Friday, December 21, 2007

Germany - Shorndorf and Beuren

This photograph was taken during our visit to Schorndorf, a medieval market town east of Stuttgart in Southern Germany.

Gottlieb Daimler inventor of the petrol engine, was born in this town in 1834. All over the region we were amused to see streets in every town and village bearing his name. It could prove confusing.
We happened to arrive on market day in the old town which has beautifully preserved timbered houses.

The plaque above this house states "In diesem hause wohnte 1689-1741 die Burgermeisterin Barbara Kunklein" which I think translates as "The mayoress Barbara Kunklein lived in this house from 1689-1741."

From Schorndorf we drove to the small rural town of Beuren to visit Germany's first open air museum where buildings from the region dating as far back as the 13th C have been relocated. We had a fascinating glimpse into how people from Neckar Valley and Swabian Alb would have lived and the types of crops and animals that they would have farmed. Buildings included a bake house, weaver's cottage and fanastic farmhouses and barns. I could have easily moved right on in and left somewhat envious of the simple way of life and sense of community that these folks would have had.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Germany - Rothenburg

Earlier this year we travelled through Europe. In August we spent some time in Germany. I will post some photos here of some of the more interesting places we visited.

The little medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber with it's beautifully preserved walls and buildings was my all time favourite. The full title would have been "Rothenburg oberhalb der Tauber" which translates as "Rothenburg over the Tauber", as the town is located on top of a mount overlooking the river Tauber.

We'd encountered a great deal of skeptism from folks in Swabia when we mentioned our intention to visit. Rothenburg has a reputation for tourists ... 2.1 million a year to be precise, but on the day we visited there were no unmanageable crowds. As well as being Germany's most visited tourist attraction it is also a working town of 12,000 people who have managed to preserve their history and heritage while living in the 21st century.

Click here to visit our Rothenburg Album. You will see the half timbered houses, cobbled streets, beautiful hand crafted wooden toys and spot a German delicacy which looked really yummy but tasted more like stale scones!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A taste of my homeland

Last year we took two trips to Scotland as a family although my husband was 'across the water' four times in the short space of five months.

Scotland is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful countries that I've visited to date. Okay, I might appear slightly biased and do admit that Milford Sound in New Zealand did come pretty close but I wouldn't tell my husband that.

Here are some photos from our trips.

These were taken in Spring when my husband, his friend and our eldest son took a trip to the Isle of Skye. Pic 1 Snow on the mountains just north of Loch Lomond. The second photo is of Eileen Donan Castle which is situated on the road to the Isles. Visit the official castle website

Pic 3 is of Lochaber Dam. A lovely picnic stop. The one above is of the Cairngorm Mountain Railway which is the highest funicular railway in the UK. Finished in 2001 it travels up the side of Cairngorm Mountain to a restaurant just 400ft below the summit from which we could see Loch Morlich and our campsite (photos below)

Here are the kids on the shore of Loch Morlich one evening, a short stroll through the pine forest from our camp. Pic 6 Sunset over the loch.
Glenmore Forest Park and Loch Morlich are situated in the middle of the Cairngorm National Park. If you are thinking of camping/caravaning in the UK I'd highly recommend taking a Forest Holiday. These campsites are run by the forestry commission and are spacious, have excellent washing and showering facilities and are very reasonably priced. Our first experience was in the Forest of Dean in 2003 en route to Cornwall, France, Spain and Morocco. Another travel tale ...

These pictures were taken during a drive the length of Loch Ness. The first is taken in Fort Augustus (the prettiest town in Scotland by my reckoning) which is situated to the south west of Loch Ness. Here the Caledonian canal ends and the loch begins and tourists can board a boat in search of Nessie. As we tend to travel on a shoe string we passed.
Lastly some photos from Skye. The first is Portree, taken in May and the other was taken in September. I don't think it really matters what month you visit - the sky will look the same. Rain clouds!

Travel tip ~ If you are a UK resident and Tesco shopper, club card points can be converted into Days Out coupons which can be used at many locations throughout the country. We saved over £200 on tourist attractions during our September trip to Scotland and then on down through England, where our daughter was due for a review at the center for brain injured children. Highly recommended by our kids are the Cairngorm Funicular Railway, The Discovery (Scott's ship which is moored in Dundee) and the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Dorset where they were able to board the first Concorde. All take the coupons. Makes supporting a big corporation slightly more palatable!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A little about ...

This blog
Having recently wound down 'the family blog' I am in the process of creating several in an attempt to compartmentalise the various aspects of our lives which I like to keep record of. Perhaps one day my house will also fall victim to my organisation skills. One can only live in hope.
The address

I should probably explain at the outset that I am not the kiwi in the family but am married to a first generation one. The name in singular was taken so I've pluralised it but guess that's allowed as two of our kids were birthed in the Land of the Long White Cloud. I am a Scot and our four other blessings were born in Ireland. Their accents are decidedly confusing!

The aim

Over the next while I hope to find time to organise the many thousands of photos on my computer and upload ones that may be of interest to other travel enthusiasts into online albums. I am quite nosey by nature and love viewing other people's travel photos and hearing all about their adventures. As well as creating a personal record, I hope that this is of benefit and enjoyment to others.