Sunday, August 9, 2009
Over the river and through the vineyards to Rudesheim we went!
Our first day of sight-seeing in Germany was yesterday. Mr. Horst and Mrs. Monika took us to Rudesheim, a neat town about 45 minutes from Leeheim, to see the river Rhine and the village there. It was a cooler day. Cool enough for pants and a light jacket, but of course we were wearing shorts and t-shirts because every other day we've experienced so far has been warm and nearly hot.
The day began with waking up to a BIG german breakfast. We actually decided it was Germerican because it was a little bit of both. We had scrambled eggs and bacon and then broetchen (yuuuummy german breads of different sorts). You can put either cheese and meats on the broetchen or you can put nutella and jam. I opted for the sweeter choice: )
After breakfast we cleaned up and got ourselves together to leave. We arrived to Rudesheim and bought tickets for the ferry boat to take across the river. We had ice cream and ate it on the boat. Once we made it across the river, we walked a little through the adorable, but tourist infested town and then got our tickets for the gondola. We took the gondola up the mountain, passing over acres and acres of vineyards. It was an amazing sight the perfectly groomed rows of grape vines that covered the mountain. On the gondola, you could see not only the entire vineyard, but the entire town of Rudesheim as well as the Rhine. We happened to be going up at exactly 2 o'clock and were serenaded by the melodic chimes of the church bells striking the hour. It was more than picturesque. Germany, it's sights, sounds, smells, everything seemed to be crooning me. No doubt, I could get used to Europe.
We arrived at the top of the hill to visit a very large stature perched on the side of the mountain, overlooking the Rhine. It was a monument built in the late 1800s in remembrance of a war with the French, fought and won by the Germans. The were the watchmen of the Rhine. Though the sight was one to see...there was a sight nearby that was one....well...not to see. While I was making a film with my camera of the river and the vineyard, we heard a gentelman near us shout, "Halloooo!!" There were trills of laughter as people pointed toward a row of grapevines below where we stood. There, directly in front of us (but far enough away) was a man standing just off the trail. He was very still and the rest of his party...three girls...were walking ahead of him. They were all on a hike that takes about 4 hours in total. Apparently, there weren't any bathrooms along the way! He was peeing on the vine!! I was in the middle of filming anyway, so I got him on film as well. hahahahha! So if you ever buy wine from Ausbach vineyards and it tastes a little strange, then it was probably seasoned by the tourists of Rudesheim!
So...we stayed up on the hill a bit longer, then took the gondola back down to the town. We toured the little village some more and finally took the ferry back across the river to head home.
Once home, we had another fine meal and then Logan, Sabine, and I took a romantic walk around the town; ) hehe. I've been the third wheel for most of my life, I'm beginning to be used to it. hahah. We came back, had coffee and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the Appel family: ) It was an absolutely complete and wonderful day.
Today we had church. It was very nice. Pastor Hans Yurg spoke and worship was very good. The newly married Sabrina Appel led it. After the message we had German cake and coffee and fellowshipped with the people in the church. The people are so wonderful. I do have to admit that it made me miss home a little because of how it reminded me of it.
After church we came home, ate some take-out Chinese food and then I took a niiiiice nap. Waking up refreshed, I got some coffee, grabbed my computer, and came outside to join Mrs. Monika and Mr. Horst in their quaint back-yard garden and that is where I am now. The air is light and breezy, the sun ten times gentler than Florida's, and the birds sing all around us in the trees. It's common to have a small produce garden in the back yards. Their neighbors beside us have a very nice one with tomatoes and other vegietables. Right now they are watering it and the air is filled with the rich scent of wet soil. This reminds me of childhood summers in Sopchoppy...but without the heat!
The Appel's are two of the most generous and hospitible people I've met outside of my family and I know it's because of the Holy Spirit in them. They are so giving of everything they have and refuse any type of reimbursement. The entire trip yesterday was paid for by them. And they only continue to give! Mrs. Monika is loving and loves to give me hugs which is nice because I certainly need that! This will definitely be my home away from home while I'm in Holland.
Tomorrow morning, we will pick Lindsey up from the airport and then our adventure will begin!
Until next time.