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Mara's Honeymoon Adventure

 
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Mara's Honeymoon Adventure
 PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Greetings, everyone! As you are aware, I married my very best friend on October 17, 2015, and I couldn't be happier! This thread is dedicated to our amazing honeymoon over the last two weeks. I apologize for any rambling, but hope you enjoy!

To begin, here are a couple wedding pictures:





And now onto the honeymoon! We went to Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Austria was our favorite, just overall. And we went there first, so I will start there.

Austria

Here is our view of the Danube river from our hotel in Vienna:



One of my favorite days, we went to the Schonbrunn Palace Zoo (the world's oldest zoo):







The palace grounds were absolutely beautiful:



Next we went to Graz, Austria where we randomly stumbled upon this cafe built...in the river:



And next in Graz we went to see their medieval armory from days gone by (very awesome):





We didn't stay in Graz long, but hopped on a train over to Salzburg. In Salzburg they had this very neat Castle at the highest point for the city. Though we never went up to see it, it was impressive from afar:



I personally think Salzburg was my favorite city of the trip. It is too bad we couldn't stay longer, but we thoroughly enjoyed it while we could.

In the next post we shall focus on the Germany portion of our trip! Very Happy
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Last edited by Mara Jade Skywalker on Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:33 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Germany

Our first day in Germany we were actually still staying in Salzburg, but riding the bus across the border to Berchtesgaden. We first went to see some salt mines, which were totally awesome, but we were not allowed to take pictures. They have these wooden slides that drop a floor or two to allow the miners to quickly travel from level to level, and we got to ride on the slides. Very fun. Smile

After the mines, we took a beautiful hike through the Berchtesgaden forests:









We were next able to visit one of Hitler's many bunkers in Germany (this is not the bunker where he committed suicide, that bunker is in Berlin):





Shortly we moved on to Munich. We discovered one of my favorite beverages while we were there. They call it eiskaffee (iced coffee). But it's not like iced coffee at home, it's better. It is coffee over ice cream with whipped cream on top. It was the best. And here we are sitting in the Marienplatz (Munich's city center since the 1100's), enjoying our eiskaffees and people watching:





Next we went to visit the Dachau concentration camp. That was very hard to see:









It was almost time to leave Munich, but we did some random strolling through the city on our final day:





And our final stop in Germany was Neuschwanstein Castle. This is Sleeping Beauty's castle:







While the castle was amazing to see, we ran into a lot of trouble getting there (due to cancelled and diverted trains), and found we were starting to get tired of train travel:



Tune in next post for the conclusion of our trip, Switzerland! Very Happy
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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Switzerland

To begin, Switzerland is incredibly expensive. It is all relative to them, because their minimum wage is $25/hour, but to the tourists...expect to be shell shocked by every price you see. Food, especially, is outrageous. For example, we paid $30+ for two combo meals at Burger King. And ketchup is not included. Sad

That aside, Switzerland is beautiful. We spent our last few days there just relaxing and viewing the countryside. First are pictures of Lucerne, the city we stayed in for 98% percent of our time in the country:











The one site we did go see while we were there was Mount Pilatus, part of the Swiss Alps. That was probably my favorite day of the entire trip. It was incredible. To get there, we traveled up the mountain on the world's steepest cog railway:

















And that was pretty much the end of our Switzerland trip. We went to Zurich the next day to get ready to fly out and head home. Overall we had an amazing time, but I will admit we were ready to come home.

Thank you all for your attention, and I hope you enjoyed the presentation! I am very grateful to have had such a fantastic honeymoon. Smile
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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Awesome pictures, Mara. You visited some beautiful places. Thanks for sharing! Cool
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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Mara your honeymoon looks ridiculously fun!
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:14 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Cool cake. Looks like the trip of a lifetime! Congrats.
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:07 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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That armoury in Austria is my version of Heaven...

Great pics, Mara!
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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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Wow!!! Trip of a lifetime is right! Awesome pictures, and nice layout for us almost like we were there! How was locals reactions towards you guys? Any American hate that we hear so much about? Strolls through the city must have been the best part, the truest get away is just being a part of the city. Was their "gift shops" at the bunkers? Please say no...... But if yes what did you get?! Did you bring home any neat stuff?
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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed taking a look. It is always fun to share. Smile

@Jedi: Actually, and I think we really tried to go in positive about this, but the Europeans were as rude as their reputation. Neither of us is loud in private, much less in public, so they certainly can't hold the "Loud, obnoxious American" stereotype as reason to hate us, specifically. But dislike us they did. We tried to be savvy Americans, tried to figure things out on our own. And for the most part we did just fine. But for the few occasions we got something wrong or needed to ask a question, we were almost immediately snapped at or dismissed with an irritated shrug of the shoulders. Don't get me wrong, there were polite Europeans. But I would say it was more common to meet those who had no interest in dealing with us. And I'm not just talking about random people on the street! I mean employees, whose job it is to help us. But it seems the idea of "Customer Service" is not a thing over there. They will tell you "I don't know", and turn away with an air of "Leave me alone." Never, "I don't know, let me find out." Or "I don't know, but you can ask so and so." Just complete dismissal. And my goodness, don't misunderstand a custom or rule, you will not get a chance to correct your mistake before you are set upon with harsh reprimands. And certainly don't ask for anything they didn't give you already. You get what you get, and you are happy about it (despite the fact that you are the paying customer!). For an example of each:

1. A lot of the cafes there have outside seating. One cafe in particular that we enjoyed was in the Munich City Center, and we had already eaten there once at the outside seating. The next day we returned, but we were in a little of a rush. So we bought our items inside (where there is no seating, mind you), and went to sit outside for a few minutes before heading on our way. It was not even a minute or two before we were set upon by the waitress yelling at us in German. Seeing our perplexed expressions, she even more irritably switched to English and berated us that we could not sit outside if we had ordered inside. Outside seating was only for those who ordered outside from the waitress. I understand that we made the mistake, but how were we to know? There were no signs, and there was plenty of empty seating. But we got no chance to correct our mistake before we were sent away with angry chiding.

2. We ordered plain cheesecake from a cafe. Instead of telling us, "I'm sorry, we're out of plain cheesecake", the waitress simply brought us cherry cheesecake and said, "This is all I have" before she was gone again. I very much dislike cherries, which meant this was not a suitable replacement to our order. But we had no chance to explain that, and we were charged for a wasted cheesecake all the same.

These are not isolated incidents, we were met with this type of attitude through much of our trip. So I suppose it is simply important to note that the customer, despite being the one with the money, is certainly not the top priority.

Don't get me wrong about the attitudes of the people. Again I stress that not everyone was that way. It was just far more common than you would find here in the States. And we still had a wonderful time, regardless. Smile

But anyway, not to complain. They have their customs, we have ours. I can certainly see how oftentimes the customer is too right in America. But I don't think the European approach is healthy, either. We need a balance.

Yes, it was very nice walking around the city. I think I most enjoyed that about Lucerne. We were getting weary at that point, and it was just nice to walk around and observe. That's also how we ran across the New Orleans bar in Munich! Which was totally cool.

As for the souvenirs! No, there was no souvenir shop at the bunker. There was a shop at the concentration camp, but just for books and DVD documentaries on the subject. We bought one of the books. I got a bowl made from salt at the salt mines, as well as a salted chocolate bar. In each country we got coffee cups from Starbucks with the country name on them. Also got a winter hat from Mount Pilatus with the name and logo on it. Can't wait until it's cold enough to wear (yes, it is still too hot in Louisiana for hats)! Let's see...I got my dad a Swiss Army knife from Switzerland. I know you can buy them anywhere, but it was the principle. Plus the one I got had a nearby landmark etched in the plating. So that was neat. My sister is a huge fan of Sleeping Beauty, and a heavy tea drinker. So I bought her a tea mug from the castle with scenery from the site on it. Smile

I will post some pictures of the souvenirs before I give them to the intended recipients. And the food! I didn't really address the food. I would say for the most part it was unremarkable. Very similar to what you find here at home. But still, some of the restaurants presented it very well. Hence pictures were taken. Very Happy
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 PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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It's bad but I lol'd at most of the explanations! I think you nailed it, as Americans we are tought (told mainly) the customer is always right, which we are TOO right sometimes. It must have been very odd to be pushed around as the customer. Very funny stuff right there. How was the Starbucks around the world? Same same, or had a hint of unique to it? Sounds like an amazing time, very glad to see a cantiner (is that what we call ourselves?!) so happy, looks like you caught an awesome guy. Congratulations again! Cheers!
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Mara: "Not many people Dare to hug me"
Lando: "That leaves more of you for me then!"

"Sure I can't move a rock with my mind, but, boy can I make that rock think its been moved."


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