Every time I see this picture I question why I am still not living in it. Then I remember that whenever we see real estate ads when we are in the mountains I almost pass out from sticker shock. If my family came (at one point in time, many, many years ago) from the area around Garmisch-Partenkirchen, shouldn’t I just be able to go there and lay claim to some land or something?
A short walk from the train station in Benešov, is Konopiště Castle. Like most things in the Czech Republic, it’s a perfect day trip if you just need to get out of Prague for a minute.
The main claim to fame of the castle is that it was the last home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, aka the dude whose assassination kicked off the first World War. I honestly don’t even recall if we did a tour or not*, but my memories of the day spent there are that a cat followed us from the forest to the castle, and that the gardens were exceptionally lovely. I have a deep and abiding love of things that are symmetrical.
*This is what happens when they don’t let you take pictures inside.
Four years ago exactly, BV and I were on our very first weekend away together. Upon arriving in Freiburg*, our first order of business was a climb up the hill to get a view over the city center. At the top of the hill, we found a few random bits and bobs of artwork, including this guy. No idea what he is, or why he is up there, but this picture makes me giggle whenever I see it.
It’s been a good while since I used the horrible “czech out” pun so, there we go.
Once upon a time, way back in 2009 (I don’t know why I can’t stop rhyming today, sorry), some friends and I went on an adventure to go hiking outside the village of Karlštejn in the Czech Republic.
What we neglected to realize was that we were visiting there on the weekend of the local burčák festival. Germany-dwellers might know burčák better as Federweisser, or a very young wine that can only be drunk for a very short period of time, and is either relatively light, or completely lethal, alcohol-wise.
Long story short, this festival was total mayhem, yes we did hike a little bit, but of course we made our way back into the village to watch the Renn Faire glory and drink all kinds of delicious things. And, as I tend to do, I spotted a few furry friends that were worthy of attention. I love the dog that is basically drawing you into his booth to check out some sweet wigs, almost as much as I love the dog that is just having a grand ol’ time taking himself for a walk.
This was also the same trip where one of our friends touched a plant and had a very similar allergic reaction as Will Smith’s character did in the movie Hitch. Totally irrelevant to the dogs? Yes. Does it still make me laugh every time I think about it? Yes. She was perfectly fine after she got home and took some Benadryl (I’m not totally heartless), but watching all the burčák-drunk Czechs on the train trying to figure out if they were seeing what they thought they were seeing was hilaaaaaarious.
Today’s picture comes courtesy of a long weekend away in London. A friend of mine here was eager to visit the city, but wasn’t terribly confident in her (perfectly fine) language skills.* For my part, London was a place that I’d always wanted to visit, and so I was more than happy to go along for the ride. Providing the occasional piece of clarifying information was a small price to pay to spend a few days wandering around a city that I felt like I already knew so well.
Shhhh… do you hear that?
The Australians are coming…
Or at least, I assume so. That’s how you know that it’s almost Oktoberfest time. While I have no immediate plans to make the all-night party this year, this night was a damn good time. The fest this year will be from September 17th until October 3rd, so if you’re planning on going, you still have a few days to practice your Maß lifting techniques, or shop for that new Dirndl. And of course, don’t forget to perfect your “Sweet Caroline” sing-a-long skills. Enjoy!
I cannot believe that this picture was four years ago. That means that it’s been that long since my friend Courtney visited and since we did the House Hunters thing. Doesn’t feel like it but I guess this is where I say that time flies as you get older. In fact, I think I have whiplash… may need a Weltenburger beer to help me cope…
Faber-Castell is a pretty well-known name in Germany. They make pens, pencils, and other art supplies, and they are based in Nürnberg. You can visit their museum, which includes the very lovely old family home, the Faber-Castell Schloss*, just on the outskirts of town.
More information on tours (in German) can be found here…
Ah, vacations. I remember those. What I wouldn’t give to be lounging under an umbrella in Ios while somebody brought me a daiquiri right about now….