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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lichtenstein to Lucerne

Back to my travels while my Mom was here. After our first trip we had to come back and work a few days. And then Ryan and I went on the employee river raft trip in Austria, which was very fun, while my Mom went to the Passion Play in Oberammergau.

The following day we loaded up the car with our bags and camping gear and headed to Switzerland. On the way we wanted to see a teeny tiny little country known as Lichtenstein. When we first crossed into Lichtenstein we tried to get our passports stamped, but no matter where we went to ask they all pointed us toward somewhere else and back again to where we started, so eventually we realized that just wasn't going to happen.

To drive from one side of Lichtenstein to the other took about 15 to 20 minutes. It is so small that they even have a running race during the year where you run through the whole country the long way and I'm not sure it is even a full marathon. We stopped in one town and found there to be nothing there, so we got back in the car after walking around and headed to the capital. Right before we reached the city center there was a winery that we stopped at and waited for them to open. Once we were let inside they said they wouldn't do a tasting because we didn't have a group of 10. Sheesh! So we drove on into town and parked to get out and walk around and we found a Doner Kebab shop for lunch because everything else we would have had to sell and arm and a leg to afford. Lichtenstein is very expensive. When we left here we were into Switzerland in two minutes.

Our destination was Lucerne. I'm so glad we met the Swiss guy Jens in Dresden the previous week and he said we should go to Lucerne over Zurich. It was absolutely stunning. The town is around Lake Lucerne and the natural beauty here was breath taking.

Switzerland is also ridiculously expensive. I didn't expect it because $1=1.12 swiss franc however that doesn't mean they won't charge 2 or 3 franc for something you'd expect to cost a dollar. All the hostels and hotels I looked at were out of my price range, so I found us a great camp ground right across from the lake. I'm so glad that Ryan and I have acquired a couple tents while being here because camping was a perfect option.

Food was just as expensive as hostels so we avoided restaurants like a plague and followed the suggestion of my travel book to eat in the cafeteria/deli places that are in department stores or at grocery stores. The food was simple but not bad.

When we got up the next morning we headed into town and wanted to check out the market along the river. I love markets everywhere I go and this one was no different. We found food here and there to nibble on. I got some apple cake that made me think of my Granny who I remember made an apple cake that I used to love when I was little. The market ran along both sides of the river and on the far side was a bunch of middle eastern food we shared for lunch such as tabbouleh, falafel, pita, and hummus.

We had noticed some sort of a festival getting set up an an open area that we went to check out. It turned out this was Political Immigration Day in Lucerne. They celebrate all the people who have immigrated here from around the world one day a year. There were numerous food booths where people were making a selling food from their country of origin. There was also a stage that had rotating bands playing music from their home countries. It was really really cool and I think made our time in Lucerne so much more special. At least for me because I love this kind of thing but I know my mom liked it too and Ryan is so easy going he likes most anything.

We didn't eat right away since we'd just eaten at the market. We kept walking around the streets of the town. We wandered up the hill a ways to find the old city walls which you can mount and walk along and up into the clock tower in the center. It gave us a nice view.

Eventually thought we did make it back to the Festival and ate till our stomachs couldn't fit anymore. We had food from Afghanistan, East Africa, Sri Lanka, India, and the Philippines. It was awesome to see so, so, so many people from around the world. There was an African band I really enjoyed while we sat and ate, but when the next band came on from maybe Russia we were not so much enjoying their music or their cigarettes hanging out of their mouths as they sang. During the African band a group of guys all dressed a like showed up and a couple of them were in crazy costumes and it was funny seeing them dance in the dancing area with everyone gathered around. It was a very fun event.

Our walk to and from the campground was nice because we could walk along the lake in the nice park. It was a bit of a walk back and forth but it was enjoyable and I preferred it to our option of taking the bus.

Oh goodness I was almost going to skip an exciting part of our trip. That evening we went to an English Pub to watch the US and England face off in the first round of the World Cup. It was nice to have the commentary in English and it was fun to be in an atmosphere with so many die hard England fans and then the few of us rooting for the USA. The game ended in a draw which was maybe the best for us since I would hate to think of what they could have done to us if we had beat them. :) After the game we headed back to the campground for bed.

The next day we didn't go back into town. Instead we went not even a mile down from the campground to the Transportation Museum. This museum was awesome. We learned how tunnels are drilled through mountains today and went on a ride in a cart to learn how it was done way back in the day when Switzerland was first starting to put in tunnels way before all the modern conveniences we have today. We saw up close and personal so many trains, cars, and airplanes I don't even have a guess how many in total there were. The museum was in sections based on the type of transportation. The car area had a cool thing that had a different car from every year and it would bring a car down one at a time to tell you about the history of it and it's functions. It was really nifty. There was even a planetarium that we went to a show in. I was disappointed though because the show was all about zodiac signs and I wanted to learn more about constalations and planets rather than how the zodiacs line up one a month and that is why we have signs for when we are born. But at least it was a comfy seat and I may have dozed off a little bit.

After several hours in the museum we decided we should be getting on the road. We had already packed up our tents, so we just went to fetch the car at our site. We decided to drive to Zurich on the way back and stop for dinner since it was on the way. In a Rich Steve's book I had he recommended a buffet restaurant that was Vegetarian and reasonably priced, so after some searching around the city we found it. Well it wasn't exactly what I'd call reasonably priced. It cost 6 swiss francs for 100grams of food I think. You took your plate and got what you wanted from the buffet and then they weighed it and you paid. I have no clue how much 100 grams is and apparently neither did my Mom or Ryan because in total our meal was 100 swiss frans which is almost $100. Yikes! That was a shocker to all of us. We had been worried about all the extra swiss money we had exchanged, but hadn't spent. I can tell you that was the end of that worry. The food was really good, thank goodness. And when we had all finished we were stuffed, so that was good too. While Ryan was eating some hummus on his plate he bit into a plastic bottle topper that had obviously accidentally ended up there. He took it to the counter and they were very apologetic. The offered him a free drink, which he didn't really want so then they offered free dessert which he accepted. When we had finished our dinner and he went to ask about the dessert they said he could have anything he wanted and as much of it as he wanted. AWESOME! So we had a HUGE bowl of chocolate mouse from the buffet and a piece of some sort of cake from their case. They even had a chef from the back come out and explain what the piece was that Ryan had bit into and the chef made the comment, "at least it wasn't meat." Of course Ryan isn't a vegetarian and probably wouldn't have thought twice if meat had been in something he was eating. So if we go back to Zurich (which I don't care too it didn't strike me as all that nice just a big city) I would probably not eat here unless I found a money tree between now and then OR I ate a much much smaller amount of food.

We had a fantastic trip to Switzerland. I'd love to go back before we are done in Europe. We loved traveling with my Mom and we are so thankful that she was able to come over. I know that she had a wonderful time and I hope she knows that we had a great time having her here and traveling with her.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mama Mia comes to Duetschland

Well, well, well. I couldn't decide if I should name this post the way I had originally intended or title it REWIND because my Mom was actually here three months ago now. As you can see I went with the original title.

This was my Mom's first time to Europe and we were excited to show her a good time. If any of you have talked to her since she got back I'm sure she eagerly expressed that she did in fact have a very good time.

We were planning to meet her after we got off work at the Hauptbahn Hof in Munich, but unfortunately her luggage was left behind somewhere and so she waited at the airport for a later flight to bring it. It was nice of someone at the lost baggage counter to help her call my phone. Although Ryan and I were already at the train station waiting we jumped in the car and were able to greet her at the airport.

We headed back downtown to our hostel in Munich where we had arranged to stay for the night. From the moment we got out of the car she was taking pictures. And to be honest I think she was a little star struck because the buildings she was taking pictures of weren't even the pretty ones (although she'd argue that statement).

We checked into the hostel, dropped our bags in our rooms, moved the car to a different street the hostel told us was free parking, and started walking into the center of town. We took my Mom to dinner at the Hofbrauhof. This is a very old very famous beer hall and restaurant. This was our first time there for dinner, we've previously been for lunch, and it was extremely busy. There was a live band playing Bavarian music in their lederhosen. And lots of noise from tourists and locals eating and having a good time all around. It's a good thing we got my Mom a radler I think because I don't know if I'd want to see her after a mass (1 liter) of full Bavarian beer in her after getting off such a long flight. :) A radler has a very low alcohol content since it is half beer half lemon soda.

After dinner we walked back to our hostel for bed.

The next morning we got up and checked out of the hostel ready for our drive to Nuremburg and then on to Dresden. We took our bags to the car and.... there was no car. This was not good. We went back to the hostel and they called the police but weren't able to find anything out. At that point we thought the car was stolen. At the hostel they said they never tow in Munich unless you are in a fire lane and we didn't believe we were in a fire lane. The nice guys at the hostel let us store our bags there and directed us to the nearest police station. In the rain we walked to the police station. At the station it took some searching because we didn't know the license plate number, but finally found out the car was not stolen. It had been towed because we had parked in a fire lane. So the officer explained how to get to the S-bahn (subway) to get to where the car had been towed. When we arrived it was just a parking lot. They towed us to a parking lot across the city. We got in the car a drove away. There was a ticket (soaking wet) on the windshield, but we didn't have to do anything right then. That turned out to be less of a hassle than it could have been. And at that point we would have paid a lot just for the car not to have been stolen. Praise God.

We drove back to the hostel, told them what happened, collected our bags, and were on the road. We arrived in Nuremburg and we were hungry. Ryan and I fell in love with the falafel we had here the last time we came to we headed straight for that. It was just as good this time. We walked up to the castle with my Mom that we'd been to once before that led us through their market square with tents selling various products. On the way back we stopped and Ryan and I got another falafel to share because it really is that good. Then on the way back to the car I spotted a shop I'd seen in my Rick Steve's book, Vom Fass. So we stopped in. This store sells oils, vinegars, wines, and liquors all from the tap (that is what Vom Fass means "from tap"). So we got a couple half bottles of honey wines and my Mom got some truffle oil to take home to a friend. At check out we mentioned we live in Garmisch and learned Vom Fass is a chain and there is one in Garmisch. To this day we haven't been to the one here, but I keep meaning to go. Ryan and I think we should open a similar store at home in the States. My Mom got on the net at home and saw that Vom Fass has just recently entered the US market with their first store in Jackson Hole.... what are the chances?

From Nuremburg we headed to Dresden. Thanks to the long summer nights we had back then it was still light when we arrived. We checked into our hostel and moved into our room. As we were settling in another guy sharing our room came in and we chatted with him a bit. His name was Jens Von Holzen (what a cool name) and he was from Switzerland. We were ready to go to dinner and invited him to come along. At this point it was POURING rain. I put that in caps for a reason I don't know how to better explain how the sky had opened itself up and dumped every ounce of water it could squeeze out of itself. I saw on a map an Indian restaurant but once we got all the way to the end of the street realized that I don't think it was there anymore or we just couldn't find it. We walked back up the street and stopped in a Kebab place, but then Jenz commented that he thought it smelled funny so we asked if he wanted to leave and he said yes, so we did. :) It was kind of funny. We ended up all the way at the opposite end of the road pretty close to our hostel but by this time we were all soaked to our core. I actually enjoyed being wet because it wasn't cold and sometimes I think it is fun to be wet from the rain and today was one of those days. The other people in my party though I don't think shared the same feelings. The meal was quick and after that we went to the bar right across the street from our hostel and all had strawberry daiquiris. We had seen they were on special on a sign when we arrived for only 4 euro (super cheap for a cocktail in Europe) and they sounded good. Jens had a beer, but we thoroughly enjoyed our daiquiris. Then we walked across the street to our hostel and got ready for bed and fell asleep.

The next day was meant to explore Dresden. We checked out of our hostel in the morning, stowed our luggage in the car, and headed from the New Town where we were to the Old Town across the bridge. The most interesting and unique aspect of Dresden it that the "Old Town" is actually quite new. Dresden almost completely burned down during the war. It was so different to go into churches that you would expect to be thousands of years old that were actually finished a mere five years ago. They did try to recreate an old look. In fact some of the building use stones from the original buildings that were salvaged from and used in what they claim in the exact same places in the buildings today.

Another unique characteristic of Dresden is that this is where Martin Luther is from and where he started the Protestant movement. So instead of the largest church of the city being a catholic church it is a protestant church, although there is also a catholic church in the city as well because it still is Europe. :) We visited all the churches. And we saw a statue of Martin Luther.

It was raining just as much on this day as the night before so we were very wet and soggy. It was raining so much that when I ran through a fountain I barely noticed a difference in how wet I was. :) And it was really fun.

In my travel book I found a restaurant right across the street from the last church we saw that was known for oraganic food, tea, vegetarian food, and soup. I'm so glad we ate here. It was so delicious. We shared a delicious pot of tea and a couple bowls of soup. Oh I would go back just for this restaurant. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm I'm hungry just thinking about it.

We got a little turned around on our way back to the car, but found our way with time. We stopped at a sewing store for my Mom. My whole life I'm used to stopping in sewing stores of children's stores. In fact now I often will wander into children's stores on my own to compare and contrast with out store... but not so much sewing stores.

Back to the car it had stopped raining and we were trying to dry out. Soon we were on the road to Prague.

In Prague we stayed at the cheapest places I've ever stayed. I was so excited to find it. It was outside of the Old Town (city center) but that was okay because we benefited from free parking and the one day tram pass into town was cheap and easy to use. We were staying at a Penzion this time which was sort of more like a hotel except the bathroom was still in the hall and our room was still a four person dorm. The first night there was someone else we never met in with us, but the second night it was just the three of us.

We wanted dinner and there was virtually no where to eat around our Penzion, because it was all residential, except for the restaurant attached to the Penzion which didn't interest us. I'm so glad we decided to go into the Old City. When we arrived it was sunset and the orange sun made the pinkish buildins glow. I felt like I was standing at a square inside Disneyland. It was gorgeous. We had to exchange some money and then set out to find a vegetarian restaurant in my travel book. It took awhile to find and when we got there they had just closed their kitchen but said we could order cold dishes or quesadillas. My Mom and Ryan had quesadillas they really enjoyed. I had soup and I think we had hummus and another appetizer. It was all really good. If I go back to Prague I'll definitely go there again. After dinner we had to get back to the tram to catch the last one of the night back to our Penzion.

The next day we got up and had coffee in the lobby just to find out it wasn't in fact free like we believed, so we had to pay... oh well... it was good. :) Then we went to catch the tram into town. We went to a bakery (surprise surprise) to get some breakfast before we were going to meet the free tour group. There ended up being two companies doing free tours. We went with the one leaving a little earlier just to get on with our day. I actually didn't love this tour though. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood. I had trouble understanding out guides Czech accent though and I didn't think she was very entertaining. When I go on a tour I looking for information in an entertaining way, not just information. My Mom enjoyed the tour though, which I was glad of so she didn't feel like her time there was wasted since the tour was three hours. We started by watching the clock strike 11 and then little figures popped out and did things and then it ended with a man blowing a trumpet off the top of the tower. We walked around the whole city from the Old Town to the Jewish Quarter. I don't really remember a lot of what we saw or learned because I wasn't enthralled with any of it. Mom if anything sticks out in your mind that you want to share you can post a comment to this post.

After the tour we went to lunch at Bohemian Bagles and had bagel sandwiches that were delicious. Then we caught a tram back to our Penzion where we got in the car and headed an hour out of town. I'd heard, from friends who had been before, about a bone church that was really cool. It was a nice drive although the rain had gone and it was very hot and sunny (we loved it) so the windows were our AC since the car doesn't have any. We arrived in a super tiny little town. The church seemed small too from the outside and it wasn't big by any means, but once you entered it did drop down a level and opened up a little bit. It was crazy to see so many human bones nearly 40,000 bodies worth. And it wasn't gross at all... at least to any of us. There was no mass slaughter they simply ran out of room to bury people outside and they started using the church as overflow. Some monks went to Palestine and brought back some soil and sprinkled it around the church, so during the 30 Years War everyone wanted to be buried here because of the soil from the Holy Land. Since I love scull and cross bones I took a lot of pictures of the skulls with bones crossed under their chins. I tried to pick my favorite skull. They had ever single bone in that church that we have in the human body. In fact there is a chandelier made out of bones hanging from the ceiling that they said has at least one of each bone of the body. If you are interested in reading more about the history of it check out this website I found or you can google it yourself. So after we'd been there for awhile and took a lot of pictures we drove the hour back to Prague for the night. We went back into the city and walked all around. I got us a bit lost but we finally made it back to our beds by the end of the night. We'd really wanted to find a dessert local to the area but weren't able to, so that was on our agenda for our last day.

The next morning we got up and went to the castle. We paid for the ticket that allowed us to see a few rooms but not all. I'm glad we got that one because we didn't have a ton of time and it wasn't as cool as I was expecting it to be. There was a HUGE line to get into the cathedral which was free to go into and it wasn't worth it to us to stand in line. We went back though before we left Prague and the line was short and we were able to see it. This was definitely my favorite part of the Castle complex.

As we left the castle and walked toward the Old Town there were people selling artwork they'd made. Ryan and I bought a beautiful painting that he currently has hung in his room after a little battle with me because I wanted to hang it in my room. I guess we should have bought two.

In the Old Town we went to lunch at a different restaurant owned by the same people that owned the one we went to on the first night. It was also really good. I was excited they had a vegan version of Goulash on the menu. Goulash is a traditional Czech meal (along with several other European countries I have realized) and I wanted to try it but the main ingredient is meat, so I wasn't willing to. But I did enjoy it and I'd love to try and someday come up with a vegan version myself that I can make. My Mom and Ryan really liked their food as well. If for no other reason I'd go back to Prague for the good vegetarian and vegan restaurants that we ate at. :) And before we left the Old Town we did find the traditional dessert. It wasn't overly sweet at all and I actually liked it. It was a dumpling like ball that was pretty doughy with a plum inside and the whole thing was boiled and then the shredded what they called "farmers cheese," it was rather flavorless on the top. Ryan had a different filling, but I can't remember what it was. I liked them though although it wasn't like a party in my mouth.

Overall I liked Prague, but I wasn't as thrilled with it as most everyone I know tells me they were. So either there was something wrong with Prague or something wrong with me. I'd like to think it was not the later. And I have an idea what didn't thrill me with the city itself. Being the beginning of summer tourist season was upon us and the city was swarming with people from around the globe. Unlike some busy cities I've been to though I felt like Prague was a cruise ship port because there were so many buses that would bring people in for a day or two and during certain hours of the day it would be mad. I think I would like it better without this added chaos and maybe a little more exploring on my own rather than the tour. So if presented the opportunity I would go back.... like I said if only for the vegetarian food. :)

So that was our first trip with my Mom. We came back to Garmisch that evening. It was my Mom's first time in Garmisch, remember, since we never came back after she arrived. And if I even need to say it... she loved it. :) Well enough for this post I think. I'll have to tell you about the rest later. :)

Lake Bled

A couple weeks ago Ryan and I went to Lake Bled in Slovenia. To get to Slovenia (a country I had never heard of before I moved to Germany) we drive all the way through Austria from West to South East and Lake Bled isn't too far into Slovenia. It took about 4.5 hours to get there.

We left after work on Tuesday. The car was packed very full because we decided to camp. I've been wanting to get a lot more camping in this summer than we have been able to and realized if we were going to go we better get on it before the weather turned poor. And I've been wanting to go to Lake Bled ever since my neighbor told me it is his favorite place he's been and he has been here for two years now, so I took that as quite the recommendation.

We arrived at the camp ground around 8. It was very full, but we found a good spot and set up camp. It was a very nice camp ground. It was right across from the lake, there were nice bathroom facilities, and even a game area with a basketball court, ping pong, tennis, sand volley ball, trampolines and arcade games, but some of those things you had to pay additional for.

For the past several months I feel like our lives have been go, go, go and I've been very worn out. My Mom came in June, soon after we did our big trip to the Middle East, the Michelle arrive only two days after we got back with Barb coming in the middle of Michelle's visit. Then it took another week to get back on a normal work schedule because of having one day weekends to make up for our time off. So more of less I just felt like I was trying to keep my head above water for a long time. This weekend I wanted to relax, but outside of Garmisch. Lake Bled turned out to be the perfect place to do just that.

Wednesday morning we woke up and it was raining quite a lot. So we stayed in tent and did nothing exhausting... no work, no errands, no adventures.... it was perfect. I read my Bible for several hours and Ryan read a book I had brought with me. Eventually the rain stopped and the sun even peaked it's head out, so I got up, showered, and prepared for what was left of the day.

The lake only had a circumference of 6km, not much at all, so we set out to walk around it. Oh first we stopped at a grocery on our campground and bought a salad and a 1/4 of a watermelon and sat on the edge of the lake eating that. There were lots of swans around and some children jumping off a dock. The water looked incredible. So clear that you could see the stones on the bottom quite a ways out.

As we walked around we saw several places to rent wooden row boats. We thought about it for the next day, but ended up not doing it. There is an island in the lake that is only big enough to have one church on it. So that is the main reason people rent the boats, but we decided we didn't care enough and we'd save it for next time.

While we walked I kept seeing fish in the water and I'd follow them along the boardwalk we were on until I saw another and then follow that one. I guess because of this I reminded Ryan of Dory from Finding Nemo. Then as we got further around the lake we stopped to look at a menu outside a restaurant and on the menu under Fish was "Grilled Dory Fish," I couldn't believe it. :)

We saw a sign for a tourist office, so went in. I had heard of Slovenian wine (plus I like to try wine everywhere I go) so I asked if they knew anywhere we could go wine tasting. The man told me there were no vineyard around, but gave me a map and marked a wine shop that did wine tasting.

When we got to the wine shop the woman said they normally only do wine tastings for large groups, but she could let us try some wine. It was interesting though because her method of letting us "try" wine seemed just like a wine tasting to me. Slovenia does have very good wine. They have several different growing regions. One is more up north and a little more mountainous and produces most of their whites and then to the south on the border with Italy they produce some really great reds. Of course we had to purchase a couple bottles to add to our European collection. We have an ever growing collection, but we haven't drank any yet. We will need to get on that because I'd be afraid to know how much it would cost to ship them home using the German Post since we can't ship alcohol through USPS.

After we left the shop somehow Ryan was a bit tipsy... I however was fine. I don't understand how that is possible, but he was pretty funny. We kept walking around the lake and saw a sign for Corn which Ryan got overly excited about and b-lined for. :) I wish I could take a picture that shared with you how funny he was. But as it turned out this was some really incredible corn. The man had a stand on the side of lake with fresh popcorn, no butter, but heavily salted... just the way I like it. And corn on the cob. He had a special thing on his barbecue that he set the corn in which helped blacken it. Then he salted that too. Oh it was so good. So good in fact we made it our last stop the next day before we left.

We continued on our walk as we ate our corn. We made it back to the camp ground and decided it was time for dinner. We drove around the lake to an area we thought had a restaurant the woman at the wine shop recommended, but I'm pretty sure where we ended up eating wasn't what she recommended. We wanted fish and there was fish on the menu, so we went in. We each had really good soup to start. Ryan had french onion and I had Tuscan bean. But unfortunately our fish wasn't as good as we hoped. Ryan had tuna, but it was cooked all the way through. We like it seared so it is still raw in the center. And now we know we dislike it cooked all the way through... unless it is in a can. So, oh well with dinner. We were stuffed when we left though so at least we didn't go hungry.

When we got back to camp we went straight to bed. That is part of what I love about camping. Your day starts when the sun comes up and ends when the sun goes down (more or less).

The next morning we had to be checked out of the campground by noon, so we got up much earlier than the day before and packed up. We left the car parked at the campground and then headed to the lake for a swim across the street. The water really was fantastic. And today the sun was out and it was fairly warm. After our swim we bought a piece of Bled cake at the grocery because it is supposed to be a specialty of the area and you all know how I am about food and wanting to try things unique to certain places. Well we really didn't care for the cake, so special or not we wouldn't recommend it. Then we got in the car and drove around to the corn guy. We each got an ear of corn and shared a bag of popcorn that we watched pop... oh so so so good. And then we were on the road again heading back to Garmisch.

That night I had couchsurfers staying with me, so we needed to be back before too late. They had texted me that morning (texting is called SMS in Europe) and I'd told them we'd be back between 4 and 5. It was fun to spend the evening with them chatting about life and traveling. I hope that we can go visit them in Wurzburg, northern Bavaria, before we leave.

I feel like I didn't have much to share from this trip because we didn't do a whole lot. We just enjoyed the beauty of the area, being out in God's creation, and having NOTHING that we HAD to do. Ahhh what a marvelous weekend it was. Maybe before we leave we'll get to spend at least one more weekend like this one.

If we go back to Lake Bled though I do have a couple things on my agenda. There is a castle we didn't hike up to that allows you to bottle your own wine- obviously up my alley. And there is something called canyoning that I'd really like to do. A guide takes you hiking up a mountain in a wet suit and then you repel down waterfalls until you are halfway down and then jump into the water below. And at the end if you are brave enough you can jump all the way down the waterfalls. And then once you've finished the part of repelling and jumping you just float down the river in your wet suit to the place you started the whole adventure from. We know a lot of people who have done this and rave about it. So we'll see if we are able to fit it in to our dwindling days here.