Thursday, November 3, 2016

First Hike

Tuesday was a national holiday in Germany and as such, all shops, grocery stores, government offices, etc. were closed.  We spent our free day hiking Drachenfels, a hill/mountain across the river from Bonn.  Drachenfels is the name of the hill and the ruins at the top are called Burg Drachenfels.  Burg Drachenfels was built in 1138-1167 to protect the Cologne region.  They were later destroyed.  A little over halfway up is the castle Schloss Drachenburg, which was built 1882-1884 as a private home. Today you can tour the castle and ruins.

There is the option to ride up the hill in a historic train, but we opted to hike the 2.2 km to the top and were so glad we did.  It was a great, easy hike and the scenery was beautiful!

A trickling stream that ran alongside the trail.

We found a cave!

Schloss Drachenburg 

Checking out the ruins of Burg Drachenfels. Brandtley was convinced this was the dungeon.

I'm so glad we had the opportunity to take a break since the next few days were busy with appointments.  On Wednesday, we took possession of our apartment.  

Our names are on the buzzer!

We then met with our agent to discuss next steps. Then lunch in Altstadt and a trip to Ikea.  We left the kids in the play room, which meant we were supposed to return in 1 hour, but thankfully the play room attendant said that since it was not busy, we could stay a little longer.  Speed-shopping Ikea is hard! We filled our rental SUV to the brim, then took it all back to drop off at the apartment, and went to the grocery store on our way home.  

Do Aldi's in the US have these??  You can return your empty plastic & glass bottles for $0.25 each.

I'm pretty sure Aldi in the US doesn't have Sauerbraten 

Today was our immigration appointment, then bank appointment where we opened our German account, then grocery "browsing" at a new store, lunch, cell phone set up (still not complete...we go back on Saturday and are keeping our fingers crossed that we can walk out with new phone numbers!!), pick up of the laboriously selected coffee maker, purchase of a washing machine, back to the apartment to drop off luggage, then another grocery trip.   

Somewhere in there we also stopped by some lovely outdoor markets near our new home.

Johannisbeeren!! (Currants)

My Cafe Latte at lunch on Wednesday. mmm. I love how they are served in tall glasses in Europe.

Gluten Free Meals: My scanner app is working well at the supermarkts and grocery shopping is not too hard (other than taking the time to scan every item).  Our lunch Wednesday was at Dean & David, and lunch Thursday was at Vapiano.  Both are well known for having gluten free options.  In fact, I found them through Celiac Roads app, and we stuck with safe places this week due to the stress & busy-ness of the transition. I was impressed with both.  I spoke with the cook at Dean & David and he assured me that the curry we ordered for Brandtley was gluten free.  I think he also made sure there were no other allergens as well and B got a vegan, gluten free, nut free meal!  Oh well, the safer the better.  (It tasted wonderful!)

I was also pleased to find that Vapiano has cooking stations that are dedicated only to gluten free food, which avoids cross contamination, and the staff & cooks were very knowledgeable as well.  B had Risotto al Funghi, which I also ordered and it was delicious. I felt the precautions taken to avoid cross contamination were enough that I'd feel comfortable with him having a glutenfrei pizza or pasta there too.

No comments:

Post a Comment