Guten Tag!

A little introduction...

When Maricel asked if I would be interested in guest blogging for Traviews, I was overjoyed to accept. First off, I was flattered to be part of anything with Maricel because she is a special kind of awesome. And, secondly, international travel (while always appealing) never seemed tangible to me.  So now that it’s really happening, my response to each new destination is one of captivation and disbelief.  It’s not uncommon for me to actually exclaim, “I can’t believe I’m here!”  (Sometimes accompanied by a little jig or some borderline-inappropriate PDA.)

Speaking of public displays of affection, I am on this journey because I had the good fortune of falling in love with an Air Force pilot. He plucked me out of Texas and has been encouraging and accompanying me on my new-found wanderlust ever since. Germany has proven to be the perfect hub for European roaming, and we've been honeymooning for over two glorious years now.

We are laid-back travelers. We are guilty of the “zoom, click, seen it” method when we don’t care to spend time at a previously unheard of (to us) church or castle that the travel books tell us we really should explore. I’m sure this would be appalling to those more enthralled with history and architecture, but while we do appreciate those aspects of culture; food, wine, beaches, and books often win our attention instead. So while I’m sure people do places “better” than we do; we always leave impressed, fulfilled, and relaxed.

Admittedly, our travels cannot compare to Maricel’s on the cuteness scale because she and Alex have ridiculously adorable kiddos. But, I hope our adventures provide a little introduction to parts of the world you have yet to explore.

Prost,
Jaci


July 2009 at the Atlanta airport. This is the day that we headed to our new home in Germany and our adventures began!


Middle Mosel (Bernkastel Kues) Wine Festival

As this is my first post on Traviews, I figured it would be appropriate to highlight something from our region in Germany. Wine festivals are a one aspect of German culture that we LOVE. As the name suggests, wine festivals are all about celebrating the region’s best wines. Vendors line the streets selling glasses or bottles of their delectable Reislings, Trockens, and Ros├ęs as people mingle and enjoy the fest environment.


The Middle Mosel Wine Festival is one of the most well known in the Mosel area.  This festival goes on during the first weekend of September each year. Bernkastel Kues, the host city of this particular fest, makes for a picturesque setting with sloping vineyards lining the river’s banks.



In addition to wine, there is an abundance of greasy German food available. There is no way a fest-goer will last all day enjoying wines unless he or she is also filling up on bratwurst, schnitzel, and crepes. (I never claimed that wine-fests are good for your health.)


Another tip for successfully enduring a long day of wine tasting is to add some sparkling water to your wine to create a wine schorle. My husband and I were unaware of this little trick during our first wine fest and we paid dearly. You can see a bottle of sparkling water on the bottom left of this picture. However, even drinking wine schorles won't prevent drunkenness if you are also wearing a wine-glass necklace. People just like to keep those things filled whether you ask for it or not!


Live bands keep the city center entertained with a variety of music. It is always a treat to hear German renditions of American favorites. Or in some cases, the original version of the song as is the case with 99 Luftballons (known to us as 99 Red Balloons.)


One treat unique to the Middle Mosel wine festival is the impressive fireworks show at the end of the night. The pyrotechnics are set off from opposite sides of the Mosel River, creating a bright and spectacular dual of lights. It is a memorable way to end a fun day celebrating German culture, not to mention a wonderful photo op!

Middle Mosel Wine Festival, Bernkastel Kues, 2011

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