Thursday, December 09, 2010

Walk in My Shoes Wednesday - An Odd Afternoon in Neunkirchen am Brand

On days when the weather is questionable - say, most of the winter here in Central Europe - it really is hard to imagine any outing being especially magical or memorable. But perhaps the secret is in knowing that not every adventure has to be extraordinary. An afternoon filled with interesting discoveries, namely the realization that the restaurants, libraries, museums, and banks of our neighboring village are all closed on Wednesday afternoons, may be just as valuable. Fortunately for us, German bakeries, such as the cozy Kalchreuther in Neunkirchen's "city" center, are open throughout the day, allowing 4-year-old Lukas and I to spend some time together in spite of the strange business hours of other establishments.

Now, not only do we now know exactly where the library is and its opening hours, but we also know what kind of art is on display at the Felix-Müller Museum. And, to counter our slight disappointment, we bought a package of delicious chocolate-coated Lebkuchen (the Kalchreuther Bakery's gingerbread-like Lebkuchen is second only to self-made!) then popped into the always pleasant "Das Eck - Lesen-Spielen-Schenken" (or "Read-Play-Give") for some random Christmas goodies. Lastly, we took some time to admire the snow-dusted art in the town's market square, pictured left.

Lessons learned on this "adventure"?
- German restaurants close for the afternoon, if they're open at all during the day. Your options are to eat around Noon or find a bakery. (Though I knew this, I find myself just as surprised every time it happens!)
- Neunkirchen am Brand's Library has won some awards for their children's programs. Great! Having said that, it certainly has strange hours, namely:

Tuesday11.00-14.00 Uhr
Thursday16.00-19.30 Uhr
Friday15.00-17.00 Uhr
Sunday9.00-11.00 Uhr

Lucky for me, an afternoon with Lukas is never dull. He did some "karate" moves for the woman seated next to us at the bakery, and - in between bites of chocolate-banana - talked loudly about how he can speak four languages (he considers being able to count in Dutch and German mastery of the language). He never asked where his brother was (but at some point I volunteered that he was with Oma & Opa); I guess he was just happy to be out with just his Mama -- like the "old" days. Which got me to thinking about our many adventures together, and how great a little traveler Lukas has always been. It may not have been an extraordinary adventure, but we still ventured out, and - most importantly - we were on it together.

For those of you who can't head out and adventure right this moment, why not help build a village for those in need and secure your chance to win some great prizes? :) I'll be giving away a personalized tour of Nuremberg, Bamberg, or Munich to one lucky winner, and there are some other killer prizes up for grabs! For more information, please visit the Passports with Purpose website. Your contribution will be much appreciated!


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