A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Schlossing about (Germany travelblog 2/4)

Saturday morning dawned to light snow. We went down to the hotel bar for breakfast, which was quite hearty. There were small wursts, a variety of sliced cheeses, eggs, a selection of yogurts (including a heavy mousse-type yogurt that I really liked), breads, cereals with a variety of toppings, and juices. I liked the Johannisbeere (currant) juice. And there was coffee. An excellent coffee, good enough that DH, who is not at all a coffee drinker, had coffee with breakfast every day. DD had hot chocolate, which was a darker chocolate than its American counterpart.

After breakfast we went back up to the room, and to DD’s delight discovered that housekeeping put small packets of Gummibären on the beds after making them. (I gave the Gummis a pass, but bought myself a large bag at a local food store later for post-Lenten consumption.)

Karlsruher SchlossThe day’s main activity was a trip to the Karlsruher Schloss, an 18th century palace that now hosts the Badische Landesmuseum. The exhibits cover much of the history of the Baden-Württemberg area from prehistoric times to the present day. The Schloss was once home to the ruling family of Baden, and many artifacts of the family (including some rather expensive jewel-encrusted items) are on display. There were also a number of medieval religious artifacts and statues that were quite beautiful.
Family jewels
What impressed me most about the museum is that there were a lot of hands-on activities in many of the exhibits. One could try on Roman perfume or healing ointment, try to scrape or cut hides with a stone tool (which was surprisingly difficult), write on a wax tablet with a stylus, try on 18th century party masks, and actually walk into reproductions of houses and rooms from bygone days. There is a dramatic difference between merely reading about the past, and actually experiencing it in some way.

We spent several hours at the Schloss, then headed out in search of lunch, a hasty affair at a bakery stand. The snow had turned into somewhat of a freezing rain, and we realized that while it was smart to pack a scarf and gloves for DD, the rest of us had somehow neglected such winter gear. After remedying such a critical oversight, we visited a couple of local churches, then headed back to the hotel for a bit.

Dinner was at the Brauerei Wolf, which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Karlsruhe. The food was excellent, and the beer was even better! We also discovered the phenomenon of the Räuberteller (“robber plate”) – an empty plate for kids to mooch from their parents! DD rather enjoyed that.

By the time we left the Brauerei, it was dark and the snow was falling heavier than it had been thus far.

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