Sledging, a visit to Ehrenberg Castle and Thermal spa!
For me, whenever and whatever I plan ahead doesn’t really work. Though it was our 15th anniversary we hadn’t planned anything ahead. Suddenly, the previous night we though of going to Austria for sledging and to enjoy our last snow (soon we will be going back home). Then the next day on our way back visitied a castle and soaked ourselves in thermal spa.
We left early morning to Serfaus, Tirol which is around 318kms. drive from Stuttgart, Germany. Reached there around 10.00 am and directly went sledging. We parked our car in a designated parking spot which was free! Then took a train (U bahn) which is again free!! From there we bought a day ticket to the cable car for multiple trips. There are few shops were we can rent all kinds of snow sport stuff. There are many snow sports that you can do, specially for kids.
Ours sledging track was about 4 kms. It was scary for the first time as I didn’t know how to control the speed. Later once I self-learnt to control, it was so much fun. We spent rest of our day there.
Next day while heading back to Stuttgart near Reutte we saw a long suspended bridge and a castle which looked interesting so we decided to check that out. It is Ehrenberg Castle which is 700 year old and the view from the highline is quite captivating. We have to buy the ticket to the bridge bit for the castle its free.
It is around 235 kms drive from Stuttgart where one can also make a day trip. We spent few hours there and headed to a Thermal spa which was awesome and relaxing. We returned to Stuttgart the same day.
All our trips were planned then and there.Wasn’t that interesting! I enjoyed my day.
We stopped by in Verona on the way back from Florence to Germany. I was just in love with this place (why not, Romeo and Juliet happened here) and wanted to spent more time but unfortunately we had to leave next morning. There was something interesting to see in each road, each corner as we walked within the old city. It is also a good place for shopping spree.
Tiramisu was in my to do list from the day I returned from Verona last summer. Finally now came the time. I thought it will be the perfect dessert for my valentine on the valentine’s day. It is a perfect dessert for parties too, it’s yumm, alcohol free and most importantly it’s easy.
Duration – 20 min + 5-6 hrs setting time
Serves – 8-10
20 - Lady's finger biscuits/Savoiardi
4 - Eggs(separated)
1 1/2 - 2 cups - Brewed coffee (sweetened if desired)
3/4 cup - Sugar
1 1/2 cups - Mascarpone cheese
1 tsp - Pure vanilla
1 tbsp - Cocoa powder for garnish
1 Tbsp - Chocolate gratings for garnish
1. In a big bowl add egg yokes,half sugar and whisk.Add mascarpone and vanilla into it and whisk till well mixed.
2. In a separate big bowl add egg whites and whisk well till fluffy. Add in remaining sugar one spoon at a time.
3. Fold in the egg whites into the egg yokes.
4. Pour the coffee in a wide bowl.
5. Dip the Lady finger one at a time in the coffee and arrange next to each other in a rectangular bowl. Do not soak the fingers for long.
6. Pour half of the prepared custard over the lady finger and spread evenly
7. Repeat with remaining fingers arranging over the custard. pour the remaining custard and spread well.
8. Refrigerate for atleast 5-6 hours or overnight.
9. Garnish with cocoa powder and chocolate gratings before serving.
I hope you try this simple dish and make your valentine happy.
On our way back from Zermatt to Stuttgart we stopped at this romantic deep blue lake, Blausee. It is around 400 kms. from Stuttgart. Blausee is a small lake in the Kander valley above Kandergrund at 887 m, near the river Kander.
It is a 5 min walk from the parking to the lake. We walked around the lake and also got the glimpse of huge trouts jumping out of the crystal clear water. There is a hotel with a spa on the shore of the lake and an organic trout farm.
On one end of the lake there is a statue of a lady in the water were it is said that this blue eyed lady used to visit this lake with her true love. One day he suddenly died and she continued to visit this lake and shed tears sitting near the lake remembering her loved one. Days later, she died in grief. The blueness of the lake is from her tears.
We spent some time adoring the lake and ate at a Pizza restaurant near the parking place which had some lip smacking pizzas.
Sunrise from Gornergrat peak and the Handsome Matterhorn!
Now that we know this is our last year in Germany, we are preparing a wish list of all the things we want to do. The first one on the list is to enjoy the snow. But unfortunately winter is special this year. There is Absolutely no snow in Stuttgart! So we headed towards the snow in Zermatt.
As we planned our trip the previous day we didn’t have much choice with the hotel, so we stayed in small village called Randa not far from Zermatt. It was a 5hr 45min drive from Stuttgart. It was a 3 day trip. We left right after Christmas to avoid traffic and crowd.
We reached Randa in the afternoon and spent that day around Randa and sledging. For the next day my husband suggested that we go up the Gornergrat peak for the sunrise. Me and my son unwillingly said yes as we didn’t want to wake up early. But later we realised, it was worth it!
We got up at 5.30am and drove to Täsch which was a 6 min drive from Randa and parked at the park house at the train station. From there we took the first train towards Zermatt at 6.15am. This beautiful village Zermatt surrounded by Alps is a car free zone to control air pollution. Only electric cars are used. So, we have to take trains from nearby places. There is also a train station in Randa but we learnt that is was much more expensive than we paid in Täsch including the parking fee and the train ticket for 3 persons. There is also much more choices of restaurants at Täsch, which was easier on our way back.
The different cable car stations are Gornergrat (3,089m), Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883m), Rothorn (3,103m) and Schwarzsee (2,583m). We choose Gornergrat as we had been to Matterhorn glacier paradise few years back.
The Gornergrat base train station is Europe’s highest cogged electric railway. It is right in front as we exit the main train station at Zermatt. We had our breakfast at a restaurant near the station. In winter the ticket counter opens at 6.50am and the first train starts at 7.00am. It takes 33 min. to reach the peak with total 6 stops. The Switzerland’s highest hotel Kulmhotel Gornergrat is located at the last stop of the train station. There are other restaurants too. One can get down in between the stations and trek or ski.
We first reached at the highest stop Gornergrat. The sky looked beautiful with the shades of pink. We walked towards the view point and the whole panoramic view was mesmerising. The mountain peaks slowly turned Coral with the first ray of the sun, It was simply breathtaking specially on the gorgeous Matterhorn peak. One can see 29 mountains above 4000m from Gornergrat.
On our way back from Gornergrat we got down at Rotenboden and walked down to Riffelberg which took about an hour. It was amazing, with the view of Matterhorn. We had our lunch at Riffelberg.
the trek route
We spent our whole day praising the Alps. My son was soo happy, He enjoyed till the fullest but, want to go again… Who will not want to, if the place is like Heaven!!
Hope this post and pictures inspires you to visit this magical place!
For my guest post, allow me to ignite your imagination. Picture a beautifully lit up sky, a vibrant festive atmosphere, sparkly christmas trees, gleaming rows of stalls, the enticing aroma of cinnamon, vanilla, roasted almonds, Glühwine and the cheery hum of people connecting with each other….the historic and traditional Christmas Markets have come to my part of the world!!!
To know more about the dazzling Christmas market of Stuttgart, Maulbronn, Tübingen and Esslingen please visit Megha’s space here.
The moment I entered this place it felt so peaceful and calm as though I left everything behind and started walking into a fantasyland. Cascading emerald lakes, crystal clear water and graceful waterfalls that one couldn’t imagine. So fascinating!
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
It is the largest park in Croatia and a UNESCO world heritage site. There are 16 lakes which flow one into other through a series of waterfalls which is worth a watch. Lakes are formed by the confluence of Karst rivers.
It was a surprise as I entered the park. One cannot imagine from outside that it could be so beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off the magnificent view! There are 8 different paths. We took the 8km path which took us about 6 hours. At the end there is a bus ride to go back.
Croatia’s tallest waterfall (78mtrs) is also in this park. We can go down to the fall and also walk along the wooden footbridges which snake through the beautiful waterfalls and lakes.
Even this year my summer vacation was exciting with my family. It was a three week drive starting from Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and back to Germany! I will be sharing my memorable experience of Slovenia and Croatia in this post.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Our first stop was in Lake Bled. We stayed in a nice village called Zasip which is 10min drive to Bled. Lake Bled is a beautiful lake with an island and a palace on the cliff at the edge of the lake. There is an old church on the island.
One who visits Lake Bled should not miss Lake Bohinj. Its about 27 kms away. It is as gorgeous as Lake Bled, less commercial. I personally liked Lake Bohinj more. It was less crowded the day we went and the experience of swimming in the crystal clear lake was simply amazing.
From Bohinj we left to Croatia Plitvice national park. (See the beginning of this post) We stayed overnight in Grabovac which is 5kms to Plitvice.
We spent a week in Croatia. From Plitvice we drove towards the beach and stayed in a place called Slano. We travelled back and forth to different places from Slano.
We took a ferry to Korčula from Orebić which is around 80kms from Slano. Ferry runs every hour. The island is quite impressive with many beaches and an old city.
Sunset on our way back was fab!
Veliki žal beach
I liked Veliki žal beach. It was perfect for snorkelling. My son was thrilled to see schools of different fish. I was a bit hesitant to snorkel at the beginning but later I enjoyed. It was like I was in a huge aquarium. A totally new experience.
Dubrovnik is an old unique city and an UNESCO World heritage site. The stroll through the marbled main street Stradun is welcoming. This street has many interesting shops and restaurants. At night its a festive atmosphere. One must walk along the ancient city wall for a spectacular view of Adriatic Sea on one side and the beauty of the old city on the other.
To get an arial view of the city my husband and his cousin got up early in the morning and went to Mount Srd. One can take a cable car or drive to go up. Well I was lazy to get up!
We had a lovely time in Croatia. Later we continued our tour to Venice, Florence and Verona which was also memorable.
Phew! It was a 4500 km. drive. Totally worth it! We had a 10 year old monster and a 2 year angel and they both cooperated well, making our trip more joyful.
One must not miss Plitvice national park when visiting Europe. It’s unique, trust me.
After eight and half hours of driving through GREEN corn fields, GOLDEN wheat fields and YELLOW sunflower fields, I finally reached the most awaited fields. The luscious LAVENDER fields. It was like a dream come true!!
The next morning me and my husband woke up early and drove from Montbrun-les-Bains towards Ferrassieres, Province. It was a road uphill and the view was very captivating overlooking the villages and Lavender fields. As we drove further there was a pleasant smell mesmerizing in the air and it was like driving into the heaven of shades of blue, purple and grey. I entered a field with glee it was beautiful!! I could hear the buzzing sound of busy bees when I was wandering through the flowers. The best time to visit is during July. It also depends on the weather. We travelled from 4-6th of July which was ideal and hot.
I got a chance to visit distillery Dromel Lavender & Lavandin in Sault. I learnt about different varieties of Lavender. There is also a shop were I bought few Lavender oils, sleep spray (yes, it works!), shampoo, shower gel, dried flowers for cooking and Lavender honey. Lavender has many medicinal properties too.
We can find lots of fields surrounding Sault. Later in the afternoon we headed towards the Verdon Gorge from Sault were we saw many huge fields.
Verdon Gorge is a river canyon and is one of the Europe’s most beautiful places. It is formed by the Verdon River and the turquoise water colour between the brownish grey gorge is simply stunning. You can hire a boat or swim in the water.
On the way back from the Gorge we took the route between Puimoisson to Valensole where we found vast fields.
The second day we stayed near Gordes, where there are lot of places to see around. Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque is one of them.
The Grey monastery is surrounded by purple and golden farm land, between the wild valley (during July & August). The drive to the north of Gordes to the Sénanque is specular giving you the panoramic view across the fields.
Later we headed to Ferrassieres for a Lavender Fest. There were Lavender products, vegetables, fruits and food stall. This can be skipped if not interested.
10kms from Gordes there is a very vivid and rustic village called Roussillon in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azul region, where all the buildings are and must be painted in shades of Ochre. There is a quarry named Le Sentier des Ocres, a must visit and very unique place. There are huge colourful cliffs of shades of orange, pink and white which is breathtaking. We can walk through the cliff with a reasonable entrance ticket. Its a fun place for kids too where they can feel the coloured powdered sand. My son had a good time but don’t forget to keep spare clothes. It was our last day and unwillingly we had to leave the next day. It’s a “Once in a lifetime” kind of a place. I am the lucky one!