Sunday, February 28, 2016

Burg Burglengenfeld

Saturday was another beautiful day out here in Bavaria. Spring is right around the corner! We had dropped Drew's car off at the shop and were waiting to pick it up. Instead of headed out to Coburg, we decided to stay close by and headed down to Burglengenfeld. Burglenngenfeld is located on the river Naab, 22 km north of Regensburg. From my house, it is exactly an hour drive.

What's so special about Burglengenfeld? The castle that is above the city! The Lengenfeld castle is located on a hill on the northeastern outskirts of the town of Burglengenfeld. From the very extensive grounds only the buildings below the castle are still preserved. The castle was built overlooking the town. It was originally built around 900 A.D. and now stands as the city’s landmark. During the off season the castle serves as a private institute for treatment, promotion, education, training and work including mentally ill young people, and as an academy for artists looking for peace and inspiration. It is supported throughout by the Foundation of Mrs. Irene Heuser-Wackberger.

We followed the GPS to the top of the castle, there is parking right outside of the castle! We weren't sure if the ruins would be open. I know during the summer they hold festivals there, and the towns Christmas market is held inside the castle.

In my research, I found out that there was a 2 euro entrance. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we could visit the ruins on our own. Although we might have been lucky. Someone told me that when they tried to visit, although the gates were open, they were asked to leave. 

We walked around the grounds. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but both Drew and I agreed that from the pictures we saw, the inside was not what we expect. But we still enjoyed our time there. There were art pieces all around the path ways. We even saw peacocks! Rylie was more interested in barking at them. She's never seen a bird that was bigger than her before.

It wasn't a castle ruin we really enjoyed. I think during the summer time when there is more to do, or even during Christmas time, I would've enjoyed it more. But it was still nice to see. 

GPS: Auf der Burg 1, 933133 Burglengenfeld
Parking: Free (Outside of the castle)
Hours: Varies
Cost: 2 Euros 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Book Review: So You Got Stationed Overseas

LeAnna Brown from Economical Excursionists has come out with a ebook to help fellow travel lovers, but those on a budget or even those who don't know where to start! She has graciously shared this guest post with you to introduce her e-book! Travelling has been one of the best parts about being stationed in Europe. I hope her book and my posts will inspire you to take advantage of your time in Europe and travel!


It seems like it is that time of year when kids are cooped up inside due to the weather, so what better assignment to give them than a good old fashioned book report?

We all remember having to do these book reviews and sharing with our classmates.  Well, today, YOU are my classmates and today I'm sharing a book that any military member or spouse who just received orders to or is currently living in Europe NEEDS to have. 

Travel can be scary, expensive, overwhelming to plan and stressful...if you let it be.  
 Or, it can be the right kind of medicine that somehow makes the homesickness go away as you see and do things in Europe that most people only DREAM about!

Who The book is For:
- The people who are convinced that life away from Targets is pure torture.

- The individuals who believe that English should be spoken everywhere by everyone

- The person who can't wait to pack their bags to explore Europe and all it has to offer

- The spouse who wants to plan trips but is too overwhelmed with how to do so

- Anyone stationed OCONUS in Europe who wants to budget travel and save money yet still 

- Planners looking for specific tools, resources, links, tips and tricks that apply to THEM 

Whether you want to be moving to Europe or not, this book is ideal to have to remind those with orders to be OCONUS that even though you may not have the conveniences and comforts of  "home" that you if you take advantage of your unique opportunity to be leaving abroad, you never know what you will discover, both in yourself and the world!

Order the book now HERE and have 5% of the proceeds go towards The Wounded Warrior Project!

About the Author:

LeAnna Brown currently helps fellow travelers learn how to travel on a tight budget and Travel Hack through her blog  After almost 40 countries down in four years and only a few thousand dollars spent a year on travel, they have learned to penny pinch their way to a bare minimalist lifestyle to help them see and appreciate the world.

You can get daily dosages of travel tips and motivation by "Liking" Economical Excrusionists on Facebook or follow her on twitter @EconExcursion.

Other articles written by LeAnna that may interest you:

If you would like to learn more about traveling for FREE through Travel Hacking (using points for free flights and hotels), check out the offered by the Economical Excursionists.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dubrovnik, Croatia

"Those who seek paradise on Earth, should come to Dubrovnik" - George Bernard Shaw

Dubrovnik has been on Drew's "I wanna visit" list since we visited Croatia in 2013! It was a better deal to go to Zadar at the time. Since Dubrovnik and Kotor are only a 2 hr drive away from one another we decided to hit up both cities!
After leaving Kotor, we headed back to Croatia, crossing the border again, getting more stamps. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. Dubrovnik is among the 10 best preserved medieval walled cities in the world. Again, my friend Paige, from Wanderlust and Dogs was kind enough to let me share her pictures (Click Here to see her Amazing gallery). I'm sure you can tell the difference. Haha

Today, Dubrovnik is the brightest feather in Croatia's cap, it is an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains.

Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. As early as 19th century, it was discovered by celebrities as a place to be seen. Royalty, presidents and diplomats have all favored the city. The late Pope John Paul II was a fan of Dubrovnik and was even made an honorary citizen!

I had high hopes for Dubrovnik, my weather app said that it wasn't supposed to rain until the late afternoon so we had plenty of time to get there and sight see. I found a parking garage near the Old Town, and we headed off the Cable Cart. I read reviews that said this was the best way to see the city. Only thing it didn't mention is that during off-season, it's shut down! We were all pretty bummed that it was closed, but we forged on and headed into the old city. **Just a heads up, there aren't many public restrooms in the area, so if you happen to come across one, make sure everyone has a bathroom break.

Since Drew is a big Game of Thrones fan, he wanted to find the different locations that were filmed there. If you didn't already know, Dubrovnik is the location of King's Landing! First order of business, was to find the famous dock the Sansa stood on. I'm not entirely sure why it's so important, but it was actually pretty cool!

Drew wanted to get some pictures of the waves crashing against the rocks. I think him and Paige had fun running from the the waves. We got some pictures before the wind and crazy waves sent us on our way.

Paige captured this awesome pic of Drew running away from the water!
I got one of Paige & Drew. lol

We decided to go exploring the city, to find an entrance to climb around the city walls. (We did so much walking this weekend!) When we found an entrance, there was no one in the cashier booth, but the gate was open. We assumed it was free to walk, apparently we were wrong. We walked along enjoying the view, until we got to a checkpoint. The ticket person asked for our tickets, we didn't know we needed tickets and he rudely told us to leave. He didn't even say where we could buy tickets! 

Come to find out, the ONLY way to see the forts that surround the city, you have to purchase a ticket to the wall. It's ~$18 USD, they take Croatian money or Cards, No Euro is allowed. So we got down and started walking in the city.
I've read that a great thing to do is to get lost in the city. That's what we ended up doing, even though we didn't mean to. 

Eventually we gave up and decided to check out the fort out side of the city. Fort Lovrijenac, or St. Lawrence Fortress, in my opinion it is the most impressive. 

Only thing was that we couldn't find the entrance! (It was literally next to the city walls) After getting lost, we asked a couple passing by if they knew how to get to the fort. 

They did! But they said that it was going to close in 15 minutes. Drew and Paige decided o make a run for it. Me? I was still sore and tired from the climbing up the St. John's fortress and walking up and down stairs, I hate stairs, I also wanted to enjoy my gelato in peace, so I told them to go on without me. They made it to the top and explored the inside. I eventually made it to the top but, I sat outside waiting for them, enjoying the views. I still got a nice view of the top, but didn't have to rush. (I was the winner in this situation)

After words we were all beat and wanted to head to the apartment. We had great timing because when we left the rain started. Our apartment was located in Cavtat, ~15mins outside of Dubrovnik. During the summer it's the perfect place to do day trip s to the other islands. We had a hiccup finding the apartment. The address led us to the road behind the building, eventually we found it with some help from the owner. It was a cute 1-bedroom apartment with a pull out couch, perfect for a one night stay. He even welcomed us with some chocolates and adult refreshments. haha

The only hiccup about travelling during the off season, everything is closed, at 6pm we went out looking for a place to eat. Only thing was that NOTHING was open. You would think, being that it was valentine's day, and there was lots of restaurants, something would be open. Luckily we found a convenience store that was open, so for our last meal in Croatia, chicken fingers and frozen pizza. LOL.
By that time, we were all starving and didn't care, Looking back Montenegro was better for off season travel. Dubrovnik was okay, I hear that it is packed and unwalkable during the summer season because of all the cruise ship tourists. On the bright side there is more to do in Dubrovnik other then the Old city. 

But for our last trip it was a great trip! If these places are on your bucket list, make sure you go. But probably go in September or early October. Prices will still be cheap but places will still be open!

Check out Paige's Blog post on Dubrovnik. Here