car.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:27 Archived in Belgium Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Furniture Shopping in Belgium

7 February 2009

overcast 30 °F

For this weekend Curt and I decided to finally order some furniture we saw at a Bazaar in Ramstein. The furniture store was in Belgium so we made the 4 hour drive across another border to St. Vith, Belgium. The store is called MK Mobel Drings-Maraite and has 60,000 square feet of furniture. We ordered some stuff for the living room and were served tea and little tiny éclairs. The store does a good business with the military based on the English speaking people with short hair cuts shopping around next to us. The good news was even though they were in Belgium they still took the VAT form. Maybe they are close enough to the German border that it doesn’t matter ?? (about 1 hour)
Next stop was another hour away at Tongeren, Belgium. It is supposed to be one of the oldest towns in Belgium and holds one of the biggest antique markets in Europe every Sunday. Start time for the market is 0600 so it was recommended to get their the night before.
The town is much bigger than I expected with a long shopping street and a beautiful cathedral. We shopped and had dinner with of course waffles for dessert. The other must in Belgium is to try some of their many beers. A bunch were tried but the best was the blueberry beer! It was fabulous with the waffles.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:25 Archived in Belgium Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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