The Doll and Toy Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

I’ve been waiting to share this gem with you all but with a slightly heavy heart. When I was a little girl my sweet, sweet Grammy used to bring me to a Doll Museum in Rochester and this was such a highlight for both of us. She collected dolls which are now antiques and I had collected a few when I was younger in hopes that those too will one day be antiques for my grandchild to admire.

While we were in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we hit up as many museums as we could in the short time that they were open. The Christmas museum was great of course but this museum hit home and was absolutely the highlight of the day for me. Sadly, this museum will be closing due to the fact that people haven’t been visiting as much. It’s too much money to keep it open without much income. So, needless to say, I’m glad I got a chance to see this before they auction off all the amazing pieces.

But I write this post with a lump in my throat and a pain in my heart that more people in the world aren’t interested in this history. There were SO many people going to the Criminal (Torture) museum which was also great but really depressing and sickening. This museum is history of happy times and happy children. How is this not interesting? Are we all really so morbid? There was an older woman at this toy museum who told us about how no one comes anymore and she tries to visit several times a week to admire it all before it goes. I’m sure some of this reminded her of happy childhood days. You could see it in her face how sad she was to see it go. So I ask all of you who are in Germany and surrounding countries to please go and check out this wonderful museum!

This museum was a collection from one woman, Katharina Engels. She collected all these dolls, houses, and toys from the past 200 years mostly from doll and toy makers in France and Germany. Pay close attention to the details. The meats hanging in the butcher doll house, the details at the train station, the pans and ovens used in the kitchen, the faces on the dolls. Takes us all back to a different and much simpler times.

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To visit the Puppen und Spielzeug Museum please visit their website for opening times: http://www.spielzeugmuseum.rothenburg.de/ISY/index.php

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

The Christmas Museum

Going back to our little trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber since the snow is falling today and it’s just so incredibly Christmas-y feeling here, I wanted to share with you the Christmas museum we went to.

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First of all, you will have to excuse some of the pictures which were taken with the iPhone. They don’t really like pictures to be taken so I was careful about it!

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The museum starts from the origin of Christmas and gives a beautiful walk through the history of ornaments and decorating. Literally everything to do with Christmas is shown from the tree stands to the tree topper. I loved that they showed how over time the material used for ornaments changed with time. Some really beautiful things to see.
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For those of you who don’t know…Christmas trees were first recorded here in Germany. That makes it extra special! In fact, the trees weren’t popular in the US until around the year 1850 or so. Germans sent the trees to relatives and to German soldiers around the world and this is how it came to be that many homes all over the world celebrate with a Christmas tree in their homes. And as the trees in homes began to pick up speed, the rich people had a tree for each person in the family. So having 5 trees up in your living room wasn’t unusual. Spoiled rotten….But maybe they were on to something! They decorated them with oranges, apples, breads, and cookies and the Children would help themselves to it whenever they wanted.

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The Angel tree toppers have been made in the Nuremberg area for the past 300 years and legend has it that the angels were made by the doll maker in memory of his daughter who passed away.
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Once the museum was over, it leads you right into a massive Christmas shop with thousands of over priced ornaments and decorations. (No pictures were allowed in here either…boring.) Really beautiful things but I wouldn’t dare pay 13 Euro for a small ornament. Not in this lifetime. But it was beautiful to see nonetheless and to see all the unusual decorations. I was searching for a typical German ornament but sadly no luck!

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It was just so beautiful everywhere in there and it really helped to throw us right into the Christmas spirit!

Until next time, Readers!! xoxoxo

The Most Gorgeous Town In Germany

Now and again I browse through my travel board on Pinterest and I come across pictures of places that I know must be in the area. The greatest part about where I live, I’m surrounded by Switzerland, France, and Austria. Literally, just a short drive away. Ahhh the greatness of being an expat! One of the pictures that recently caught my eye was of a town called Rothenburg ob der Tauber:
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I did a little more research and found out it was a touristy area but for many reasons. I usually try to avoid those type of places but there was so much about this place that was drawing me in. Documents date back to the year 950 for this town which is just mind blowing! There is a town wall that goes around the entire village which makes you feel like you’re going back in time.

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This town has incredible museums which Toblerone and I loved! We started off at the Christmas Museum made our way to the Medieval Museum, and ended with the Doll & Toy museum. Because I loved these places so much and I took so many pictures, I decided to split this blog up a bit. So today, I’m sharing with you just the quaint little town.

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Thanks to our good friend wikipedia.org I learned this town has been the stage for many movies such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. I mean, walking through this place felt like I was walking through a movie. Or another time. It just didn’t feel real.

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I’m not sure where these little balls of joy came about but the Schneeballchen (snow balls) are special for this area. I wanted to say they were like fried dough but it’s more like a fortune cookie in a giant ball of yarn form. Toblerone got a nuss-nougat and I a chocolate filled one. Nothing to be excited about. I would never get them again and I think that’s the consensus from most that have tried them.

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There were souvenir shops all over the place selling over priced Christmas decorations,ornaments, and of course beer steins. Cute to see but nothing I would be willing to open my wallet for! But pass the tourists, through the streets of quaint little shops came suddenly the place I was searching for. The reason I drove over 200 kilometers. The house from the picture. Sadly it was a cold, gray day but nonetheless. Still really cool to see. One of those moments you say to yourself, “check!”

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This place was very quickly made my top favorite town in Germany. There is more history than I can even wrap my head around and full of Christmas shops which are open year round. I found my heaven at last!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

A Secret Castle In The Hills

We all know that one of the greatest perks about living in Europe is the plethora of castles at every turn. For me, I see one at least every few days. They are just everywhere and not to mention, most are preserved quite well. Thankfully, I’m not yet desensitized to seeing these massive architectural masterpieces. The magic is still very much alive!

Recently, Toblerone told me he had a surprise to show me and I always get pretty excited for these! We parked in the middle of the woods, and we walked quite a distance until appeared, from behind the thick trees, ruins of a castle built long ago.
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There was something really eerie and heart breaking about it. And although it was ruins, you could still imagine the people living here long ago.
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The history of the castle is stated on a small sign that also shows you what each room was used for.
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It Reads:
Michelstein was built in 1100
Imperial City of Rottweil destroyed it in 1377
Acquired by the Lords of Ifflinger-Granegg in 1535
Later abandoned and in 1831 it was bought back
Bequeathed by the last Baron of the Catholic Church in Rottweil
Transferred from the Swabian Hiking and Preservation Club.
In 1931 ownership granted to the club to keep the castle from further decay.

The Residential Tower

The Residential Tower

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Nestled high up on a mountaintop, far away from anything else, this castle had the perfect view of the small village below.
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It’s still so amazing to me how much history is here in Germany. How lucky I am to be surrounded by it all. Reading about this in school holds no candle to actually experiencing it in real life. FIELD TRIP!!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

Bikes R’ Us And 6500 Year Old Huts

I think the last time I rode a bike…like really rode one for hours on end without fear was probably when I was 13 or 14? Possibly earlier. Over ten years later and here I am…with a gift. An Easter gift from the in-laws-to-be…a bike. Let me rewind. This was given to me as somewhat of a joke because on Easter weekend after lunch and my massive hangover from the previous night, Toblerone’s old man wanted to show me the section of woods he owned where he cuts all his fire wood and ours too for that matter. In order to get there you either ride your moped, or bike. He chose bikes for us. Lovely. I hop on more like stumble on and as we’re going along, the handlebars are out of control and my flip flopped feet would have preferred to be on the ground. There comes a point in the road we can either turn left or right, thats it, the only options, and as his dad tells me to turn left, I go straight, Straight into a ditch and a field. Instead of using my breaks I used my flip flops. Needless to say….I was completely out of practice! This story is now a favorite for his dad to tell and honestly I don’t blame him.

HOWEVER, friends, this weekend I was brave enough to attempt a bike ride with the Toblerone. I was stalling quite a bit prior as he waited outside for me…in all honesty, I was a little anxious. I knew that going down hills was tricky for me. We hopped on our bikes and off we went towards my new gym. We wanted to see the best way for me to ride my bike there and 4 kilometers later we found ourselves at the brewery. Ha. Oops! Stopping for a beer we headed back home afterwards. And I didn’t fall off ONCE! Who’s impressed???

Oh and did I mention it was another religious holiday? Not sure what was going on but there were little things similar to the one you see here. Check out this house (or what you can see of it) it’s in my town…crazy old huh?

Speaking of OLD…We also went to the lake of Konstanz again but to a different part and went to this outside museum of houses or huts rather that were built 3500 years B.C.making that 6500 years old. Holy Nuts people…thats old. So, I went through this whole museum thing thinking that these had been here the whole time in perfect condition. Since I have been a house wife…I’ve realized I don’t use my brain as much as I used to and towards the end, realized that what they had found was bits and pieces of this stuff in the mud  and deep in the lake so those that found it this way, built it up with the tools or similar to the ones they had back then. To learn more about it you can go to their site, in English:

http://www.pfahlbauten.com/

These huts were built in the water because there were too many trees on the land so it would have taken them too much time to remove the trees. Novel idea.

“Hey Charles, I don’t really feel like cutting down all this wood to build on the land, so lets just cut the wood down and put it in the water…whaddya say?”

In the museum itself they did have many of the original pieces they found submerged in water to protect them but it was incredible to imagine and to see how they lived and how advanced they were for their time.

Then of course since we were on the water we finished our day with lunch in which case we ate fish!  What else! :-))

Until next time, Readers!!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

As Old As Can Be

One thing I love about Europe is the history that surrounds it. I feel like I’m living in a history book everytime I travel to the market or to the bakery. Incredible. You have to see it to believe it.

I’ve been eyeing this large something-or-other way up on a hill or probably more of a mountain, every time we drive by it. I can see only a small fraction of it and whether it is a farm or castle, I wanted to go explore. So Toblerone drove me up the long and windy road (queue The Beatles) and we came upon of course many hikers and hiking trails but also this beautiful church on what seemed like the top of the world. The view was absolutely incredible and right next door is an adorable true to form, German restuarant. (Obviously, can’t get enough of those!)

We walked into the church which was built in 1673, Ummm…..no words. I can’t even imagine life that far back. I mean, seriously! Crazy to me. Anywho, we lit candles for the health of our loved ones and decided to grab a bite to eat while we were there.  I had pork tenderloin in a meat gravy and of course my favorite, spaetzle and a Radler to wash it down!

Throwing you a slideshow this time. Sorry the pics aren’t the best quality, only had my handy dandy iPhone on me! Wish you all could be here to experience this!

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Until next time, readers!!  And a great big Happy 27th birthday to my Dad!!! 🙂 (inside joke…he’s not really 27!)

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog! Just enter in your email address to the right under “Sweet Tooth”, click the button and off you go! 🙂 Thanks!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

The Autobahn – aka Ride to a Quick Death

I’m not afraid of rollercoasters..nor am I afraid of any kind of ride, truthfully. Most of the time, I’m not afraid of my own driving (most are) however, for the first time in my life, I really and truly thought I could die at any moment whilst on the Autobahn.

I’m quite sure that this is probably the best thing Hitler brought to fruition in Germany, before his crazy ways he did a lot for the economy in Germany and gave lots of people many jobs. Something I must have missed in history class.

The Germans are known for their precision – we see it most in the cars they build. (BMW – MERCEDES – AUDI) These cars are built for speed, tight curves, and small spaces 🙂 But, I can definitely see it in the Autobahn.

The Autobahn itself is impeccable. Never a pothole, completely smooth pavement…no road kill. The “fun” part is the fact that there is no speed limit, although the suggested speed is 130 kilometers per hour…thats 81mph for those of you who need the conversion. That’s the suggested speed! WHAT?!

My previous post about driving to Munich for the soccer game…excuse me…football game, I mentioned how it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes where really Munich is a little over 3 hours from us. Yeah…thanks to my boyfriend’s lead foot and the Autobahn, I now have a new fear of driving. We averaged about 200 KMH which is converted to 124MPH. For those of you who think you’re good at drag racing or driving fast….you’re not.  This is a skill these people are born learning.

It’s one thing to be going 100mph but going 124mph, there is a vast difference. So, to put it into perspective….I can feel the car accelerate and I know we are about to go fast, but don’t really have a clue how fast. Then my hand goes to grasp the side handle of the door…tigther….and then tighter. Other cars are coming up on our tail much faster than us, I reckon they are going 220kmh (136mph). Then my mind starts thinking about the fact that the front wheel tire is low on air and could fall off or explode — I have no idea, it’s just going to do something. Then I turn into an old hag and ask Toblerone to slow down – IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE THE TIRE IS GOING TO FALL OFF THEN WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE AND HARLEY WILL HAVE NO PET PARENTS AND I’LL NEVER TASTE NUTELLA AND BABYBEL CHEESE AGAIN!!!!!!

That all happened in a total of 5 seconds. No lie.  There were times though I had to distract myself as not to notice the speed or that the trees we passed were a green blur. Awesome.  So, instead of being a passenger side driver, I looked into our next vacation. Let’s have a vote. Use the poll below and tell me where we should go! ( No worries, you don’t have to sign up and it’s not spam.. :-p )

I’m not sure I will ever drive on the Autobahn, I’m sure I will be at the suggested speed or lower…in the right lane. (There’s only two lanes mostly and very few Emergency break down areas.) One thing I don’t like, is all of the rest areas…you have to pay to use the bathroom. So what do I do? Of course..defy everyone and everything and just jump over the barrier. Yeah, I’m a badass.

To distress, I’m hopping in our giant bathtub — so close to getting our jacuzzi ready!! YES!

xoxoxo