Friday, September 27, 2013

Mini Adventures!

Guten Tag!

I alluded earlier in the blog that I would do a mini adventure post... and here it is! Depending on the success perhaps this will be a semi-regular post.


Eric and I put off laundry until we could no longer. There is no laundry in our building, the closest (and only) laundry mat in town is luckily only a few blocks away. Unfortunately it is not open on Sundays (like everything else in Germany) which means you have to give up a weeknight. So we packed up a lot of clothes into our backpacks (large hiking backpacks) and trucked off to Bistro Waschbrett. A combination cafe and laundry mat.

One reason we were putting off laundry is that it is 4 euros a load and .50 per 10 minutes of drying! This translates to VERY expensive. When we walked in it looked pretty much like a laundromat except everything is in German. We were looking at the machines trying to figure out what to do when a nice guy asked us if we needed help. YES! He explained everything in perfect English. It isn't too complicated but there is this weird 1/3 soap in this compartment, 2/3 soap in that compartment that we would never have figured out on our own. We were able to cram all our laundry into only 4 loads.

After we got the laundry going it was dinner time! There is an adjoining door where you can go into the bistro aspect. The bistro looks more like a bar but there is a rather large menu. We ordered food which was really cheap! Surprising since the laundry is so expensive.

Notice our Ja! laundry soap on the table. While we were eating our loads finished so we just got up mid meal, threw the wash in the dryer and came back and finished eating. I even saw the owner of the place serving food / drink to people in the laundry mat so you don't even have to come sit in the restaurant part. The whole adventure only took 2 hours from the time we left our apartment to the time we got back. And we got our laundry done and dinner! Not so painful after all.


Wehrda is a small town right next to Marburg. The only real special thing about it is it has a large shopping area with a bunch of stores Marburg does not have. I have been complaining about my pillow that came with the apartment. I tried to buy a pillow in Marburg but could only find ones that were 80 euros. A friend of ours suggested we could find cheaper pillows in Wehrda. We decided to make it more exciting and walk rather than take the bus. This turned out to be pretty successful. It was a little wet but overall nice. We got to walk along the river for most of it and came across some pleasant things. By far the most interesting was this thing in the middle of nowhere.



We looked at it for a long time and we think you buy bike inner tubes from it. Underneath the graffiti you can see the word 'fahrrad' which means bike. Spark plugs were also an option we considered.

We easily found the shopping area and bought a more reasonable pillow for a mere 15 euros. (Still expensive- I think my pillow in Oregon cost $4). Sadly I had to buy a 10 euro pillow case to go with it. But the pillow is very comfortable and I am very happy with the purchase.

Here we are waiting for the bus in the scenic Wehrda shopping district. We were not up for walking back- it was a over a 4 mile trek there. We also did a little grocery shopping at the much larger Tegut. (See grocery bag Eric is holding). Eric is representing the NW by wearing his Seattle Supersonic t-shirt.

Botanical Garden

The very next day we were looking for something to do on a Sunday and so we decided to go to the Marburg Botanical Garden. We had heard of it but to be honest it has not been at the top of our to do list. Since very few things are open on Sundays it seemed like the time to go. Plus since our Saturday was a trip to Wehrda it seemed hard to go wrong. We showed up to the garden and it was craziness! Unbeknownst to us there was a weekend garden market going on- tons of people and plant selling!

This actually made the garden really nice. We walked around looking at all the market stalls. Lots of plant selling but also lots of garden art, food, outdoor fireplaces, gardening clothes etc. Some nice church looking ladies were running a waffle stand so we bought one.

Notice Eric is wearing the same shirt. Eric- we just did laundry! No need to conserve! We also walked around the botanical garden a bit. The flower market was only going on in part of the garden so there were lots of places to explore without so many people.

While we were walking we came across this book shack. I think you borrow a book to read in the garden? Most of the books were in German but some were in English.

Botanical garden was great! We are still planning on going back when no festival is going on. Starting in October the garden is free so we will wait a little longer.

Farmers Market

We finally made it up to the farmer's market. It is held in the old town in the market square. It was great! Very small and low key but lots of delicious things.

This is Eric posing with the cheese truck.

Now here is the meat truck.

 This is Eric buying a fish sandwich for lunch.

 Eric with his goods- a fish sandwich and a weird German poppyseed pastry thing.

This is the final picture of all the delicious things we bought (minus the fish sandwich- Eric ate it!) The thing on the left was my lunch- zweibelkuchen or onion cake. The thing below it is the previously mentioned poppyseed pastry thing. We also bought this produce because it seemed like we should. Overall it was a great trip to the farmers market. Hopefully we can go again, not sure for how much longer they run.

Thanks for making it to the end of the mini adventure post! Auf Wiedersehen!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Guten Tag!

So the Pferdemarkt (horse market) actually happened the first weekend I was in Germany but it seemed more relevant to talk about Marburg first; so pretend like this just happened.

Bietigheim-Bissingen Pferdemarkt!

Our good friends the Grözingers invited us down for a long weekend to enjoy the Pferdemarkt; a large annual event that takes place in their town. When we arrived a welcome feast was waiting for us!

This is everyone (minus Eric who is taking the photo) eating a delicious homemade cake in the Grözinger's garden. After we settled in we headed to the fair. We had a nice time walking around and looking at the fair side of things. There was an absolutely crazy Oktoberfest tent with people wearing durndels, standing on tables and singing along with the band. After two minutes in the tent I think everyone was ready to get out, which we did. (Side note: the next day the tent had a handful of old people sipping beer. More our style).

I didn't take very many pictures but I did capture Eric reliving his childhood on the swing ride. He made fun of me when I didn't want to go on the ride (it made me sick last time I went on one). After the ride was over Eric told me he was starting to get sick. Sweet Justice.

The next two days we spent at the Pferdemarkt. The carnival was there the whole time along with booths to shop at (in my last post I mentioned all the brush stands we encountered), places to eat and horse activities! Here are Elke and Alyssa with the German version of elephant ears. The one on the left had yogurt and cheese on it, the one on the right powdered sugar.

 On the first day we encountered a pony exhibition:

But the main event was the jumping competition. I spent a lot of time at this part of things but other people were not as enthusiastic about the horses and wandered off. I have a ton of pictures from this part but I will only throw in a few.

The most popular horse event was the mounted police demonstration, a ton of people showed up to watch. These horses are extremely well trained and the police demonstrated by shooting blanks, putting flags over their heads, having siren cars drive up right next to them and jumping over burning things! It was pretty impressive.

The last day of the Pferdemarkt was the parade which Elke says is the most important part of the Pferdmarkt. We came prepared! Gerhard brought some cider for us to drink while we watched.

The parade was fun and had a lot of horse drawn carriages with people in period clothing. The best part about the parade was all the free wine! About 4 or 5 different groups in the parade walked by and poured wine into people's cup. Eric was a frequent customer.

This cute dog was in the parade. He was slacking because he was sitting and not handing out booze.

Right after the parade we went to the local castle because there was a pumpkin sculpture exhibition going on in the gardens! Here is the castle:

I didn't take a ton of photos (honestly, the statues were kind of creepy) but here are a few to give you an idea:


Overall it was a very nice time. The Grözingers are amazing hosts and always go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I am not giving the weekend its proper due because there were many delicious meals, eating fruit out of the garden, fireworks, present giving, and tasting of homemade schnapps that went on as well. Eric and I are already planning on coming back next year!

Next week I will get to the promised Mini Adventure post.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marburg the Town

Guten Tag!

Last week I eluded to a post about Marburg the town...and here it is!

Marburg is located about an hour North of Frankfurt. From what we can tell so far Marburg is the German equivalent of Corvallis; quaint college town. Although Marburg does have about 80,000 people; 30,000 more than Corvallis.

Here are a few snapshots I took, mostly in the charming Altstadt (old town) part of the city.

At the top of the hill is the schloss (castle). I don't have any pictures of it right now but at night it is lit up and very beautiful. I will eventually put some schloss pictures up here but for right now it is a long uphill walk to get there, and since it has been raining everyday, not a super appealing trek.

Something that Marburg has is an all brush shop. Hair brushes, toothbrushes, chimney sweeps, dish brushes- you name it. I think this must be a German thing because at the Pferdemarkt festival we came across at least 3 boothes that only sold brushes. We also passed lots of Germans buying said brushes. This Marburg shop is very charming; although they are selling a chess set in the window.

Another (German?) thing has been a lot of statue free flowing drinking water. The signs say you can drink it but so far I have not been brave enough. This is one of several fountains (all different) that are located in Marburg.

Here is a tiny model of Marburg from a long time ago? Haven't quite figured it out yet. It is located in a very central square (see picture 2) so it must be important somehow.

On the edge of the altstadt is the river Lahn. I have not walked along it much (see comment about rain) but from what I have seen it is very nice. Does not appear as though you can inner tube down it but there are paddle boats available for rent.

My final picture probably should have been in the last post but here it is anyways. It is Eric standing outside the front door of our apartment building. Did I mention our apartment is on the fourth floor? No elevator. The hike is fine if you are not carrying anything but watch out if you have a bunch of groceries. Don't even think about it if you moved to a foreign country and have 5 suitcases. Eric looks a little too happy for someone about to summit four floors...

Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Not sure what next week will be, I am thinking maybe a montage of mini adventures we have had.

Auf Wiedersehen!