Thursday, May 29, 2014

Old and New Munich


 We had a busy few days in Munich and apart from the rain we really enjoyed our time there. We took a walking tour around the older buildings of the city and then finished in the modern shopping heart of the city.
We also took the train out to Durnbach War Cemetery to visit my uncle's grave. It is a very well-kept cemetery and it was suprisingly emotional.
 A tour of Dachau Concentration camp completed our time here. The tour guide gave an excellent explanation of the facors leading to the war as well as the different main people involved. We are both very interested in history so we have enjoyed the walking tours for their expert commentary.
   Many thanks for all your lovely coments dear readers. We are enjoying meeting so many friendly people on our travels and especially appreciate how they have helped us when our German and other people's English, have lead to challenges with being understood. Unfortunately today our planned meeting with a lovely German FB friend and her family, didn't work out due to the change in train schedule of today's public holiday. That was disappointing but there will always be hurdles when traveling and we hope to meet again on anoither trip. Margaret, don't worry about England's scenery being disappointing after the Alps, as we will really enjoy the history, castles and green fields after our dry climate. Also Marijke I only have a small suitcase so I've been very careful not to buy souvenirs apart from a few small pieces of fabric for my two current projects using half inch hexagons. It's surprising how much stitching I can do while on the train and still see the scenery. 
We're currently in Grimma, in East Germany, to visit Colditz Castle tomnorrow morning and then off to Berlin for a few days.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

 I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful castle again on this trip. I visited it 3 years previously with my sister and as my DH loves all castles it was no hardship to return with him so he could enjoy it as well.
The hotel in the foreground with the castle in the background, just 2 mintues walk away.

This time I found a hotel just 2 minutes from the castle so we made the most of our time there and also enjoyed the surrounding beautiful scenery. From here we go to Munich.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hohenwerfen Castle in Bavaria.


In the afternoon, yesterday, we took the train to Werfen to see the Hohenwerfen Castle. It was only about 45 miles from Salzburg but the train took an hour to reach Werfen. We had hoped to get a taxi or bus up to the castle but none were available so we walked about 2.5 kms up to the castle. It was well worth the long walk as the surrounding mountains were snow-covered and the photos just can't do the scenery justice.
  It was a long day but we really enjoyed seeing this castle as it is depcted in the film, "Where Eagles Dare".. We haven't become tired of seeing the Alps or castles yet as it is so different to home.
Hugs, Jan Mac

The Bavarian Alps

We have really enjoyed our time in the Alps and spent yesterday in the Bavarian Alps. We took a trip to Berchesgaden. From Salzburg it only took 40 minutes and the scenery was spectacular with the snow-covered Alps surrounding us. We went up to Hitler's Eagles Nest and although the history was interesting, it was worth the trip just for the views.The camera was working overtime just trying to capture all that we saw. There was even snow on the ground and we could have stayed all day just taking in all the scenery. The Alps are going to be a hard act to follow.
More to come soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Swiss Alps



We took the Bernina Express from Lugano in Switzerland toChur in Switzerland and really enjoyed it. The first 3 hours are by bus to Tirano in Italy and it follows around the the Italian Lakes with really beautiful scenery. Then after a lunch break we took the train for 4 and and half hours from Tirano to Chur. The cloud had come in over the mountains and it rained a little but it is still a spectacular part if the world.
  My sister and I di this train trip 3 years ago and the views were stunning in summer. The photos don't do them justice but we had a lovely day amongst the Alps and now are off to Salzburg in Austria.
Hugs, Jan Mac


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Barcelona.

We enjoyed our time in Barcelona, seeing some street performers, some line dancers, and the sights down at the marina. Again there is a mix of old and new buildings but even siome of the new buildings have been built to blend in with the old. The weather was nice and warm and there was a real feeling of being on holidays, and hopefully we have almost managed to shake our coughs. From Barcleona we are traveling back through France and then on to Switzerland to see the Alps. We've both been enjoying the scenery and the different accents. I don't know why but I start to speak Italian when I'm traveling! LOL
Hugs, Jan Mac
  Hugs, Jan Mac

Valencia and Beating the Siesta Clock.

We've taken the fast train on some routes and the regional, slower train at times to just enjoy the scenery. We enjoyed our time in Spain's warmer weather but found it difficult to find restaurants open when we wanted our evening meal, as they open much later than we prefer. We also tried to make several purchases and found the shops were closed although they had been advertised as open. Australians are laid-back but not this laid-back LOL.
  Valencia is a good mix of modern and older buildings and we passed the bullfighting ring but none were on at the time luckily. I also finally managed to find a patchwork shop open and with the help of another Spanish customer, who spoke English, I was able to buy some more fabric for my La Passion hexagon quilt. I was also pleasantly surprised to find patterns and kits by Australian quilters, Gail Pan's stitchery patterns and kits by Sue Daley of Patchwork for Busy Fingers.
The internet is finally fast enough to load some photos so I'll do a few updates for you.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunny Spain

We've had 2 nights here in Madrid after a brief overnight stop just over the French/Spansih border in san Sebastian. After one more night we leave for Valencia tom orrow for 1 night and then 2 in Barcelona. We came to Spain to get some sunny weather and it seems like it has finally allowed us to almost clear up our coughs after the cold wind in France in the evening.
 We've been into the main part of Madrid by using the Metro which is very easy and efficient. However I'm a bit disappointed in the difficulty we have had with finding shops that are open. The tourist office told us that they would be open from 1000 to 2200 however we have found many close during the day and open again after 5. Some advertise that and then don't open on time. I had spent quite a bit of time researching patchwork shops which were near to where we are staying. We took the Metro only to find that the shop was closed- very disappointing when they advertise their shop hours and then don't open during those hours. We have even had trouble finding supermarkets open so we can buy some basic things like milk.
I did find a fabric shop which was open and sold Spanish pure cotton for quilting and I did manage to buy some more blues for La Passion. I had planned to buy some more today but was disappointed to find the shop was closed. I hope to get what I need in Barcelona if I can find the shops open.
 The architecture is interesting but Madrid has not impressed me as much as I'd hoped. Valencia may be better.
Hugs, Jan Mac