There is a correlation between my holidays and the days of the Bahn strike in Germany. This time I already anticipated it, changed my train booking, hopped on the 80 minute late train with the significant (α > 0.01) other and got more or less relaxed to Karlsruhe, where nothing is ever going on. Unless you want to go to the Schlager Arena. With Tim Toupet. Doing cover versions of Helene Fischer.
— Joran (@derjoram) April 23, 2015
In Karlsruhe we were picked up, crossed the border and officially started the extended family visit of 2015.
The next day was the sunniest it has been in a while. We found a nice hiking tour near the German border and off we went.
First stop in Durrenbach, where Doro’s late grandparent’s house is located. The local boulangerie/patisserie had some lovely cakes on display.
We happily grabbed a few things for our pick-nick later.
We went to check a few things with the house and were greeted by the Schnautzer guarding the home.
A short drive later we found the parking spot to leave our car and climb up some pre-Vosges. The hills here are no match for the real mountains in the Vosges, reaching only around 400 m in altitude. Just the right thing for some city people with no training whatsoever.
The round trip started with the old castle of Fleckenstein, pretty broken but still impressive. The medieval people built the castle into the mountain to get an easily defendable zombie fortress. It even had an elevator, with one PP (peasant power). The peasant had to run in a human sized hamster wheel to power the lift. Good times.
The path continued up and down some hills and offered really nice views over the surrounding area.
We actually did not complete the full trip as we spend too much time going up the castles and admiring the landscape. The written guide for the tour wanted us to just hurry past and complete the whole circle in 2:45 h. We took that much time for a quarter of the tour, but enjoyed the area a lot more. And our fit bits were happy with us and awarded us with stair climbing badges.
Sunday. Church. Meh.
Some happy celebration to introduce one of the family to the realms of God and his devoted followers, some of which had bad teeth. I think the appraisal of God does not replace a good toothbrush.
After the church, we hopped in our cars, drove to a restaurant and ate. For around 3 hours. There wasn’t food on the plates at all times, but there was enough food to make one wish there wouldn’t be so much food. The food happening was preceded by a prayer for that the poor might not be hungry and how thankful we were for the food that God offered us. Then they brought the first course, Gambas, salad, ham and melon. Then duck breast with risotto. Then a variety of desserts. All accompanied and interspersed by wine, pastis, sorbet, limoncello, beer, aperitifs, digestifs…
After the restaurant we hopped in the cars to drive to the family’s place to have dinner. Because we did not just eat a ton of food and were all starving. We tried our best at going for walks, but in a village there is only so much space for walking before the motorway starts again.
I would definitely go back to do some more hiking, and Flammkuchen, but I am done for the moment with lots and lots of delicious food, meat especially. You can absolutely overeat good things. And our hosts only had decaf coffee. That was almost unbearable.
Les Vosges sont trop bonnes.