On your second weekend in a new country where you’ve just moved do you..
(a) sleep in
(b) clean and organize
(c) study language books
If you answered anything but (d), you’re reading the wrong blog! We headed out to ride the Schauinslandbahn, the longest circulating cable car in Germany. We took a bus to the bottom of the mountain and you’ll never guess who we met!!!
Santa Claus was on our bus! And even better than that, we now know he speaks German! He was sporting his holiday haircut and beard, short, very short. He was, as I mentioned, on holiday with a bunch of his buddies. But that did not stop him from having T-Rex sit on his lap the whole bus ride. T-Rex still doesn’t quite understand that not everyone in the world speaks or understands English! We did not get a picture with him – we were a little star struck and didn’t want to draw attention to his fame.
Trip report tips:
1. Keep it cheap! Though we did buy two, full-priced, return tickets (up and back down the mountain), there are other ways to reduce costs. First, bring your kids with you! Both boys were free. Look for any other discounts you can (student, senior, bahn card holder, etc). You can also pay to go up and walk or bike down if your kiddies are bigger than mine and not begging to be carried the first five minutes on the mountain.
2. Get a map! You don’t want to be lost AND tired/hungry/frustrated/cold/wet/etc. And best of all, these maps are almost always free.
3. Bring your own lunch! Of course there was a restaurant at the top station but why pay when you can bring your own? We had about 5 euro worth of food for all four of us (Screech can eat bits of turkey, bread, banana etc so it’s like he is eating a sandwich too). I don’t even think you could buy a drink at that restaurant for 5 euro.
4. Bring the right equipment! We have a Snugli cross-terrain backpack carrier. I’m not endorsing this product, simply stating that we have one. There are lots of other models out there. An internal frame backpack carrier is definitely the way to go when bringing an early walker (or not walking at all in the case of my super laid-back Screech) on an outdoor excursion. When we took T-Rex to Ireland last summer (Screech was still baking in the oven), everyone marveled at this contraption. We could’ve found our pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow selling those puppies. This thingy also lets the babies take a nap on the go if needed.
4. Be realistic about your athletic ability! Don’t stress if you can’t spend all day hiking all the trails just to get your money’s worth. The view and time spent together is worth the price. We only spent 3 hours or so on the mountain because we have ittie bitties that still take (and need) naps. Just get out there, get some fresh air, and make some memories.
One other thing.. can I just say that I LOVE how the Germans are super kid-friendly? We stepped off the cable car at the top of the mountain and, voila! A kinderspielplatz (aka playground)!! More to come on German playgrounds…