Hallo Zusammen! Now that it is clear by just looking at me that we are having a baby (or a large bowling ball),
the most frequently given advice I get from people is “(I) better sleep now, because (I) never will again!!!” And while I know this comment comes with good intentions, the 20th time hearing it wakens that snarky sarcastic side of me that just loves to be let out to play. I.e. “wait what? Are you telling me that babies don’t sleep all night?” Also, sleeping an entire night through with 2 kilos (5 lbs) sitting on top of your bladder can totally be accomplished by dread-induced willpower…
Haha. Okay, on a non sarcastic note, many have also encouraged us to simply enjoy the time we have left as just us two, do lots of dates and take a trip, a Babymoon! This is exactly what we did, best idea ever. We spent an entire week without alarm clocks, and perhaps most to my liking, for the entire week we had only three things to do. Those of you who know us well, can probably figure that initially this was hard for Mauricio. Mi esposo LOVES having a plan and a schedule. 🙂
I am not ashamed to tell you that as of the week before we left, I did not know anything about our impending trip other than we had a place to sleep. (Ok maybe, I’m a tad bit embarrassed by that) BUT in my defense, usually when we travel I do so much planning ahead of time and organizing and scheduling that it makes me feel like I don’t even need to go anymore because I’ve already researched everything and seen a million photos (I’m exaggerating here to prove my point, of course I loved all our trips that we did this way). But this was my chance to show Mauricio that lovely trips can also happen without a ton of planning and a jam packed day schedule. The name of the town we baby moon-ed in is Bad Reichenhall. Located in the deep southern part of Bavaria Germany, it is right along the German-Austrian border along the alps. And in just one word, lovely.
We rented a car for the trip, and hit the road with multiple suitcases. The freedom of packing when you know you wont have to carry everything around in an airport or train station is intoxicating. I packed 5 pairs of shoes and a big ol’ grocery bag full of snacks! Not even 5 minutes into the drive, Mauricio turned to me and asked me to get out the map of Germany. I asked “why?” knowing full well that in spite of the fact we had a fancy navigation system, he just had to see the route for himself because, and I quote, “Hermosa, you can’t just blindly follow those machines, you shouldn’t just trust that they will take you the right way” (Uh, Office episode anyone..?)
After looking at the map, (and then following the directions of the navi) we had a carefree easy drive to our destination.
Bad Reichenhall is perhaps most known specifically for two things in Germany. Thing number one, is the mining and production of salt.
Just a short 20 minute drive from Bad Reichenhall you can tour the salt mines of Berchtesgaden. They dress you in coveralls and take you down under!
These salt mines have been mined since the early 1500’s. The tour is guided, and I feel like I learned more than I am able to regurgitate here, but I will attempt to explain how the salt is mined….They do exploratory drilling first and test the content of different areas to see if the salt content is enough that it is worthwhile to mine. Once a decision to mine is made, they flush in freshwater and the freshwater binds to the salt turning to brine. (Have you tasted ocean water? Brine is like that only saltier.) The brine is then super slowly drained out at a rate of 1 cm per year. The brine goes to Bad Reichenhall where it ‘magically’ becomes salt. (by ‘magically’, I mean a complex crystallization process that Mauricio could definitely explain to you…) Picture below is an area that has already been mined.
Thing number two, it is known as a spa and wellness town. Shown here is the thermal spa we went to, Rupertus Therme:
Oh yes, that’s right, night time outdoor thermal bathing in the mountains-we did that! I don’t think I have ever slept so well as I did that night. What a beautiful way to not be cold and at the same time appreciate the fresh mountain air and see the stars. For those of you thinking it sounds expensive (like I thought) the cost for 3-4 hours is about the same as going to a movie in the theater and buying popcorn.
One of the other things we did was the Predigstuhlbahn which is a cable car that sends you up a mountain in just 10 minutes time.
It didn’t occur to me to be frightened until we were already dangling in that tiny cable car with nothing under us but air and mountain cliffs! Once at the sunny snow covered top, we snagged some walking sticks and did a little trek.
After a short trek we stopped into the mountain’s restaurant for a ‘Cafe und Kuchen’ (coffee and cake). Check out our view!
Pretty great way to spend an afternoon eh?
In case you are curious about the regional cuisine, here’s a look at a traditional meal for this region:
In addition to time spent in Bad Reichenhall we did venture across the border to Salzburg Austria.
I’ll write a separate post about that to keep this one from being too long! Bis nächstes mal!
Deutsch Lektion für Heute:
Hallo Zusammen = literally translated ‘Hello together’, but really means ‘Hello everyone’
Salt = das Salz
Mountains = die Berge
Bis nächstes mal = Until next time