Brian Markowich

Brian and Amy

Brian Markowich

We are aircraft engineers and part time dog trainers. We love to travel and see beautiful scenery and wildlife around the world.

North America » United States » Maryland » Leonardtown June 3rd 2015

Still stressing about the laptops but, with hope in our hearts, we had a nice breakfast at the Embassy Suites. We waited to miss the morning rush hour and used the time to track down an actual human, Patrick, at TSA to work Mission Laptop Recovery. This was a feat and involved tracking down a Supervisor from an old online newspaper article (saying people hardly ever get their stuff and they have rooms full), calling her voice mail and then getting a special number from her message. Score one for Amy’s persistence. Apparently, TSA Lost and Found does everything by voicemail and email and tries to avoid contact (Ummm, maybe this is why no one gets their stuff from the big room full of IPads, Laptops and lost jewelry!) Talking to a person was much more ... read more

We all were up for an early Taxi and lots of goodbye hugs and thank-yous for another memorable trip. Aunt Eva is a wonderful host and we hate to leave her. We got caught in traffic on the way to Frankfurt but still had plenty of time at the airport. Peggie and Jerry headed off for Condor and we went toward United. We spent our last Euros on pretzels, sandwiches, Cola Light for the airplane and some last interesting chocolate bars. An 8 hour flight later, we were in Newark and then….it went all bad. The mean stewardesses made us gate check our luggage so we had to wait for it at customs which took FOREVER. We only had a 1.5 hour layover for our next flight and there was no way to make it. Luckily, ... read more

We walked around Edigheim and Frankenthal for our last steps in Germany. We met our walking goals every day, plus some, especially from hiking in Switzerland! Amy had her last pistachio ice cream and some yummy pommes frites for the walk home which almost certainly canceled out all the good exercise. Despite 6 or more miles a day, all the bread, pretzels, wine, sekt, prosecco, wurst, kase, ice cream, gelato, bugles, and dinners have likely added to our poundage. Count-down to Leonardtown weigh-in has begun.... read more

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Maulbronn May 31st 2015

Everyone met at our hotel for a huge breakfast buffet. Wedding guests filled the hotel and when Reinhard and Elena arrived, they were applauded to loud cheers. Folks began to say their goodbyes and get on their way. Osse suggested a trip to the Maulbronn Monastery, a World Heritage site right down the street, and several of us went there to explore. We took a guided tour in German but we had an English audio version as well. Some things were highlighted on the recording and some by the guide. Brian, Jerry, Osse, Lotte, and Flo all shared facts so we got the maximum culture and information. It was very interesting. The Monastery was founded by the Cistercian Monks, was very wealthy for the time and had a major impact on the area. It's one of ... read more

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Maulbronn May 30th 2015

We got up early for a brisk walk to get in some steps. Then it was time to get ready for the wedding. Everyone put on their best clothes and we left in a caravan to drive to the ceremony in Vaihingen an der Enz and Maulbronn. The church wedding was beautiful and Elena looked stunning. We couldn’t understand all the words but it was clear it was all about love. Reinhard is a member of the local volunteer fire brigade and he and Elena exited the church through coils of hose held by his fellow firefighters. They made Reinhard stand under a ladder and lower a bouquet to Elena on a rope wearing big fireman’s gloves. Very cute! Then the firemen served the crowd fruit,cheese, pretzels with butter, Sekt and juice. You KNOW we were ... read more

Today was a quiet day at Aunt Eva’s. Brian went for a run and we did laundry, downloaded pictures, and caught up on the blog. We also went for a walk around Edigheim and to Frankenthal to get our steps (and some gelato too, of course) Tomorrow, we leave for the wedding so we all spent time packing and turned in early.... read more

We had our last breakfast at the Hotel Seeburg, had a last walk, took a few pictures with the sun shining, and checked out. We got to the station for our regular train but, for once, it was late! Sure, it was less then 10 minutes but it made us miss the train to Interlaken West since all the schedules are so tight. We decided to just walk between stations. This time, because we knew where we were going, it was easier and seemed much shorter. We did some last minute shopping, got our tickets, and headed back to Mannheim Station in Germany. As we were leaving Switzerland, we got a few questions from what we guessed were Customs Agents. We showed him the souvenirs we bought and he kind of rolled his eyes and went ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 27th 2015

We had another lovely breakfast at the hotel and set off to catch our standard 0919 train. We looked around at all the shops and were at out meeting place for the tour in plenty of time. The main tour starts in Zurich and picked us up (and 4 others) in Interlaken. We were in a small minibus caravanning with a large tour bus through the countryside to Grindelwald, a small village. We changed to a train there. Our tour guide, Evylyn (“Just follow my blue sign!”) gave out train tickets willy-nilly to the big group. We were polite and waited our turn until last and she was one ticket short. Guess who didn’t get a ticket? Amy got the pleasure of telling every ticket collector to “Go talk to Evylyn!” Some were crankier about it ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 26th 2015

It rained steadily through the night and into the morning but it looked like there could be some breaks in the weather in the town of Meiringen. This is where Riechenbach Falls and the Sherlock Holmes Museum is located. We took our normal train and got there early. We had to walk through the town a mile or so to get to the Reichenbach funicular station. At the top, you can see part of the falls and the fictional spot where Sherlock Holmes fell in the gorge to his death fighting Professor Moriarty. Arthur Conan Doyle visited here in 1893 and was inspired to make this be the fatal spot when he decided to retire Sherlock permanently in “The Final Problem” There was such a hue and cry that he had to bring him back in ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brienz May 25th 2015

The weather was looking terrible and rainy for Tuesday’s epic trip to Jungfraujoch. We decided to call the 24/7 Viator helpline to see what they could do. They were awesome and contacted the Swiss tour company to swap to Wednesday which was projected to be sunny and nice (we’ve heard that before!). We’re been running from this rain for 2 weeks and were amazed that they have been so accommodating. We even got the same young woman who helped us change our trip to this week and she remembered us. High marks for Viator if anyone is looking for short excursions while they are traveling. We also had good experiences with them in New Zealand. Since today was the better weather day for our independent excursions, we decided to hike to the Hinterburgseeli, a little hidden ... read more

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