As usual, I’m a bit behind posting our explorations over the past few weeks. But it’s been an incredibly hot weekend here in Würzburg (we had 38 degrees celsius yesterday, which is 100.4 fahrenheit!), and I’m finally taking some time and plunking myself down in front of the computer. Not much energy to do anything else, really!
The Mr. is seemingly on a mountainous kick, at the moment, as our day trip to Kreuzberg monastery that I wrote about in my last entry was followed up by a trip to Schwanberg. Schwanberg hill (think it’s too small to be considered an actual mountain as Wikipedia refers to it as an “elevation”) is located near the town of Kitzingen. In ancient times it was used by the Celts as a fortification, and later a castle (which still exists today) was built by the counts of Castell. We weren’t able to tour the castle as we had our pram with us and there were way too many stairs, but we still managed to find quite a bit to see and do.
The gardens surrounding the castle are easily accessible with a pram and quite pretty. They were built up from 1919-1921 in the classical baroque and English landscape garden style. We had a nice day to explore that was warm but not stifling hot, which would prove to be a lifesaver later on (I’ll get to that in a bit!)
In addition to the castle gardens, there are 32 acres around the Schwanberg to explore. There are paths circling around the top of the hill, and you can pick which route you want to take. We decided on the “frog” path, and all started off well. We had a relatively good dirt path for pushing the pram, and we figured that if it started off that way, it would most likely continue in that condition. Well, about 1/3 into the journey, we ran into a couple of guys who said something to the effect of, “Whoa, you’re brave to do this path with a pram!” The path had been pretty good thus far, but they explained that a little further up, things would get, um, more “rustic.” They recommended we turn around and head back, and in retrospect, that probably would have been the better decision. But we trudged on, and a little further up came to this:
I held onto the GABOJ, and the Mr. somehow managed to push/drag the pram over the ravine without losing it over the edge. It didn’t get much better from there. The path turned twisty and winding, up and down hill, with lots of tree stumps thrown in to make it extra interesting. We were a bit surprised that the path changed so much with no real warning, so those of you planning to do the frog path with a stroller, take heed. It’s not impossible, but it won’t be much fun.
After surviving our “little walk,” we decided we more than deserved a piece of cake and coffee. (Note that in German culture, pretty much anything you accomplish – like continuing to breathe – warrants cake and coffee 🙂 ) We grabbed a seat in the outdoor cafe and enjoyed the nice views.
The next little trip we took a few weekends later was to one of our favorite spots for lunch, Vogelsburg, followed by a trip to Marktbreit.
Vogelsburg is yet another hill with a nice outlook. (Are you detecting a pattern, yet, in where we enjoy going?) We often head here when we have a car on a weekend if we don’t have any specific plans and would just like to enjoy a nice meal. The food is very good, not too expensive, and the views down onto the Main River are beautiful, particularly if you sit outside and snag a table right against the wall. On the afternoon we went for lunch, it was too hot to sit against the wall in the sunshine, so we enjoyed our lunch in the shade. Though it was a warm day, sitting in the shade with the breeze was just about perfect. We finally forced ourselves to leave and head on towards our next and final stop, Marktbreit.
Marktbreit is a picturesque little town situated at the most southern point of the Main River. It’s a bit of a special place for us as we had rented a car on the weekend that the GABOJ ended up arriving, and during the evening before I went into labor we decided to have dinner in Marktbreit and check it out as we had never been before. Little did we know it would be the last place we’d visit before our little guy arrived. We went to the Restaurant Schloss Markbreit, and I remember that we were just about the only people in the place, and we grabbed a newspaper and were reading it as we waited for our food to arrive. I was struck by the notion that it might be one of the last quiet meals we would have, just the two of us, for a very long time. Anyway, we decided to head back and check it out a little more in summer weather (and me not heavily pregnant), and this time with the GABOJ in tow more comfortably in the pram.
It had ended up being a really hot day, so we just wandered a bit into the center of town before we found the Restaurant Schloss Marktbreit again. We had noticed the first time we were there that they had amazing looking cakes, so we came back excited to try something on offer. It was really tough to decide, but I ended up going for a cherry cake (almost like cherry pie), with a scoop of ice cream. Asking for ice cream with your cake isn’t really the norm in Germany, but it was so hot that something cold to go with it sounded good. (And it’s sort of tricky to find iced coffee here, as a side note. I’ve finally found two coffee places in Würzburg that offer it, but it might just be a seasonal thing for summertime.) Anyway, we were enjoying our cake and coffee when two ladies seated next to us began to chat to us about the GABOJ. Then, it wasn’t long before a friendly cross-dressing man in a lovely skirt from The Netherlands began chatting to us and asked to join our table. Our afternoon had taken a pretty unexpected (but interesting!) turn. Bavaria isn’t exactly a hotbed of diversity, especially in the smaller towns and villages, so it was great to see someone who clearly stood out embracing who he is and not being in any way ashamed by it.
All in all, it was a great day out, and definitely suited our little guy.