For my 50th birthday, we rented an apartment in Waldkirchen, Germany near the Austrian and Czech Republic borders. It was a perfect location since we had planned to visit three big cities: Český Krumlov, Czech Republic; Salzburg, Austria; and Munich, Germany.
Of course, we went during a very hot and sweaty week with lots of tourists and temperatures in the mid to high 90’s. It took a bit of the fizz out, but we still enjoyed our time. Normally, we do our travels in the off-season, so it was a new experience. These pictures are just a morsel from the number I took.
The drive to Waldkirchen took longer than expected due to the never-ending construction work between Würzburg and Nuremberg, so once we arrived, we just ate and hung out at the apartment.
We woke to a beautiful second day and decided to get some walking in since we had been in the car the prior day. Our host, Olivier, informed us of an observation tower up the road from where we were staying. On a clear day, you can see Austria. He said the forest area and walk is a bit rugged from bad storms they had a year ago. So we trudged up to the observation tower. Olivier forgot to mention how steep it was in such a short distance: 0.41 miles and 300 feet. There were many fallen trees, and since Germany didn’t experience much rain this year, the grass in areas looks like hay.
This is a picture of the tower and the ski lift.
After we caught our breaths and took pictures, we headed into the town of Waldkirchen where they have several hiking trails. We decided on the Saußbachklamm trail, which is 3.7 miles. It started in town and then drifted into the forest.
Then we walked around town.
After a nice meal in town, we drove a half hour to Passau, known as “The Three Rivers City.” It’s situated by the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers. The earliest of settlements date back to the Neolithic. For 400 years, it was part of the Roman Empire. In 1803, it was incorporated into Bavaria.
One of many things I love about Europe is its cathedrals. I’m drawn to them. When I stepped into St. Stephan Cathedral, it took my breath away.
We came across this creative street lined with artist shops.
The next day was my 50th birthday and I couldn’t wait to visit Český Krumlov. The drive was 1-1/2 hours long and all of it on country roads. It turned out to be our favorite city of the three big cities we visited.
From 1918 to 1993, the Czech Republic was known as Czechoslovakia, a sovereign state, until declaring independence in January 1993 and separating into two–the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic is part of the EU, but it uses the Czech Koruna (Crown) instead of the Euro.
This is what we first saw from the parking lot.
We climbed up to the castle gardens. By then, we were sweaty and exhausted, so my husband decided to lay down a bit.
We went rafting in the afternoon to cool off. It was a 6 mile raft trip with several little rapids, but we were able to stay afloat. Since the camera was in a waterproof bag, I didn’t get to take pictures along the route.
Please join me next week with the continuation of my celebration.
Birthdays and History,