Leanbean in Germany

Military wife trying to figure out this military life

Neuschwanstein March 17, 2010

Filed under: Germany,Traveling — leanbean @ 8:16 pm

Before we came to Germany, Joe and I wrote down a list of places we would like to visit.  One of the things on the top of my list was Neuschwanstein Castle.  Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a “love letter” to the composer Richard Wagner.  It is rumored Walt Disney modeled the Cinderella Castle after Neuschwanstein.  This past Sunday we trekked it out to the middle of nowhere to visit the castle.

We got to the castle and were informed the next available tour wouldn’t be starting for an hour and a half.  We wasted time taking some pictures and eating hotdogs and donuts at the cafe.  Eventually, we walked up the hill to the castle, excited to see the inside.  The tour lasted about 30 minutes (max.) and consisted of about ten rooms.  The castle’s room were impressive but I was hoping to see more of the large castle.  Unfortunately, King Ludwig died mysteriously before the castle was finished and a lot of the rooms are incomplete.  I will say this castle was by far the nicest one we have seen in Germany, but it is also the newest.  The drive itself was not too far from Munich and we were able to locate a random McDonald’s for breakfast (score!).  Once the tour was over, we hightailed it out of there for the four hour drive home and our brief trip to Bavaria was over.

And a pretty picture from Wikipedia:


Munich, etc

Filed under: Germany,Traveling — leanbean @ 8:01 pm

Our trip to Munich was actually quite brief.  The shopping was pretty much all luxury – Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Armani, Gucci, etc.  I even managed to drag Joe inside the Bottega store without too much convincing.  Overall, we didn’t see too much of Munich because both of us were pretty cranky (one, more than the other.  I’ll let you guess which one.  *not me*)  We did manage to take some pictures of some things and once we finally ate lunch, all systems were a go.  I’m telling you, Pizza Hut has never tasted better.

The infamous Hofbrauhaus:

We walked around the beer hall for a good ten minutes before finding a seat.  The place was pretty packed and the food was awful but the experience is what people go for.

Pictures from walking around the city

At this castle a duck followed Joe around.  I was kind of hoping it might start chasing him but he didn’t give me the pleasure of my husband running away screaming like a little girl.

Some friends of ours love Munich and have gone several times.  We didn’t love it but I’m guessing it had to do with the hotel more than anything.  We stayed in a hotel that was recommended by our friends and close to the Marianplatz.  When we arrived they informed us we were staying on the fourth floor, and oh by the way the elevator is out.  It was eighty-eight steps to the fourth floor.  On top of the elevator being out, the bed was miserable.  Everytime Joe moved I felt like I was going to bounce out of the bed.  And Joe does not sleep soundly in our bed at home, so it was even worse at the hotel.  So if you visit Munich, DO NOT STAY AT THE City Partner Hotel Adria if you want to be able to sleep.


Dachau Concentration Camp March 16, 2010

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 7:14 pm

After the Audi Plant tour, we stopped by Dachau on the way to Munich.  We got there an hour and a half before it closed but were able to see everything.  There isn’t as much stuff as you would hope to see.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but there were only a couple of buildings.  Most of the original buildings are gone and have been rebuilt.  The most gruesome thing was the building where they had them take “showers” and burned the bodies.

This is one of the buildings where they slept but it is not original.  They said these buildings were suppose to house 200 people but the camp became extremely crowded and they housed hundreds more.

The “building”

The shower room

One of the most disturbing things I read at Dachau was the story about this area:

The trench to the right is there to make escape difficult for the prisoners.  You can’t see in the picture but further to the right is a bunch of barbed wire fencing and on the other side of the fence is a creek.  In the distance you can see a tower.  In the camp there were seven or eight towers that had armed guards.  I read that prisoners would often run into this area so the guards would shoot them.

The experience was in a word, disturbing but definitely worth visiting.


Audi Plant Tour

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 6:36 pm

Last Friday on our way to Munich, we stopped by the Audi Plant to get our free tour for purchasing a new car.  The tour lasted about two hours and included the assembly line for the Audi A3.  It was pretty cool seeing them stamp the metal into shape and watch them install all sorts of things.  There were three things we joked about.  1) The robots or as the tour guide called them “rabats”, reminded us of Transformers.  I was waiting for them to come alive because they were huge and kind of scary.  2) Our tour was us, one other guy and four Japanese business men.  We joked they were from Toyota because one of the guys had a little notebook and asked a million questions.  Often the tour guide would say something and they would all look at each other as if they had heard something they were going to use wherever they worked.  3) The workers looked miserable.   It was definitely not Disneyland…

All in all, Joe and I had a blast and would definitely recommend it.  Pictures were not allowed to be taken during the tour but we did manage to take some around the complex.

Our car in front of the Audi Plant in Ingolstadt

A green car Joe fell in love with despite it being Ninja Turtle green…

Some old cars at the museum

A concept car of the Q7 from 2003


Thank You Europe March 9, 2010

Filed under: Europe — leanbean @ 7:12 pm

I complain about living in Europe A LOT.  One might say too much (Joe) but this weekend living in Germany finally presented a perk.  A “suck it America” if you will.  Presenting the best thing I have ever gotten at an airport.

I got this baby THREE MONTHS before it becomes available in America.  Of course, I had to send a picture email to my mom ON HER BIRTHDAY shoving it in her face.

And yes, I am aware you can buy it via Amazon.uk but you are paying a pretty penny for it.  Therefore, I still win.


Dublin March 8, 2010

Filed under: Europe,Traveling — leanbean @ 7:31 pm

This weekend we took a very short trip to Dublin.  We left on Saturday morning around 5 am for the airport and we were welcomed to a blizzard that included lightning!  The trip to the airport was scary, especially with Joe behind the wheel.  At one point Joe decided to pass eight cars at once!  Somehow, we made it to the airport on time and in one piece.  We boarded our flight and we were on our way to Dublin for 36 blissful hours.

We tried to see everything we could, which consisted of Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, Guinness Storehouse, St. Michan’s Church, Christ Church and shopping.  The biggest “oops” moment came Saturday night when we went back to the hotel to take a nap.  Joe fell asleep around 5:30 and I fell asleep around 6:30 and we didn’t wake up till midnight, making us miss dinner and making us too tired to go out to the bars.  Luckily, we went to the bars the next day before we trekked back to the hotel.

Just some pictures of what we saw…

Dublin Castle

Christ Church

Kilmainham Gaol

Guinness Storehouse

(Notice how there is no sun in Germany?  We are practically translucent.)



Baden-Baden March 2, 2010

Filed under: Europe,Germany,Traveling — leanbean @ 6:13 pm

Baden-Baden is a town in Germany regarded as a spa town.  When Bill Clinton visited Baden-Baden he remarked “It’s so nice they had to name it twice!”  I will agree it is definitely one of the nicer towns we have been to in Germany.  There wasn’t a whole lot to see and the main attractions are the shopping, the oldest casino in Germany and the spas (none of which we indulged in) but it was definitely nice to enjoy the first nice weather in a long time and be out of house.  According to friends the spas are nice but you have to be full on naked as a jay bird and often times you are in a room full of nakedness.  I don’t know about you, but getting naked in front of your husband’s friend sounds a little mortifying to me.  Needless to say, i wasn’t sorry to not visit the spa.