14 January 2016

Close to home... Austria! 9/01/2016

Josh had been counting down the sleeps for ten days and had already ranked his favourite countries:
1. Germany
2. Australia
3. Austria

So off we went to see if a place he had never visited was in fact worthy of a top three position. 

Ohh mountains... And snow! Looking good so far.

The uber family friendly hotel had stuff for the kids...

...and for the parents: all meals, snacks AND, most importantly, cleaning the floor afterwards. We may never leave. Mmmmm... Creamy bruly!


With the forecast for rain all day, we headed for the nearby mega mall. Complete with mega satellite image of Austria and mega "Hausschuhe" for your feet. 

The snow season had been bad so far but there was just enough for us beach bums! 

The hotel even had its own mini ski slope for the kids to muck about on.

Back in the restaurant we continued the eating fest. Josh took it upon himself to be barman, tending to all our coffee and bubbly drink needs. Would anybody else like a Latte Macchiato? Bubble water? Plain water? Tea? Juice?

The weather closed in (ooooh I love fog!) but we were still keen to get out and about, so we strolled down, down, down to the Faaker See (lake). It is over there! Somewhere. The "stroll" up, up, up wasn't quite so pleasant :)

Josh getting ready for Ski schule!

Despite parents being 'vorboden' from viewing the children skiing, Ben snuck down and crawled through a pig pen to take a peek at Josh hitting the piste.

The weather thankfully improved so on our final day we made our voyage above the fog to the peak of Gerlitzen. The first leg involved a lovely cosy cable car.

And look! Snow! Sun! Skiers!

The second leg involved a death-defining chair lift where Lewie's leg got stuck under the safety bar (twice). But we made to the very top in one piece, with spectacular views far and wide. Out of the way you lot. 

Josh was really getting into the tobogganing and convinced Ben and Lew to join in too. 

Lew managed to fall asleep on the chairlift down to the middle stop and continued to nap while Ben drank his favourite weizen and pre-sliced schnitzel with one hand! 

6 January 2016

The Karneval approaches 02/01/2016

In Köln they go bananas during the Karneval which lasts a whole week in early Feb. In order to prepare we scoped out the local Karneval dress up shop. The crowd control in the car park was a sign of how serious they take this.

We tried this cute caterpillar costume on Lew. An employee told us something about it which we later translated to be 'that costume is for a dog'! Sorry Lew. (Still cute but...)

Lew, I am your Father.....Noooooooooooo.

Stay tuned for what we bought...

Who knew we lived near a volcano? 31/12/2015

Is it still working? How big is it? These questions and (many, many) more shall be answered on today's excursion to the Volcano park which is coincidentally located within a day trip of our house! Like all good excursions we had to get the learning out of the way and visit the museum first.

Lucky there were lots of hands on things for the boys. Hold on Lew, here comes an earthquake...

Tearing Josh and Kirstie away from their audioguides, we headed for the nearest lunchspot which just happened to be a brewery. We celebrated the Australian New Year's Eve with a pork knuckle and a beer (or two). The caves underneath the brewery resulting from the volcano are used to store the beer - making this the 'deepest brewery in the world'!  I'll drink to that.

A short drive later and we were at the picturesque Abbey Maria Laach which overlooked the lake.  Underneath the lake lies the former volcano... Just biding it's time!

It was a lovely place, so much so that we didn't take any more photos!  Feel free to Google Das Laacher See! 

Lies, Ben!! These ones are pretty :)

1 January 2016

Off to see the ducks at Stadtwald 30/12/2015

Ah Christmas holidays...such a lovely relaxing time at home. EVERYBODY OUT OF THE HOUSE YOU ARE DRIVING ME MAD!

Lets go see the ducks...


Sun setting at 4ish makes it feel like bed time (wishful thinking)

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In search of stuff that is open 27/12/2015

With the closure of all things in Germany due to Christmas day ('1st Weihnachtstag'), Boxing day ('2nd Weihnachtstag') and then 'a Sunday' we drove to Liege, Belgium in search of life.

First pitstop at the Chruch of St. Bartholomew. It was red which was a bit funky...but being a Sunday it was closed (?) until later in the day.

Along the river was an interesting market with lots of trinkity junk but also some tasty food vans. The deep fried prawns was hard to pass by.

Oh look another Christmas market, shall we check it out?  First item was a wheel of baked camembert, awesome freshly baked ham and bread. "It is yummy" says Josh. "It was the greatest thing ever made" says Ben.

At the edge of the market was this kind of taboggin run made out of pointy white plastic fake grass. After watching some kids slide two metres and then tumble the rest of the way we decided against the visit to hospital with carpet burns and moved swiftly on.

The ferris wheel gave a great view over the market and the surrounding area of things that we probably won't get around to seeing!

Is this thing safe?

On the way back to the car we came across an enormous set of stairs. "Hhmm... should we Dad?"

Yes we should! The climb down was not helped by both legs cramping up (I gotta exercise more). Josh had little trouble of course.