Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Camping and a Castle in Beautiful Germany

Over Halloween weekend, we went camping with our friends, the Anderson's. We were originally looking to go "glamping," however there were no glamping sites within a reasonable drive for just two nights, so we roughed it for the weekend. The Andersons have two kids, and they were very excited to camp for the first time!

Amazingly, all six of us, along with all of our gear, fit into one vehicle with absolutely no room to spare! 

We drove for about two hours to a campsite near the town of Freiburg in the Black Forest.  We arrived a little bit before 5:00, but it gets dark pretty early around here in the cooler months, so we scrambled to get set up while we still had light!  We cooked our gourmet dinners in foil packets over the fire that evening, followed by fancy s'mores with Ashley's homemade marshmallows.  Yum!  It was pretty cold at night away from the fire.  Kyle and I were thankful for our cozy new sleeping bags!  (And I slept with a hot water bottle like an old lady!)

The stars were absolutely amazing!  We even saw several shooting stars!

Kyle did some "light painting" with his laser. Pretty cool!

In the morning we got the fire going again to cook our breakfast.  We had frittata cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven over the fire, and of course we had to have bacon!  We lucked out with our weather, too.  It was a gorgeous morning!

How does bacon smell even better being cooked at camp?

Looks like a very serious conversation between Avery and Gizmo.

Lovely views!

Removing the frittata was the tricky part!

Grayson going for his morning run

We spent the day walking around the beautiful university town of Freiburg.  It's a historic town that dates back to 1120.  The centerpiece of the town is a marktplaz with an impressive Gothic cathedral, the Freiburger Münster, dating back to the early 1200s.  There was an awesome market set up around the cathedral, so it was fun to check out all of the good looking food.  (I know, not your typical camping activity, but it was very nice!)  Freiburg is also Germany's warmest and sunniest city.

It's much more fun walking in the drainage ditch!

We spent the evening back at the campsite.  The campground is owned by a farm, so went over to check out the animals, and we got to see the cows being milked.

It was Halloween, so that evening the kids went trick-or-treating around the campfire and had dessert before dinner.  We had hot dogs, schupfnudeln (potato dumplings with bacon and sauerkraut), and apple crisp cooked over the fire.

We headed out the next day.  It took a while to load up the car with all of our stuff.  It was like fitting together pieces of a puzzle, but it fit!  We were all ready to get home and take a nice, long, hot shower!  (Grayson and Avery both had some marshmallow to wash out of their hair!)  We had a great time and hope to do some more camping in the spring.  We also wouldn't mind doing some glamping in the future, as well!

The following week, Kyle and I went to check out a castle that we've been meaning to see for a while. Schloss Sigmaringen is about an hour and twenty minutes from our house. It's a very pretty drive down country roads through the Schwäbische Alb; a low lying mountain range. The Schloss (or castle) dates back to the 1100s, though it has been added onto and restored throughout history. The castle was the home to the Hohenzollern family from 1535-1850. We walked around the cute little town at the base of the castle and took a castle tour. (No photos allowed inside.) Kyle got a new lens for his camera, so I played model while he practiced with it while we walked around that day.

While we didn't go on any big trips this October, you never have to drive far in Germany to find historically significant places and natural beauty.  It was nice to spend October enjoying and exploring nearby areas!

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