Here are the last few Germany bits and pieces to wrap up the trip diary:
One of the highlights of the vacation was the trip up the mountain on a cable car.
We went about 1800 m up, to the third of four stations (we couldn’t go all the way to the top as the timing meant that we would have had to ride back down on the same car without actually disembarking). Before we reached the third station we were in the clouds and the kids had a great time playing in the ethereal, misty playground (as described in Ben’s guest post).
We then rode back down and enjoyed dinner al fresco at a lovely Italian restaurant, which was interrupted at one point by the sound of cowbells as a farmer brought his herd down from the mountain for the night. (“My family’s been bringing the cows down this road every night for 3 generations and we’re not going to stop now just because this damn town is overrun with tourists!”).
On the way home we passed the brewery that had been supporting our pils habit for the 2 weeks…mmm…I still miss the beer!
Apparently there were a number of town festivals going on while we were there, which meant that for most of the trip many people were dressed in traditional Bavarian “tract.” These Bavarians certainly have the right idea when it comes to flattering clothing, especially for those of us with, let’s say, “hourglass” figures (I like to think of them as “good, strong childbearing hips.”)! I tried on a dirndl but unfortunately I just didn’t think it would translate well to home.
I also tried to convince Ian to get a pair of lederhosen but no dice. (Come on! Even Santa wears them in the off-season!)
One area where Germany is way ahead seems to be the use of sustainable energy, particularly solar power. Everywhere we looked it seemed that people had solar panels on their roofs, sometimes just a few, sometimes covering every available inch.
We also passed fields of row upon row of solar panels along the highways. Pretty cool stuff. I know we’re starting to experiment with it; in our town there are 2 towers with panels but it’s on such a small scale, comparatively. These Bavarians really seem to have it down to a science.
As a small side note, if you think back to the Kurpark post, this is the photograph that Ian was taking when he was hiding in the flowers:
Finally, the time came for us to make our exit. In Germany this is indicated by highway signs reading, “Ausfahrt,” and I remain convinced that I can’t be the only English-speaker in the world whose inner 15 year-old giggles uncontrollably at that.