Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Karen's Visit Part 2

The next day was Easter and Elke had a wonderful breakfast waiting for us,
 complete with Easter chocolate!

After breakfast Karen, Eric, Alyssa, and I went out to visit Bebenhausen Monastery. 
It was pretty close by and Alyssa had never been! Plus it was open on Easter. 
This is the small village surrounding the monastery.

We spent a lot of time exploring the outside of the monastery- it was lovely!

There was a small section where you could explore the kitchens 
which had been installed in 1915.

The grounds were beautiful and full of lots of picturesque scenery. It is hard to believe this monastery is pretty much unknown. If this were in the US if would be very famous! 

After much wandering around the grounds we paid the entrance fee and went inside.

It had a great cloister- Eric and I love them!

After the monastery we ate a late lunch at a local restaurant.

I ordered the spätzle and lentils. It was more food than I was expecting!

After lunch we went back to the Grözingers. 
Elke offered to be a tour guide and took us to this cute neighboring town.

This town also had Easter egg garlands on their fountains, just like Rothenburg.

We expressed interest in seeing some Grözinger fruit trees so Elke took us on a tour! 
They have lots of trees spread out all over town. 
We went to a field where there are the most in one place.

After all that Elke then cooked us a wonderful Easter dinner.

Fresh Spargel!

We somehow learned for the first time that there are hedgehogs living in the Grözingers back yard... how did we not know??? Cutest infestation ever!!! They even have hedgehog houses built for them to hibernate in over the winter. We put some of Felix's food out and Gerhard provided us with a night vision scope so that we could try and see the hedgehogs at night. We managed to catch a glimpse of one but somehow missed the entire cat food bowl being eaten.

Before we left the next morning I was able to get in my customary gerbil time.

The Grözingers were very kind and took us to a Besenwirtschaft. Gerhard did not really 
want to go because they had plans to do Easter brunch right afterwards but he 
let the Americans (and Elke) talk him in to going anyways.  The broom means they are open!

A Besenwirtschaft is a farmhouse/restaurant that is only open for a very short amount of time, anywhere from a week to a month per year. The farmers serve all of the food (meat) and drinks (wine) that they have produced during the year. We showed up about 40 minutes before it opened and there were about 20 people already waiting. It was definitely an older crowd. However, we were assured that since the Besenwirtschafts are open late, the younger crowd is there until the early hours of the morning drinking.

A key feature of Besenwirtschafts are large tables you squeeze into next to strangers.

This one had menus! There are also waiters and waitresses that are 
friends and family of the farmers.

Karen drinking wine with her unknown neighbor.

Gerhard ordered this for everyone: homemade bread with homemade schmaltz spread. 
(Schmaltz is pretty much bacon bits in bacon fat.) 
Eric just told me 1 tablespoon of schmaltz has 13 grams of fat.

My stranger neighbors were kind and let me take of photo of them and their MASSIVE amount of food that arrived before ours did. Those dark things are two pieces of schnitzel on her plate.

This was a professional operation; we filled out the order 
form and handed that to our waitress.

Gerhard also ordered these homemade liver and blood sausages for us to share. 

My meal arrived! It was really good- meaty cheesy toast. I was glad I did not order anything that came with sauerkraut.  The sauerkraut portions were a meal unto themselves.

It was understandable why Gerhard didn't want to come right before a meal- the portions were huge!! But also delicious and inexpensive. Karen treated everyone- thank you, Karen! We left the Grözingers to their Easter Monday festivites and we headed back to Marburg. 
Along the way we stopped at this garden.

When we arrived back in Marburg we had to say goodbye to Karen. Her flight left the next day so it was the end of our travels together. We had a really nice time showing her Marburg and of course being entertained by the Grözingers. Thank you Karen for your wonderful visit!! And thank you Grözingers- the world's best hosts!