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Beer

England Day Trip – The English Countryside

England  is a  beautiful country with many historic things to see from coast to coast. As our time was limited in England, we wanted to make the best of our time and indulge in a day of sightseeing around the countryside. Our first stop was at Her Majesty The Queens residences at Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle - England

Windsor Castle – EnglandTickets

The grounds of the palace were beautifully kept, and we even had the opportunity to see Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. The doll house was the most elaborate child’s toy I have ever seen. The doll house is even rumored to have running water! I don’t have any pictures to show as photography wasn’t allowed. Below is a photo of the area where Her Majesty The Queen stays when she is at Windsor Castle.

The Upper Ward

The Upper Ward

The most notable activity to do in England when at a palace is to see the changing of the guard. Once we toured St. George’s Chapel, we walked out into the courtyard just in time to see the Changing of the Guard.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

After seeing Windsor Castle and eating a tasty English fish and chips lunch, we headed to Bath, England. Bath is rich with culture. On our way to the Roman Baths, we passed the residence of Jane Austen. I was walking around the town reciting lines from the Pride and Prejudice and my husband was looking at me like I was crazy!

I was most excited about tasting the waters from the Pump Room. To my dismay, the waters were not flowing that day – one of a few days in 2012 the water system would be under construction. Bummer!

Roman Baths at Bath

Roman Baths at Bath

I am a big fan of beer, so whenever I see craft beers in a city, I take the opportunity to sit and sample the local ales. As time was limited, I decided to grab a half pint of Bath Ales. The ale was a pleasant treat as we waited for the bus to pick us up and carry us to the our next location – Stonehenge.

Bath Ales

Bath Ales

Before leaving the morning of our English countryside tour, the morning news called for blustery showers – they weren’t kidding. The rain was coming down hard, and we were unable to hold on to our umbrellas for most of the tour. It was remarkable to see a piece of history up close and personal. This last stop was a fantastic cap to such a beautiful day.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

 

Munich, Germany – Europe Part II

Our arrival to Germany coincided with the 179th Oktoberfest  in Munich. Saturday morning began with a fantastic German breakfast at the ACHAT Hotel in Schwetzingen, Germany. Immediately after, we all piled into our tiny rental to make the three-hour journey to Munich to enjoy some of the best beer in the world! After arriving in Munich, we parked at the local ACHAT Hotel and took a trolley to the fairgrounds to start exploring the beer.

Our first stop was at the Weinzelt tent. Although this tent is known for its wine and champagne, it also has some very tasty Paulaner Weissbier!

Eliza, Lauri, Jennifer, Jake and Paulaner beer

Oktoberfest was like nothing I had ever seen. There were so many people packed into one space! Since our trip to Europe was planned last-minute, we didn’t have the chance to make reservations for a tent. Normally, reservations are made a year in advance to get seats in the larger spaces. Rain started to come down and we knew it was necessary to get into a tent. Eliza, being a go-getter, simply walked up and sweet talked the guard to let us all in! It wasn’t just any ole’ tent – it was the Schottenhamel Tent. The Schottenhamel Tent is where opening day is held for all of Oktoberfest. The mayor of Munich taps the keg to signal the opening of Oktoberfest.

Remember when I said it was packed? On a full day, the tent holds up to 10,000 people!

Schottenhamel Tent

Schottenhamel Tent

Finding a seat in this monster would prove to be just as easy as getting in. Once again, Eliza walked right up to a table of young German gentleman and simply asked if we could join them. The rest is history!

Munich - Oktoberfest

Munich – Oktoberfest