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Wait... Are we in Germany or Austria?

July 30, 2010 - 12:10 AM

English Camp ended around 11am on Saturday and at that point the Cramer 5 began our own little 2 day adventure alone.  We were planning to drive to Salzburg, Austria then Munich, Germany.  Within moments of getting into the car, leaving camp and driving along the beautiful countryside roads, I was completely and totally and utterly... r e l a x e d. 


Once again / ask my husband, that is always an amazing feat, but incredibly true.  Even Josh driving the windy, hilly, Bohemian countryside, I was completely r e l a x e d.  English Camp is TONS of non-stop fun that I can't wait to do again, but I think everyone would agree it is nice... that first moment of silence after camp is over, similar only to the *sigh* right before you fall asleep at night after an amazing day.  Being in the car, our three kids happy in their car seats, Josh driving wonderfully, a picture perfect day, no agenda, nothing to do but sit... *sigh* 

I was so r e l a x e d we drove right through a border crossing and didn't realize until 30 miles later that we had crossed a border.  After a quick search on the internet, we learned that it didn't matter anymore since Czech is in the EU and thanks to Schengen border rules.  (Phew!)  I was so r e l a x e d I thought we were in an entirely different country than we were.

Our first big, planned stop we programmed into TomTom Europe was specifically for our kids...


Yeppers, for their first meal after camp we let them eat at McDonald's!  Our kids were super champs with the camp food so we happily let them have this as their reward!  (I don't think we've eaten at McDonald's in over 4 years, whenever it was we saw Super Size Me.)  I did have a bite of Zeke's Big-n-Tasty, and I must say, it tasted like a real hamburger.  We heard this was because Europe has different standards on the quality of food in fast food joints, but whatever the case, it was surprisingly decent.  From a McDonald's?  Who knew!  Except for the fact that they only took cash, it was definitely a meal and surroundings that the kids recognized from "home" and really enjoyed!

bikes and beer

Josh and I didn't have our celebratory meal at McDonald's, instead The Wirtshaus Beirgarten was where we ate our lunch.  We had our stomachs set on eating some delicious local food and me drinking local wine and beer.  Since we were unsure if other European countries had the same drinking rules that Czech has and since I wasn't authorized to drive our rental car, I got to do all the drinking, :)!  

(The city was absolutely covered in cyclists of all shapes and sizes and kinds, from the 65 year old decked out in gear from head to toe to the hippy-esque carrying their home on their bike.  Everyone parked their bikes, unlocked, around the city, and right in front of this beer garden.)

beer garden

Maybe it was because we are novice foodies, maybe it was because we were hungry, maybe because of camp mystery meat, maybe because of the restaurant itself, whatever the case... With each bite we took of our food, we sighed the most happiest sigh, we yummed the happiest yums, we marveled how everything tasted so, so good it literally melted in our mouths.



I about cried when I ate this salad, I was SO happy to eat a salad.  If you know me at all you know how much I love, love, love eating salads, and OH how I loved this salad.  The dressing was different but delicious!  The veggies were normal veggies but they were veggies(!) and they were green, red and orange!  SO colorful!  OH, how I had missed color!




We knew we were in a city named Passau and this was their local brew.  It was delicious!  It's interesting how in the states the local brews are more common to be hit or miss.  As we would find in our travels around Europe, the local brews were always amazing.  Once I had this beer I started to question exactly what country we were actually in... I thought we were in Austria, isn't that south of Czech?  But maybe we were in Germany.


Once back in the car, I looked up on TomTom where exactly we were and it turned out we were NOT in Austria as I had been thinking (since the border crossing!) but we were actually in Germany.  Doh!  Obviously before leaving I hadn't looked at the map close enough to see the little jut in part of Germany.  In my defense, TomTom Europe did NOT have dark/obvious border lines on their maps.  They are this light gray, lighter than the below Google map.  Just saying!  (Oh, and if I could put this photo in quotes to prove my point, I would, :)!  But see, see how I could have been confused?)

google map

When I realized we had been in Germany the whole time, I was SO happy!  See, the short little jaunt we did make into Germany, where I thought it was Austria, I was very bummed.  I have always had these very picturesque visions of Austrian villages.  Every little village we had driven through thus far was not like that at all, there was tons of advertising on buildings, lots of modern buildings, very industrialized.  Once I figured out that what I thought was Austria was Germany, I was tickled pink!  I had not missed seeing the cute little Austrian villages, we just hadn't gotten to them yet, hooray!


Response to Wait... Are we in Germany or Austria?

  • Josh said on July 30, 2010 - 9:30 AM

    Great story! Nothing like wandering blindly around europe via the guidance of TomTom.

  • Nancy H. said on July 30, 2010 - 8:13 PM

    Dana, I am so LOVE LOVE LOVING your stories! Thank you so much for taking the time to write these all up! (I know it takes time!!) I am so enjoying it! I, too, would love to see some picturesque Austrian/Swiss towns...can't wait for the rest of the stories!

  • Dana said on July 31, 2010 - 10:27 AM

    Josh - I wouldn't have had it any other way! :)! Nancy - Thanks! I really want to write them out before I forget! Because I have almost forgot some things already, oy!

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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