What a lovely week in Neuwied! The osteopath we shadowed this week also opened his home to us – turns out that in addition to being a badass osteopath who teaches his own biodynamics courses, he is also a scuba diver and scuba instructor, underwater photographer (you can check out some of his work at http://www.banzai-divers.com!), cancer survivor, and he plays a mean piano and can whip up a delicious meal in basically no time at all. He was an incredibly generous host and we were lucky to be connected with him. Plus he practices in a building that has incorporated into its own architecture a stone wall built in the 1300s that surrounds the small town of Altwied. Here are some photos I took around the place.
Just a quick 5 minute walk up the hill takes you to the ruins of this old castle with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. This place is perfect.
A couple of nights this week Chris and I played cards with his two kids, Jason who is 11 and Femka who just turned 10. They speak about as much English as we do German so we taught them the easiest game we could think of to explain: War. I forgot how long that damn game can drag out! We took turns with the kids using a translating app on Chris’ phone. The first night, I laughed my ass off when Femka handed me the phone and rolled her eyes and the translation was: Jason is cheating. Marcel later told us that she is super competitive and was probably cheating too – hilarious! Kids are the best. So the next night we played I just had to take a screenshot when it happened again:
Everyone had a good chuckle and when Jason read it he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. We were multi-tasking and watching the finale of Germany’s version of The Voice for kids at the same time. Femka’s teacher’s daughter, Hannah, was a finalist and totally should have won!
On the afternoon of Femka’s birthday Chris and I took a boat up the Rhine to Braubach to see the Marksburg castle. It’s the oldest castle that has never been attacked or rebuilt or something like that in Germany. (All of these attractions have such specific claims to fame and I can never remember all of the “only”, “oldest”, “most-castle-like-on-a-hill-this-size-and-facing-the-south-east-with-7-entrances” modifiers. I do remember, however, that people have lived in it continuously for over 800 years and that is fucking cool.) Here we are on the boat:
It was lunch time and we enjoyed some schnitzel on the way up the river. I also took the opportunity to try some grapefruit beer and it was quite refreshing! Acceptable for breakfast?!?!
Even though it was raining we still had a great time and enjoyed the hike up to and the tour of the castle. Our tour group was made up of the two of us and around 20 college kids from a school in Michigan. Being around them made me feel a little old but honestly just pretty relieved that period of my life has passed. They were obnoxious and disrespectful to the tour guide and overall seemed ungrateful of the experience they were having. I know I likely behaved just like them when I was their age and it’s crazy how much insight and maturity you can develop within a decade. Anyway, here are some shots of the castle:
We are loving Germany so far and can’t wait to see more!