Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Antwerpen, Zeppelins and Märchenwald (Antwerp, Zeppelins and The Fairy Tale Forest) - Part One

My poor hubby, has to put up with a very strange character...me. While we were planning a recent trip, I looked at the map of Europe and got excited when I noted "Dijon" in France. "Let's go there!" I said excitedly.

I was unnerved when he looked at me with his newly acquired mind-reading skill, and announced, "I'm not going to a place just because it's named after mustard."

I wasn't ready for defeat. "Let's go to Antwerpen then", I suggested.

"Antwerp? What's there?" he asked. I scrambled to flip the computer page away from the giant Lange Wapper, the castle Het Steen, and the statue of Brabo throwing the giant's hand into the river.

I turned instead to a photo of the market square and said, "Look at the magnificent architecture of these old buildings. And furthermore," I added, "the Port Authority has won awards and the Palace of Justice..."

Antwerp was officially added to our itinerary. I got to see it all!

On another occasion, we were driving through a portion of Germany. I noticed a dirigible in the sky. "Hey, look up there", I yelled.

"I can't, I'm driving," was hubby's obvious response.

I couldn't speak fast enough. I was filled with excitement. "Well, there's a Zeppelin. Wait, there's another one. I wonder if there's a Zeppelin landing strip...or airship rides or a display or something. Can we go there and find out?"

"Only if you don't want to go to Neuschwanstein. We won't have time for both."

I was conflicted. I was learning how tough some decision making must be for children. I saw a sign that said,  "Zeppelin Museum".

"Think fast," I said to myself, then blurted out, "Naww, it's o.k., The Sleeping Beauty castle it is."

One day, we were looking for the Bergischer Dom, in Altenberg, built between 1259 and 1379...phenomenal Gothic architecture. It was then that I spotted a sign "Märchenwald"...Fairy Tale Forest! I could hardly contain myself. I looked in the guidebook and read "an enchanted forest with interactive scenes and statues representing the most popular fairy tales." I was speechless.

It was then that hubby, the mind-reader, came through. Since both places were within a stone's throw of each other, he suggested I go to Märchenwald while he visits the Dom. We were to meet in the parking lot afterward.

I owe hubby big time for what happened next.

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