The picture above is the village of Lupburg, our home away from home while in Bavaria. Our house is on the right, below the onion dome church . The people are friendly, helpful and best of all, love to keep things "in order."

Symmetry and Balance

On a cool grey day, this German home fits perfectly into its surroundings

Simple Sunday afternoon

This morning we attended services at Nienhof Chapel on Hohenfels military post.  Tim delivered a great sermon and then we drove over to the Warrior's Dining Facility to enjoy a feast fit for a German warrior.  Any day of the week, family members are welcome to eat at the facility but on Sundays, they have the famous "Sunday brunch." Lilly thought the word "brunch"was clever..."it's breakfast and lunch put together, that's awesome!" The meal was satisfying and included roast beef, chinese egg rolls, french toast and omelettes at a great price for our family of 6.
The view of our street from the village hill

Our goal for today's walk...Eggenthal

Bridge closed...but we knew we could cross it

Germans have a unique sense of style. Many people paint parts of their homes in vivid colors including this Barn Red on a side of the home

After every turn, a new view

Bavaria is largely Roman Catholic and many people great each other with "Gross ist Gott", God is Great. Icons like the one above are found throughout our village

Yes, Tim is breaking the rules

The mill house with its fabulous flower display

Tim contemplates our future bike trip to Regensburg

Another mill house on our Eggenthal walk

The open countryside as we make our way back home

The view of Lupburg at the end of our walk. The house with Red Barn paint is seen in the middle front

Once we returned home, Tim and I took our dog Lady on a pleasant Sunday walk.  Today's route: the 4 km loop from home through the village of Eggenthal.  Sundays are quiet in the village and we walked quickly under cool grey skies.  The path we followed is part of the Jura bike route stringing walking paths and small roads throughout the region to offer walkers and cyclists a variety of excursions.  Some day we might make the trip to Regensburg by bike...of course at 46km one way, we'll probably bike there and take the train back home.

Living life in the 1800s

Over the past month, as we've adjusted to life without all the electronic comforts vying for our attention,  Lilly discovered the joy of reading.  This morning, I found her curled up in a super-warm quilt reading her new chapter book, Heidi.  Perhaps inspired by our recent trip to Switzerland, or maybe just because Heidi has an adventurous spirit not unlike Lilly's, she is entranced by the story.

We can't drive 55

Anyone who has moved to a new city knows the first thing you want to do is check it out.  We've been doing that with the little village of Lupburg, and it's neighboring villages of Eggenthal, Parsburg and See.  All of this has been on foot since the villages radiate from Lupburg in a 2 km radius.  But to truly appreciate German countryside you need a car. And in order to drive a car, you have to have a German driver's license.
Lindsey and I spent the better part of the week studying the "Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany" including taking on line practice tests covering the rules of the road and road signs.   Want to get a German license? Start here  It's not easy! Sample question:
In the city where no priority signs are posted, the driver on the widest street has the right-of-way. (False)
In fact, the German "Right-of-Way" rule provided numerous problems for both Lindsey and me.   So, armed with an orientation course, drivers handbook and numerous attempts with the practice tests, we entered the testing facility and proceeded to complete "TEST NUMBER 2".  I finished a couple of minutes before Lindsey and we both passed!

Annecy France

Annecy Lake

Perfect picnic spot for our American hotdogs and chips meal

Canals in Annecy

"I wonder if I'll get an ice cream cone today?"

The infamous prison

Flowers lined all the canals

The kids found this sign immediately and started planning what flavors they would choose if we splurged and bought a 5 "boule" cone
The great thing about being in Geneva is the proximity to France.  We took a countryside drive over the border to visit Annecy, France.  The village is nestled at the bottom of soaring mountains and has a lake perfect for recreation.  We picnicked in a nearby park then took a stroll to the town, walking by canals and oogling the diners who were enjoying meals at the numerous water-side restaurants.  The town boasts the "most photographed prison" in all of France...built in the 12 Century, the Lord of Annecy was the first to inhabit this structure.  The old prison was modeled after a Galley ship's bow to resemble an anchored warfare vessel in calm waters.  Convicts were the last residents of the building. 

Geneva--a Reformer's Paradise

Lauderee macaroons

Lindsey's fave: pistachio

Memories of Rome

View of city below and the Jette d'eau in Lake Geneva

Modern day Reformers getting inspiration

playing chess in Bastions Park

Lilly enjoys her very own pizza
Bryan and Stephanie took us on a tour of downtown Geneva.  Our first stop: Lauderee, the chic French confectionery with to-die-for macaroons.  The shop is conveniently located next to the Starbucks so we purchased a box of little treats and savored them with hot coffee.  The rest of the day we meandered through the streets of Old Town, stopping at St Pierre's Cathedral, Reformation Museum, John Calvin's house and Reformer's Wall in Bastions Park.  We finished the day with pizza at a street-side restaurant.

Folk Art Museum at Chateau d'Ouex

The folk art Museum

Traditional Swiss paper cutting--much more detailed than the German paper cutting

Display of cow bells

Great idea for a bed...kids simply slide under the parents!

Stephanie, Lindsey and I took a drive into the mountains to learn about the traditional swiss folk art of paper cutting.  The little village had a quaint museum--Musée du Vieux Pays-d'Enhaut-- featuring the history of the people and included a vast collection of paper cuttings dating from the 1850s.  Following our museum stop, we asked the clerk if there was a shop in town that sold paper cuttings.  He directed us up the street to the gallery of an artist who was in her shop working on a current piece.  Both Steph and I bought a little souvenir from her. 

Road Trip to Switzerland

Lindsey and Stephanie are happy shoppers after purchases from a real-life paper cutting artist

This is the Switzerland we think of when describing it to others

Lady is right at home on Stephanie's couch

The best coffee drink in Switzerland--RenVerse'

What's Swiss countryside without its cows and sunflowers?

My sister and her family have lived in Geneva, Switzerland for the past 3 years.  We enjoyed a week with the Goudzwaards last summer on our European vacation and decided that since they only have 6 weeks left in country it was time to unleash the Honda horses on the autobahn and drive south for a visit.