A Travellerspoint blog

November 19


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Dude where’s my car?? That’s a bit what we felt like this morning at 630 as we are aimlessly walking in circles around the parkade trying to find our car. The park was not at all logically and super confusing but after 10 minutes we finally managed to find it! Michael has one more chance to drive on the autobahn before we got to the airport. We were travelling out of different terminals so we got Henry and Aganetha checked in before we headed over to our terminal. Hopefully they did okay making it through the airports by themselves. On the trip it was very clear that they had never travelled and I thought that they would be okay because they had at least been to Mexico, but it was a lot more work than I expected. We got checked in ourselves and then went to security. I had completely forgotten that I had put my pocket knife in michaels backpack just in case we had cheese when we were in Holland. I felt really bad and was prepared to have it taken away but amazingly they let us keep it. The security guy measured the knife blade and apparently it was small enough to keep. Our flight was delayed a bit and we sat in the plane and waited which was annoying. It didn’t help that we had a loud family in front of us. I know travelling with young kids is hard but these kids were brats and the parents weren’t doing much to help! Made for a long flight. We got into Keflavík airport and without going through any checks or customs we were in Iceland. Our rental car turned out to be a bright yellow fiat panda! Lol. Michael was not impressed! We started driving the scenic way to Skógar and the first part of the drive was through barren land with just lava rocks. It was incredibly eerie and felt like we were in apocalypse! I thought “what the heck are we doing here??” I’ve never seen anything so desolate or lonely. After what seems liked a long time we reached the coast (we were driving straight across the Reykjanes peninsula) and we were greated by gail force wind, pounding waves, blowing sand and more eerie rock. It was something else! Slowly as we drove along the coast it got flatter and a little more normal looking. Still there are hardly any houses and a lot of open grass land. We drove for about an hour in the light then it started to get dark. We reached Skógar just after 6 but it felt way into the night. Our hotel had a restaurant so we tried the local Arctic char and lamb. After dinner we soaked in the hot tub and enjoyed the sauna. We later crawled into bed and it was so comfy I slept through the night for the first time in ages. (Hotel Skógar)

Posted by arodavie 20:22 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

November 18


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I really wanted to see the Heidelberg castle so we got up relatively early to beat the crowds. It was a short walk up the hill behind our hotel, up an old cobblestone pathway. We got to the balcony level and had a beautiful view over the city and down the valley. It didnt seem like a big valley from the town but once you got up higher you could see beautiful old houses up the river and the other way was lots of chimney stacks and industry. The castle was gorgeous. The first parts of the building were built in the 1200s and then many more pieces were added on. Even the mad king ludwig contributed something! We wandered around the courtyard and took in the sights from every angle. Henry and Aganetha were just in awe. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as neuschwinstein but it was right up there! We toured the apocothary museum as well which explained the history of modern pharmacy. We didn’t want to be late to the John Deere factory so we wandered back down to the town, had a quick lunch. Michael found the cookie balls (schneeballen) that originated from rothemberg so he was pretty happy. I found some delicious currywurst! The John Deere factory was in manneheim, about a 20 minute drive away. We couldn’t figure out where to park the car so it was a good thing we left early. Eventually we figured it out! We had a look around the forum which had all of the current John Deere tractors. This factory produced the 6000 series R and M. Inside the factory was fascinating. They produce a transmission and a tractor rolls off the line every 3 minutes! The efficiencies were amazing! Everyone had they own small task and then it was on to the next. The had a couple of different buildings: transmission, gear assembly, engines, hardening, and tractor assembly. The cabs came from another factory 40 km away and a load containing 8 cabs arrived about every 20 minutes. So impressive. In the gear shop we got to see a lot of the robots at work. Unfortunately the factory wasn’t running while we went through because they didn’t have any English tours in the morning (they work 6-1), but it was still very impressive. Each tractor has a tag on it which had the buyers name, country, and any special specifications. There are thousands of possible combinations. The thing I found most interesting is the changes by country because of regulations like lights or emissions or even tow hooks. So many options and so much to keep straight. The tour was about an hour and a half, then we finished off at their museum. They had our old 2140 on display! (But with a cab) The factory was originally a Lanz bulldog factory. They built only single cylinder tractors. When John Deere took over they painted the bulldogs they had green and yellow, then switched future production to their own tractors in 1956. After the tour we went back to Heidelberg and did a bit of shopping before dinner. We found a great homemade liquor place, and of course Michael and I couldn’t agree on a flavour so we had to buy two! The perfect holiday treat ;) For dinner we were recommended the Schnitzelbank and it did not disappoint! The food and atmosphere were fantastic. The guy running the place had a great personality and good sense of humour. We all tried the schnitzel and it was delicious. I had the blue cheese sauce. Mmm mmm good! We also had some local weissbeir and white wine it was the perfect evening to end our time in Germany!

Posted by arodavie 20:21 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

November 17


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Today was a big driving day. We drove from Hannover to Mannheim. It was about 5 hours. We drove a bit on the autobahn and Michael got up to 210 km/h! It was really fast in that moment but there are so many vehicles and so much bc construction that you can’t actually drive really fast for long periods of time. Still it was fun to have some bursts of speed. At one point we were detoured off the main highway and we drove through farmland and beautiful rolling countryside. It was definitely the most scenic part of the drive that we did. For lunch we stopped at McDonald’s and had to try their local special burger. I had the truffle burger and it was alright but definitely no Alberta beef! We got into Heidelberg late afternoon and after many wrong turns on the tight city streets we found the parkade From there we walked to hotel zum Ritter, which was built in 1592. It reminded me of the old hotel we stayed in in rothemberg. So beautiful! Henry and Aganetha had a view of the castle from their room and we could see part of it from ours. Once we got settled in we went to the local brewery and had a beer. It was very brewhaus style. There were big vats in the middle where they made the beer. It wasn’t the greatest beer but the atmosphere was great. We then wandered to the old bridge and saw the flood markings as well as had an amazing view of the castle lit up in purple. Not sure why it was purple but it still looked nice! We had a quick dinner then. Michael and I continued to wander the streets and admire the old buildings. Most places were closed because it was Sunday but there was still plenty of character. We weren’t ready to call it a night just yet so we found a bar close to our hotel and had drinks and tiramisu. That’s one thing I miss a bit since having kids is just having a couple of drinks and not caring what time it is. It was a great evening! (Hotel zum Ritter st.georg)

Posted by arodavie 20:19 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

November 16


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It had been a busy week so we met the Neufeld’s for a late breakfast then spent the morning lounging around the hotel. I have a presentation to give the day after we get back so I worked on that for a few hours. I’m not so good at telling my “woman in agriculture” story! Eventually we took the subway and headed downtown. We went to the city Center where there were lots of beautiful old buildings and some huge churches. My favourite was the marktkirche. It was massive and built in the 14th century. Part of the building was bombed during the war but surprisingly the main tower stayed standing. They were putting up the Christmas tree in front and it was at least 40 ft tall. We then found a great little place with coffee and cake. I had a delicious chocolate cake and a hazelnut latte. It was the perfect lunch! Afterwards we did a bit of shopping (and by we I mean Michael) then went to the rathaus (old town hall). It was a beautiful old building and they had an elevator that went to the bell tower. I had never been on anything like it. It was a curved elevator. It was a little scary going up to be honest but from the top was an amazing view. You could see the old town square and all the red roofs. Then in another direction there was a river with gorgeous fall colours. I could have stood up there for hours! But unfortunately I didn’t realize that Aganetha was afraid of heights so we Didn’t stay up there too long. We wandered around the streets a bit more before we found an Italian place for dinner. We all shared pizza then called it an early night.

Posted by arodavie 20:18 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

November 15


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We slept in a little this morning and then headed back to agritechnica. First stop was the fendt exhibition before it got too busy. They now have a combine without a steering wheel! Tons and tons of tractors on display. Then we saw massey, kubota, McCormick, and so many more I had never heard of. We spent another full day walking around and we still didn’t see it all! My favourite exhibit was the specialty crop equipment. They had stuff for berries, garlic and leafy vegetables. It was so neat because it was so different. I had never seen a self propelled lavender harvester before! I loved all the garlic equipment too. It made me want to start looking into growing it again. They had some that layer the garlic out to dry in the field, like an onion harvester, and some that tied then with rope and you could hang them inside. So neat. Michael wanted to have one more look at the potato equipment so we went back to that exhibit and had a beer with the Meidema guys. Checked that off the bucket list! It had been another long day of walking so we had a light dinner by our hotel then Michael and I played cards and called it a night.

Posted by arodavie 20:17 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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