The Journey Begins

Hello, hello. I am finally done with procrastinating studying for my masters exams, so I have time to write!

I recently discovered what indubitably must be the best form of procrastination. It took me 19 years of formal education to discover procrasticleaning. “What is procrasticleaning?” my dear reader asks. Well, its brilliance lies in the fact that you are doing something productive–cleaning–when you should actually be doing something else. Hence, you can justify your productive procrasticleaning far more easily to yourself than unproductive forms of procrastinating, such as watching tv or reading a magazine. See, I told you. Best form of procrastination.

It’s bad when other people begin to notice though…

Will arrived home from work one night, looked around the house suspiciously, and inquired: “The house looks very tidy, Janelle. Have you been procrasticleaning again?”

A “maybe” sheepishly emanated from my lips.

Do not worry though, despite my procrasticleaning, I studied diligently for my exams, finished them, and am living in a remarkably clean house to boot 😉

In other news, I thought I’d share with you about a train journey Will and I embarked upon. Old-fashioned train travel holds a romantic allure for us, so we went on a journey through Europe traveling solely by train.

Where-is-Fussen-on-map-Germany.jpg

The first leg of our journey took us to a little Bavarian village called Füssen. Füssen sits deeply south in Germany on the edge of the Alps that separate Austria from Germany.

 

IMG_4660

With a population of 15,000 and chocolate-box style houses galore, Füssen’s charm lies in its serenity and idyllic beauty.

9c0219c3c49e8d6dd2d18d25c9c2c979

Besides its natural beauty, Füssen’s claim to fame rests with being the closest town to Schloss Neuschwanstein, the castle nestled in the Bavarian Alps that looks like it was plucked straight from your favourite fairy tale.  Sleeping Beauty’s Disneyland castle is actually based on Schloss Neuschwanstein.

neuschwanstein450

Our first glimpse of Schloss Neuschwanstein came from the top of a mountain I ended up climbing in my best hiking attire: pearls, riding boots, and a red handbag. When Will convinced me to go for a “short walk,” we clearly had different definitions of what a “short walk” would entail…

Whatever perturbation I may have felt about my “short walk” turning into a snowy mountain hike melted away when I saw this view:

IMG_4670
Welcome to the Bavarian Alps

In the distance, we could see a snowy Schloss Neuschwanstein in its resplendent glory.

img_47111.jpg

On our first night in Germany, we noticed something odd about the hotel’s bed. It contained two tiny comforters instead of one large one.

IMG_4696

It is apparently common practice in Germany for everyone to have his or her own comforter. Will didn’t fancy it, insinuating that it wasn’t “romantic.” I, on the other hand, rejoiced because I was free from the constant threat of the covers being stolen in the middle of the night.

The next day, we set out to go for a real hike. I was fully informed and properly clothed this time. We took the Tegelberg Cable Car up to the top of the Bavarian Alps.

IMG_4722

At a height of 2,150 meters (7,054 feet), the village below seemed minuscule.

IMG_4768

Upon reaching the top of the mountain peak, we hiked through the snowy Alps.

IMG_4752

Due to slippery trails, we were warned to be very careful. Will teased me for walking slowly as he plowed forward. Then he slipped and fell on his bum. I stifled my laugher and tried to appear sympathetic. A few minutes later, despite the ground getting even more slippery, I still had not fallen and triumphantly declared: “This is a perfect example of the tortoise and the hare! I may be slow, but at least I haven’t fallen.”

Ten second later, I slipped and fell. Will roared rancorously, and I couldn’t help but dissolve into laughter myself. The timing was too perfect.

IMG_4742.jpg
Overlooking the Austrian Alps, as we stood on the border between Austria and Germany

Walking through the Alps, I discovered that Germans take their sports quite seriously and really like their hiking gear. And lots of it…

IMG_4749

I felt underdressed in comparison. Maybe I need to get anti-reflective sport sunglasses, walking sticks, a florescent jacket, quick-drying trousers, a hiking backpack, skis, neon green snow shoes, and a thermal beanie? Or maybe not…

IMG_4757
More Germans. More gear.

We saw a variety of German men with these huge backpacks.

IMG_4737

I wondered what the dickens they could possibly be carrying up the mountain. And then came enlightenment: paragliders. Many locals partake in paragliding.

IMG_4758

Locals take the cable car up the mountain with their paragliding parachutes tucked into their massive backpacks. When they get to the top, they carefully unfurl their parachutes, straighten the strings, then jump off the mountain and end up someplace like this:

IMG_4744
Can you spot the paraglider? (Hint: look towards the top of the photo).

I was curious to discover that the paragliders are not just extreme sport-loving young whippersnappers. There were numerous men in their sixties and older jumping off the mountain as well.

IMG_4765
This man about to run and jump off the mountain was a grandfather

Another common practice is sunbathing in the snow on the top of a mountain.

img_4755.jpg

I have come to the conclusion that Germans are mad, and there is no age limit.

img_4738.jpg

However mad the Germans may be, we did fancy Germany immensely.

Will and I concluded our time in Bavaria in best way possible: indulging in the local cuisine.

IMG_4695

I dined on schnitzel, a traditional German dish where meat is pounded out thin, breaded, and fried, with a glass of German Riesling. Will opted for the weisswurst, a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced veal and pork back bacon and weissbier, a German wheat beer.

And as you know, I am never one to turn down dessert 🙂

img_4682.jpg

 

It may have rained that day, but I wasn’t going to let anything rain on my apfelstudel parade.

Thank you for a splendid time, Germany.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.

I shall pick up next time with the next leg of our journey: Slovenia. I hope you have a marvellous week.

~Farewell, Janelle

SaveSave

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Journey Begins

  1. balphonso

    Your pictures are gorgeous ❤ ! I would love to see Germany myself some day, so I'll be counting on you for destination recommendations (the chocolate box houses sound especially tempting, even if they're not actually made of chocolate). I hope you enjoyed the train travel, I'm sure the scenery was unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s