The Black Forest, Austria, and Hamburg, Oh My!

I can’t believe it has been nearly two months since my last post. I had been doing so well to regularly update all of my readers about the goings on of my life, and it’s time to (try) and get back in the swing of things.

The last two months have been chocked full of great adventures. My husband’s birthday is May 31st, and to celebrate we went to the Schwartzwald (The Black Forest). We were there 5 days and it was absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. I won’t bore you with lots of words. Instead, I’ll just give you some pretty pictures to look at…

This was the view from our apartment window. We were high in the hills and the apartment had fresh mountain water that tasted great and made our skin so soft. We miss it!
We took a leisurely drive through the hills with this view all around.
When we left the Schwartzwald, we took a trip to Lake Constance. In the middle of the lake there is an island called Mainau Island. It has also been nicknamed “The Flower Island” and with good reason. We spent about 6 hours trekking around the island and all I kept saying was that I wished we had more time there. It is so gorgeous!
There is a castle on Mainau Island and this is the garden. There were flower buds everywhere. If we had been there just one week later, I think this picture would look much different, but it was still beautiful.

We also went to Strasbourg, France on this trip. We’d been once before and it’s really one of my most favorite places. It is so romantic and beautiful!

My birthday is June 21st – exactly three weeks after my husband’s. Three days before my birthday, he surprised me by telling me I needed to pack a bag for two nights and he said we’d be leaving on June 20th after we both got home from work. When we left that day, I knew we were going toward the direction of Munich which is about 90 minutes directly south of us. After a while, my husband asked, “Are you excited to spend your birthday in Munich?” Honestly, I wasn’t. I’m always saying how much I want to spend the weekend there and check it out. It’s so close but we’ve never really explored it and I’d like to, but I like to relax and be in the nature on my birthday, not surrounded by throngs of people in a noisy city. But I put a smile on my face and with a heart full of true gratitude I said, “Yes! I’m excited to spend my birthday with you in Munich!” But we kept driving, and driving, and driving, and the Alps, which can be seen in the distance from Munich, got bigger and bigger. Pretty soon I knew I’d been duped and I was thrilled.

Austria is my favorite country in the world (of the ones I’ve visited anyway). The people treat you like family and the landscape is beautiful enough to make you weep. It’s spectacular, and I knew that’s where my romantic hubby was taking me. He always wants my birthdays to be so perfect.

We spent my birthday climbing up the side of a waterfall. It was the first waterfall I’ve ever seen and it’s said to be the biggest in all of Europe. The entire hike was 14km/8.7 miles, and it took me about 5 hours.

Our apartment in the mountains. What a view!!!


The view from the top. Isn’t that incredible!?
Proof that I actually carried my body up that hill to the very, very top of this thing! 🙂

The day after my birthday we stopped at the Königsee (King Lake) before going home. We took a boat ride on the lake, had ice cream, and walked around a little. It was amazing.

The water in the Königsee comes from the mountains so it’s ice cold, crystal clear, and clean enough to drink.


On July 14th, we traveled to Soltau, Germany. It’s in the north near Hamburg and takes about 7.5 hours by car (including stops) to get there from where we live. My husband was competing in a Germany’s Best Drivers competition which is sponsored by AutoBild magazine. He competed 10 years ago and out of about 200-300,000 applicants, he came in 20th place. The prelims were this past week and if he qualifies, he’ll go on to the finals which will be an all-expense-paid weekend for two in Berlin. In 3 days, we drove about 22 hours. It was an exhausting trip but any time I get to spend with my sweetie is fun for me. We drove further north and went to the North Sea, but it was way too cold and windy to enjoy it much.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. In two months, my husband has a three week vacation scheduled so we’ll be saving up from now until then and probably not traveling much. I’m sure I’ll have some non-travel-updates to share though.

Life in Germany is always exciting. 🙂 In the coming days I’ll post about my progress with the German language, my new friendships, and my job. Just a general life-post. But for now, you should know that my life is amazing and my heart is full.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Looking forward to your life post and especially hearing about your progress with German! We live a short distance from the Schwarzwald and love it there – the air is so clean and hiking possibilities are endless. If you liked the places you stayed, I’d love to hear where they were. While Munich wouldn’t be my first choice for a birthday weekend either, I adore the city and relish an excuse to go there. I know it well, though, having dragged groups of American students through it on educational tours – that probably helps. 🙂

    1. The place we stayed in the Schwartzwald was perhaps the best place I’ve ever rented. The owners are amazing. One morning we woke up with 2 fresh eggs at our door, but of course it was more than just fresh eggs. They came sitting in a basket on top of straw and with a little decorative wooden chicken and a note that said “Happy eggs from happy chickens.” Everything the owner does is done artistically and beautifully. The extra roll of toilet paper we requested even came in a decorative basket! 😀

      The apartment is newly renovated so it has a fresh, clean feel, and the price is equally incredible. I HIGHLY recommend this place. Here’s their website: We stayed in the Sternenblick apartment.

      And I’m glad to know you’re really familiar with Munich. When I finally corral my husband into taking me there sometime, I’ll definitely be contacting you for the best places to see. I know there’s a lot to do there so I want to go with a plan!

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