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Jules, Pete + Chris’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2007

Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

MapOdometer 5021
Churches, losing count, is written somewhere else but around 29
Museums - Does 10 sound good
Car museums - 3

Hi everyone, just a quick update to you all while we are in Karlsruhe.

We have stayed here with Marcus and Sylvia, and in Sylvias parents house for 4 nights now. We arrived here from Champagne, where we completed a tour of Möet and Chandon. Kerrie also flew over to join us for the weekend

Did you know that 70 000 bottles a day are popped of Möet, and we did buy a couple to add to that number (if anyone has an idea of how to get them home without breaking, now is the time to let us know). The underground cellars are amazing, there are over 28kms of cellars with hundreds of thousands of bottles - no joke. Möet still employ someone to carefully turn the bottles to improve the sediment being shifted to the bottom of the cork. There are 2 apprentinces in training at the moment. Hopefully we will put some photos up on the page.

After a Möet adventure, we ventured off into the country side, seeing some fantastic sites of the Champagne region, and taking some happy snaps. We stayed the night in Reims, which as Chris will tell you was like camping out for the night at a highschool camp. However, clean toilet, shower and warm bed....

Since being in Karlsruhe, we have eaten amazing food, lots of bread, meat and beautiful French cheeses. Frau Hoffman has been looking after us well, and we will certainly miss the spreads and meats for breakfast when we move on tomorrow. The temperature over here has now been at about 6 degrees for a week, and we are ready for it to rise again as it did today. A little more snow has hit Europe unfortunately and a cold snap. We made it to the Mercedes and Porsche museums. The Mercedes had a one hour queue to get in, brand new, and was very much worth it. I even have a photo to prove I was there.

On Sunday, we drove out into the Black Forest to a place called Mummelsee, where we are told that by throwing a rock into the lake your wish will come true, however it was covered in ice and the snowballs didn´t make it through. So I guess our wishes will not come true. After a walk around the lake, great Blackforest Cherry Cake, it´s kinda close at home, and some German lunch, we dropped Kerrie at the airport and walked through the town of Karlsruhe, of which Marcus was quite proudly showing us around. A beautifally restored castle, cute pedestrian zone, and if you ask Pete the best gelato of the trip.

Today, Monday saw us head to Schwäbisch Hall, the town where Chris´s mum grew up, and to Heidleberg. We found the house where Barbara grew up, and looked through the Church, St Micheals, where we met a couple of interesting characters. It is a beautiful town which has vineyards on the rivers edge, and lovelz traditional german buildings. In Heidleberg we visited the Schloß, or castle in English, however it was our first we have seen in ruins, with little attempt to fix it up. However still amazingly beautiful and justified its reputation.

Marcus has been an amazing tour guide even picking up some "additional" tour members along the way. Hehe I will explain that one later!!!!

We found the christmas shop, sorry to the mums we have no room in our packs, though it´s the thought that counts right?? I think Chris would have brought everything home if he was able and freight was free.

It has been a trip highlight to catch up with Marcus and Sylvia and family after far too long. Their gorgeous little baby Therese has grown up alot since the last photos and it has been really good to have the opportunity to meet her aswell. We hope that son we will be able to repay the favour.

Tomorrow we depart Karlsruhe with mixed feelings and are off for a fleeting visit to Luzern in Switzerland and then back into France for some hiking and eating. We hope everyone is well, and keep in touch.

Pete, Jules and Chris