Brian Markowich

Brian and Amy

Brian Markowich

We are aircraft engineers and part time dog trainers. We're off to Germany to visit family and enjoy the sites for two weeks.



Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 17th 2013

Our last day has arrived. We got up at 0530 to get ready, say goodbyes and be on time for our early van pickup. We’ll really miss our days with Aunt Eva and getting to spend time in person with Mom and Jerry. Our family in Germany is very gracious with their time, their energy, their ideas for excursions. and of course, their food and wine (!). They are truly what make our trips very special. We are a few years older and maybe our adventures now are a little more modest than our 2005 New Zealand glacier hiking, whale watching, and forest hikes. Despite that, we hope you found some fun trailing along with us. It was a great, low-key trip that focused more on visiting and that was exactly what we all needed. Hey, ... read more
True Love
Home

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 16th 2013

Today was a very windy, rainy, cold day. Even so, we decided we should bike around and pick up some last items to take home. We had a nice lunch of “Schnitzel im Brotchen” at a café and then sped home to avoid the raindrops. We packed our bags and made some last “wurst” sandwiches to take on the plane. We had lamb, more schnitzel, potatoes, salad, and a huge bowl of hot chili peppers for dinner. Britta, Osse and Nik stopped by one last time to say goodbye and pick up their bikes. Thank you, Britta and Osse, for loaning them to us and giving us some mobility! We’ll miss everyone but are looking forward to getting back to our own house and dogs.... read more
You have to look closely

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 15th 2013

Today we set out to visit a “Burg” in Southern Germany. Britta and Osse took us to Burg Berwartstein. Berwartstein "Castle" belongs to a category of rock castles that were part of Palatinate defenses during the Middle Ages. Stairs, passages and rooms are carved out of rock to form a complete living system which was essential to defending the castle. There’s a good story about one of the original owners, the Knight (Ritter) Hans Trapp. He was given Berwartstein as a fiefdom and became a robber baron. Kind of like Robin Hood but he kept the money, stealing from travelers and fighting with the monks in Wissembourg who felt he should not have the castle. His symbol was a raven, which is known for taking shiny things like rings. His legend grew with children in France ... read more
Raven
Armor
I'm King of the World

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Bad Durkheim September 14th 2013

Today is Britta and Osse’s daughter, Lotte’s, birthday brunch. We skipped the big breakfast and Brian opted for a run while Amy caught up on the blog. We drove about 20 minutes to a suburb of Bad Durkheim (remember that from the Wurstmarkt Day?) and got to see everyone all together. Lotte is studying Theology and Aunt Eva gave her a Chinese Bible that belonged to her great-grandparents (the parents of Uncle Johannes) from 1916, who were missionaries just like the Wilhelm family. What an interesting connection to the past! The food was an assortment of everything you could imagine. Brian and Amy took a detour after brunch to go back to the Wurstmarkt to look around in the daylight. We did some souvenir shopping but didn’t have much luck. Britta picked us up and we ... read more
Chinese Bible
Olga
family photo

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 13th 2013

Today, Brian and Amy went to the “Luisenpark” in Mannheim. This is a big, beautiful park with flowers, gardens and animals. Very much like Central Park in New York City. It was too hard to bike there because it’s big city driving and you had to find a bridge to cross the Rhine. We took a taxi which cost a little more Euro compared to the bus/train but the convenience and speed couldn’t be beat (next time, we’ll learn the public transit system and buy day passes!). We lucked out with the weather. It warmed up just enough and the sun came out often. We walked through sculptures, roamed all kinds of gardens, saw the Chinese pagoda, visited all the animals (penguins for Amy and snakes for Brian!), played in the playgrounds, and even spent some ... read more
Pretty Lady
Weird Fish
Boat Ride

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 12th 2013

The weather looked a little better today so we went back to Frankenthal so Peggie and Jerry could do some shopping, too. Brian and Amy also wanted to pick up some things that would have been too hard to carry on the bicycles. We saw a beautiful Belgian Tervuren like Griffin and Edge and spoke with the owner. Made us a little homesick for our own pups. Amy bought some things for the bookshelf, an ornament and some scarves. Brian wants to go back and look again when we have more time. We might even try the Ludwigshafen mall which is new. It started raining on us a little so we scampered back home for some white asparagus soup which was perfect for the chilly day. Tonight was leftover night. Amy made a crisp for wine:30 ... read more
Terv
Nik
Nik

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 11th 2013

We awoke today to chilly rain which did not support today's main events - shopping in Frankenthal or a longer bike ride. Instead, Brian went for a run (it was actually very pleasant) and Amy did her knee and neck exercises (physical therapy). Today was also a good day for Brian to catch up on his reading - dog aggression. Did you expect something else? When the weather finally cleared, Brian and Amy went for a walk around town and did a little work (just a little - we've been very good so far). By that time it was.....wine-thirty. A break for a quick story..... For today's wine snack, we ate some salami from the Wurstmarkt (see pic) but there's a story behind the salami. Amy spotted said salami hanging in a booth and Brian decided ... read more
Family Dinner

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 10th 2013

We woke to a drizzly, gray day. Today, while Eva, Peggie and Jerry went shopping, we went for a bike ride to the town of Frankenthal. It was much cooler today, only 15 degrees Celsius. We were brave until we got to the busy road where cars were zipping around us and we were without helmets. We decided to park the bikes and walk around the town. We also had to warm up from the cold breeze that was a little more than we planned when we left the house. It was market day in the square so we got to see all the fresh fruits and vegetables and walk and shop a little. You can see some pictures from our day. The gnome probably found his best chance at love but we weren’t willing to ... read more
Teddy Bear
The Goat (part II)
Ms. Gnome?

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Ludwigshafen am Rhein September 10th 2013

Today is designed to be a quiet day. We caught up and posted the blog. Today we included some pictures of Aunt Eva’s garden so you can see her beautiful flowers. Brian went for a run, Jerry walked loops around the park while Amy did her exercises there. We went for a trip to the REWE, better known as the “R-store” to track down some Cola-light (better known as Diet Coke). Brian was going through withdrawals. He also managed to locate some microwave popcorn. On our walk around the neighborhood, we found an interesting Mini-Cooper. Maybe our green one is too boring. The gnome liked the skull design. He’s also discovered he likes wine very much. He thinks having lots of it may help with his search for a girlfriend. Aunt Eva made “lecker” (tasty) Chinese ... read more
Eva's Garden
More garden
Aunt Eva


Today we headed to the small village of Dirmstein where Brian’s cousin Karin and her husband, Roland, live. We went to watch a local parade. Aunt Eva’s son, Uli, was also able to come so it was a nice treat to get to see him. The town and parade was very cute and quaint – a little like a Leonardtown parade. There were fire trucks, bands, and political floats and they gave out candy, popcorn, popsicles and fresh “new” wine like grape juice. Then we went to a mini-Wurstmarkt, a baby local version with music, wine, bratwurst, brotchen, crepes and rides for the “kinder”. One of the bands from the parade tried an impromptu concert right next to us (see Aunt Eva’s and Amy’s faces) and drove us back to Karin’s house where we could visit ... read more
Nice hat
Kids
Fall festival




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