Since I'd been to this region before, I knew where I wanted to go, and I needed a car to do it - I'm an off-the-beaten-track adventurer, avoiding crowds, tours and urban sprawl whenever I can. I chase after hygge (a word I learned on our trip to Scandinavia, roughly translated "cozy"/"quaint"). So I cobbled together this itinerary - 2 weeks, 5 countries, and the people I love most.
Let's have a closer look:
I'm going to do a post for each leg of the trip. And if you prefer live action to photos, the uber cool music videos the kids put together are on YouTube at the links below:
GERMANY by Lorelei & Gryffin
FRANCE by Lorelei
SWITZERLAND by Lorelei
AUSTRIA/CZECH REPUBLIC (by me)
I'm so grateful for these music videos, all put to the tunes from our vacation play list!
Now that we've covered those details, let's begin from the beginning! We flew from KC to Atlanta to Frankfurt, with one iPad and two phones with French SIM cards for making travel arrangements/checking in with lodging, but the kids were unplugged. No technology. From the start, they were busy doodling and reading and creating worlds from their imaginations. It was grand!
Bacharach on the Rhine.
See that castle in the background?
That was our home base.
Before checking in to our castle, we took a Rhine cruise between Bacharach and St. Goar - the whole area is dotted with castles, and...the Loreley! Lorelei was named after this spot, where legend holds an alluring siren (mermaid) sings and mesmerizes passing sailors, wrecking their ships. I first visited the Loreley when I was 16, and fell in love with the name. Mark and I came back to this spot in college, and I knew that one day I would have a daughter named Lorelei.
St. Goar bore her name!
After exploring St. Goar, we cruised back to our home base in Bacharach and searched everywhere for a place that offered a late lunch. Europe closes down mid-day, to their credit: they value rest and life balance. However, it took awhile to discover a place to eat, and we were hungry!
... and our room, tucked behind the castle tower and through this door (where, by the way, about a hundred German schoolchildren were vacationing on field trip, with whom we shared meals and courtyard games). Our huge room was lined with bunk beds - all ours! - allowing us ample space to rest up before tomorrow's border crossing into my favorite region of Alsace, France.
To be continued...