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He said: It is hard to believe nearly four months have gone by since moving to Germany back in July! Sarah, Indi, and I have tried to make the most of our time here by exploring on the weekends. Reflecting back on some of the highlights…

Travel: We have seen many areas of Rhineland-Pfalz and some surrounding areas, including Kaiserslautern, Bad Durkeim, Neustadt, Idar-Oberstein, Trier, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Speyer, Wiesbaden, Rudesheim, Pirmasens, Zweibrucken, and Bernkastle-Kues within Germany, as well as parts of France and Luxembourg.

Castles: There are literally too many castles to count! In fact, the site www.burgenwelt.de lists 1988 castles just in Germany. We have seen several of them including (in order of decending “awesomeness”) Heidelberg, Kusel, Hardenburg, Landstuhl, Hoenecken, and Wolfstein old/new.

Culture: Living in a small town, Sulzbachtal, was an excellent choice to experience the local Pfalz culture. Our Neighbors are all Germann, and those day to day greetings and conversations are a great way for me to practice my german. We have a bakery truck that comes three times per week (Tues/Thurs/Sat) that my wife and I both very much look forward to. We will hear her coming up the street ringing her bell, and then have about 3 minutes to get outside before she turns around and heads back down the street away from us. We have tried but failed in ordering everything from the bakery truck because there is just so many choices! The choices will also change from week to week depending on the season. We have also enjoyed the local festivals in the area including the Kerwe and Hobbykunstlermarkt. See the previous blog on the Kerwe here. The Hobbykunstlermarkt are big in the pre Christmas season, before the official Christmas markets open. They are collections of local vendors selling handmade crafts, food, and jewelery.

Scenery: The Pfalz is beautiful, scenic, and very hilly! We had no idea how hilly it really was until moving here. Going for weekend drives, running, biking, or hiking have been very enjoyable. The hills have kept me in pretty good shape as well. Our favorite places to walk are up on the mountain ridge. There is a road on the ridge between Sulzbachtal and Frankelbach that goes to what the locals call the “water tower”, but is obviously some sort of communications tower. Anyways, the road is never crowded, and you seldom see anyone up there. You can see for miles in either direction including all the way to Kaiserslautern and the Pfazerwald in the distance. Another road on the mountain ridge between Sulzbachtal and Weilerbach is an old roman trading route. From there you can see Ramstein and to the West, towards France.

In 10 days we head to Switzerland, and more updates to follow!