Local Heart, Global Soul

December 20, 2014

Berlin Is Especially Impressive…

Filed under: photography,Germany,Legoland Germany — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Naturally since this  archive post comes from Legoland Germany,  there are some amazing German landmarks on display.

The “Berlin” section is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, not only here but also in any museum or exhibition display anywhere.

In fact I know that these really must be made for the enjoyment freak adults like me because most children certainly would not appreciate the amount of work  and detail put into these.

I recognise quite a few (but not all of the) famous buildings here and Berlin is a city I hope to one day visit, so this is my taster of the real thing until the time when I am mobile enough to get back to our travel bucket list.

What’s most impressive is the scale of the  buildings, obviously they have to be a certain size in order to fit all the detail in, but please do take a look in the photographs for the other visitors walking around in the background, this gives you a real eye opening perspective on the size of the models here.

We visited on various days over the whole week and the weather on some days was better that others, therefore I found myself coming back her more than once and getting a few photographs on different days. Who knew that a visit to a kids building-block fun park would be such an excellent geography lesson too!?

The first building that I recognise is the Berliner Dome …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bundestag (Reichstag) building …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The sign over the columns says “The German People” …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Bode Museum…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The twin spires of the Nikolai Church…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Branderburg Gate…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I don’t know the name of this one…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Rathaus…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are more buildings, less grand in style but just as impressive in detail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 19, 2014

Hmm, Will That Be: Large, Life-Size … Or Even Bigger?

Filed under: Germany,Legoland Germany,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

One of the very best things about Legoland Germany are the large, sometimes life sized and on occasion simply massive fgures all around the park. They are funny, quirky and often stunningly realistic. This “family” near the entrance are fairly much life size…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the “Factory”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Outside a café / restaurant…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

By one of the park’s attractions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This lady is not all that she seems:  she’s feeding the pidgeons with a smile on her face but holds a net behind her back and has a book of “pidgeon recipes” in her bag…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some figures are in unexpected places….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Life sized and … curious…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Legoland Einstein, next to him are the doors  to a workshop where kids can use their imagnations and build things…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some figures just need to take a nap…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 18, 2014

Frankfurt In Miniture, Down To The Murals On The Walls…

Filed under: Germany,Legoland Germany,photography — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m amazed at how much of Legoland Germany is automated.

There are Lego fountains that spurt water, trains that run around on tracks  and actually stop at stations on the journey along the way, and figures in the streets and squares that move.

I can safely say that probably for every automated part of this park I saw there was probably at least another one or two that I missed.

It was a case of not knowing where to look because there was simply so much to see.

We were very interested to see the Lego version of the Frankfurt area because we are due to spend a few days there with our friends on the way back and there’s been a hint that a tour of the historic part of the city is on the cards.

Once again the attention to detail is captivating: there is even a mini mural on one of the walls, and seeing how precise the detail is in the park, I’m certain that it’s a copy of a well known one in Frankfurt. I must remember to ask our friend there about this one, she and her partner don’t have kids so Legoland isn’t somewhere they are familiar with, but they will recognise if this is a local mural. One thing is for sure… if Frankfurt is too far for you to travel to but you can make it here to Legoland in the south of the country, you can get more than a good idea of what the city looks like. Let’s take a tour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 17, 2014

Legoland Really Takes Off… Well, As Practically As Possible…

Filed under: photography,Germany,Legoland Germany — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just as well there is a Lego brick factory on site at Legoland Germany, since the amount of them used in the mini-cities and exhibits becomes mind boggling.

One of the exhibits that made the biggest impression on our children (and Himself and I) was that of the airport.

Not only are there planes that “taxi” via some sort of underground mechanical system to the runway and back, there are also planes of all sizes around the airport, cut-a-way sections that show the inside of the airport, with passengers on escalators and in waiting areas but also all the vehicles that are typical to the airport.

The hoses on the airport fire engines squirt real water, and the control tower is detail perfect.

Himself and I were particularly impressed with the cut-a-way view of inside a large A380 aeroplane, passengers in seats, cargo in the hold, there were new things to see the more and more you looked.

Little Mr saved his biggest squeals of excitement for the helicopter that “flies”. In reality it’s not actual flight of course but rather that it’s attached to a recessed pole that makes the helicopter “fly” when it extends. It was good that I needed a rest becuase we waited there for ages whilst Little Mr watched it go “just one more time” (and that meant about seven times) before I told him that we really had to move on.

If anyone doubts the cost of the entrance fee, or that there would not be enough to see, rest assured there is more than enough to keep visitors busy.

We’ve already descided that we are going to only try and cover a small section of the park in a day, and then go back to our hotel so that I can rest, Himself and the kids can swim and then we can all have a leisurely dinner. Our year passes mean that after the second days visit we effectively have free entrance and so we intend to not try and do too much on any one day.

In the meantime there is so much to do…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 16, 2014

Never Assume Anything: An Open Mind Can Capture Many Positive Surpises…

Filed under: photography,Germany,Legoland Germany — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have to be honest that when the promise to go to a Legoland theme park suddenly started to turn into an actual reality, I didn’t think it was going to be a holiday I would be jumping up and down with enthusiasm for (figuratively jumping of course).

I fully expected to arrive in Legoland  and spend most of my time sitting on a seat or cafe table somewhere in the park, commiserating with Kiwi Daughter whilst Himself and Little Mr looked at bits of plastic.

I entertained the scenario that we might go as a family the first day and then after that Kiwi Daughter would be bored witless and she and I would then stay the other days at the hotel (me as a non swimmer in one of the loungers by the pool, Kiwi Daughter in the water).

Himself, as the mobile parent would have to do his parental duty and get dragged around Legoland by an enthusiastic Little Mr and I’d be back at the hotel with his reward of a restaurant meal and beer afterwards, telling Himself that while he might also be bored, he’s making a little boy very, very happy indeed and that he’s earning his “Papa of the Year award”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

How wrong could I have been!? The theme park is so large that it was immediately clear that we were never going to get around it in a day, (or in my case not even in three or four), and we were bearly inside the doors when all four of us were captivated and had contracted the “I love Lego bug”.

The attention to detail and sheer scale of things surprised us, also there were rollercoasters we didn’t know about beforehand, rides and various themes within the park, a water park, a castle, a Halloween area (we were here in the October school holidays), the mini country model area, an Egyptian section, pirates… the list went on.

Our eyes started to open wider and wider and the surprise of the day was the enthusiasm with which Kiwi Daughter showed, after all for a kid who detested Lego, she was suddenly getting excited not only about the rides but also for the Lego things too. Miracles, it seems are still very much a current commodity.

Any detail fanatic cannot help but be impressed… and regular readers will know that I’m a confirmed, certificated and signed for detail fanatic.

We start in Venice Italy… the miniature Legoland version that is. The detail is amazing: a tightrope walker dangles his assistant below him on the wire, there is amazing detail in the tile roofs, the mechanical boats that ply the canals, Lego people sit in boats, “walk” along the streets and stand on bridges. Real bonsai trees help make the scene even more realistic… the whole thing is amazing. It’s little wonder that we are all captivated, there is simply so much to see…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 15, 2014

It All Starts Out As A Little Plastic Bead…

Filed under: photography,Germany,Legoland Germany — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Upon the advice of the friendly staff who processed our Legoland year passes, we begin our tour of Legoland Germany at the “factory”, which is where visitors can get an idea of how the Lego making process works.

It’s very child friendly, with many giant sized Lego figures and some humourous features like the Lego man bursting out of a ctare of Lego bricks.

We are told that all of the large lego figures have been made with individual Lego blocks that have been superglued together, which of course makes sense: otherwise it’s clear that the many little hands would be busy dismanteling them during the time the theme park is open.

We see the tiny round coloured plastic beads in large perspex chambers that are the foundation material of all Lego pieces made and we see a machine pumping out one typle of Lego figure, that too is safely under a thick perspex cover so that little fingers don’t go after the figures and end up trapped in th machinery.

The “Factory” is just that, it does make Lego pieces but like an iceburg, we only see a fraction of the production that takes place, since most of the enterprise takes place out the back.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The tour takes place over two floors (there is a lift) and we can at one point look down through a window to the Factory shop, a place where most of the merchandise consists of row after row of different shaped Lego pieces and they can all be purchased for a set price per one hundred grams / kilogram.

To my disappointment only a limited selection (hundreds) of the entire Lego piece (thousands) collection can be bought here so some items like extra long (16 x 2) blocks were not sold here but every colour of the rainbow of  say for instance flat blocks were.

I’m assuming that it would take too much space to display every part that Lego makes so it makes sense that they only go for a selection so after discussion with our Little Mr Lego monster, we decided to buy parts that were not easily available elsewhere, such as various sized window shapes.

The idea was to make his budgeted goodie bag stretch as far as possible and to make it fit in with the pieces he already had at home.

Needless to say, rather a lot of time and consideration was spent weighing up which pieces would be the ultimate choises, and we could have spent his limited cash tenfold (or thousandfold) without a problem.

On the way to the Factory we spy a huge dislay which seemed to be recognised by many of the German children, It appeared to have an asian theme but maybe it was something to do with Star Wars too? Either way we didn’t recognise it at all, but the detail that’s been gone into here did give us an inside into the displays that were to come.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 14, 2014

Fulfilling A Dream Of The Smallest Member Of The Family…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch fulfilled a dream of the smallest member of our family when we went on holiday to Legoland Germany.

Located roughly an hour south of Munich, we choose this particular Legoland theme park for several reasons.

Top of our list was cost: ferry and channel bookings to the United Kingdom were seriously going to add to the cost, as would currency conversion and the apparently high cost of staying in the immediate vacinity of the UK park.

We when considered Denmark as an alternative and I got on the internet for prices.  Granted they were in Kroner and I had to do a currency conversion there too, but when I did I couldn’t believe my eyes. To stay one single night in a family room at the Lego themed hotel for  any of the dates we wanted would cost us Euro 800,– !!! We wanted to go for a week, so this was eye-wateringly expensive!

Certain that there must have been a mistake in the website I found a phone number and rang them direct. The lady was friendly but assured me there was no error, she said “it’s the end of the season and rooms in the area are in short supply, the less rooms we have left, the more we charge, just like airlines do … would you like me to book your rooms for you?”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I politely declined and broke the news to Himself. He was livid that they would think to charge so much. I then looked at a large area around Legoland Denmark and the cheapest rooms I could find were Euro 200,– per night.

Obviously the other hotels weren’t slow to realise that if the prices sky-rocketed elsewhere, they could follow suit.  We prepared to break the news to Little Mr that Legoland was going to be completely out of our budget.

Luckily Himself had to first take Kiwi Daughter to the birthday party. The party was an indoor bowling party and was far enough away from home that he decided to sit in a café with some of the other parents and wait  for the girls to finish bowling.

The group of parents knew one another and got chatting and the topic of rip-off school holiday prices came up. Himself told the news about our Danish accommodation enquiries and two other parents jumped in with similar tales from earlier years.

Both then highly recommended Legoland Germany, which we hadn’t even realised existed and said that accommodation prices were reasonable and the area was lovely too. We pounced on this new information, we could use our own currency, The Euro, drive there, see our friends in Frankfurt to break up the journey and do it all within budget.

Now, as we drive the sixteen or so kilometres from our hotel, we come to a round-a-bout what has some suspiciously familiar “blocks” on the other side, Little Mr starts to let out screams of delight, clearly we are getting close.

You have never see a little boy so happy in all your life… Just as well Himself needed to drop me off at the main entrance: Little Mr could not have contained himself  to delay even the walk from the giant car park (luckily end of the season also means an almost empty car park).

I had wanted to pre-book on-line but the internet connection was slow in the hotel and the site kept timing out, so instead we came early and were here as the doors opened.

This turned out to be fortuitous: a Family day pass cost upwards from Euro 35 per person, so would cost over Euro 120,– per day, plus parking fees on top of that. We knew we wanted to come for at least three full days, which if we booked per day, would cost us over Euro 350,– .

Luckily the staff advised us of the Family Year Pass option instead, we paid Euro 220,– for the four of us, including parking and for this price we could come as often as we wanted for the next calendar year, Every day they were open if we’d been so inclined.

All you need to do is get your photograph taken and a special year pass card for each family member made up. It’s a much better deal than going with the internet site prices.  It’s a pity that for the reason of internet privacy I can’t post Little Mr’s year card photograph… it shows a small boy with the biggest, most excited,  silliest grin, almost splitting his face in half. He was beside himself with joy… all we need to do now is go inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Not the recommended method of entry…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

December 13, 2014

No Matter How Exciting The Day, It Needs To Be Correctly Fuelled…

Filed under: photography,Germany,German Cuisine,Ichenhausen — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Another archive post: Family Kiwidutch are staying at the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel in Ichenhausen which is located in southern Germany. We have a very big day ahead of us, and an especially big day for one of us. No day, however exciting however, can be started without breakfast… which here is typically German (cold meats and cheeses on bread) with a touch of an English breakfast thrown in…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 12, 2014

A Brewery Tour With No Beer: …Seriously?

Filed under: photography,Germany,Ichenhausen — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Every thought you had an excellent idea for an event and then found that reality didn’t quite live up to what you’expected?

When I signed up to the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel in Ichenhausen’s  brewery tour, it seemed ideal.

The brewery makes soft drinks as well as beer, so something for the rest of the family to sample, it would be educational and the brewery was at the back of our hotel so no difficulties in getting there.

In yesterday’s post I have a photograph of a poster for a local beer museum,  it looked olde worlde as museums usually do and somehow I had imaginings of an old brewery going through my little grey cells.

I’ve never been a beer drinker, in fact I’d make the ideal brewery worker because I adore the smell of beer but detest the taste, I’m never ever going to be swallowing the profits. Still, I knew that when a free sample of the product was given out that Himself would be most accommodating when it came to relieving me of my unwanted tipple, so win-win.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tours take place in the evening when the production line is not in operation, and when I enquired about the advertised tours the lady at reception told me that they don’t do them for very small groups like our family of four, but we would be welcome to tag along with a pre-booked bus tour who were coming out on a day trip especially to see the brewery.

The bus group would stay the night in the hotel and then head home the next day. The idea that people come from far and wide especially to see this brewery seemed very positive so although the kids moaned a little, Himself and I told them that this was going to be fun and as a special favour to their Papa we should do this as a family.

They grumbled a bit more but then agreed. We therefore joined a large group of German tourists and were led into the brewery by our guide. Red flags telling us that we might not be getting the experience we expected appeared about ten minutes into the tour.

The German being spoken by the guide is motoring along at the same speed as the autobahn speed limit. It’s impossible to follow.  Himself tries but admits defeat after a few minutes.

Apart from the younger bus driver, the bus tour group is made up of beer aficionados and all of them are a lot older than us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some of the bus tour people seem to be speaking a German dialect, which the tour guide also knows. There is no provision for English translation. We understand not a single word.

Well, I lie… I hear the word “beer” fairly frequently but that’s not particularly helpful in the deluge of words.

The guide likes to describe everything in detail. Absolute, minute, amazing, astonishing detail.

We stand for fifteen minutes at the first “stop” where apparently something to do with the sourcing and composition of ingredients is being described.

I find a step to sit on. Little Mr gets tired of standing and comes and sits on the knee of my good leg.

Then the guide indicates that we are about to move on to the next “point”, but before that does anyone have any questions? Several hands shoot up. The questions appear to be as long winded as the forthcoming answers.  More than ten minutes later we move into a small cinema screening area.

The movie, with it’s moving pictures more or less explains itself and we get ready to move on, the guide asks if there are any questions.  Sadly there are, many of them, and more than ten minutes later we are finally out of the cinema area. At each stage the long long explanation of everything around us is repeated and the guide asks if there are any questions.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For some reason this group always have questions and with every positive response to this question I groan inwardly. The hours are ticking by. The outside doors have been locked behind us for reasons of security and the route back to where we came in is not a direct one.

The bus group move on enthusiastically and at one point I work out at we sat for roughly twenty minutes listening to information and then answers to questions.

The children are now not just bored ridged but also getting really tired. I don’t blame them, I am too. Even Himself is giving me the eye that escape would be preferable if only we knew were the exit was. The tour goes on and on and on.

For the bus tour group they got more than their money’s worth of information and they appear to be having the time of their lives, for Family Kiwidutch it was an unmitigated disaster.

Finally we round a corner where crates of the cola, fizzy fruit juices and beer made here are stacked from floor to ceiling. Another ten minutes paced with boundless information I don’t understand. At least there should be a tasting around the corner right? Wrong. After the last question is answered we are lead to a door and find ourselves outside the building.

The guide is locking up and going home, the bus tour is cheerfully heading to their set-menu dinner in the hotel restaurant. Himself asks the guide as best and amicably as he can in German if there are maybe samples of the beer? or something for the children? No, there aren’t any, the bus tour folks get a free drink with their meal, as tag-alongs to their group we get nothing, but we can always buy ourselves something at the hotel bar.

What? A Beer tour with no sample of the product at the end of it? Seriously? There’s not even any olde worlde stuff to excite me, everything is stainless steel and soulless. I have never spent an evening so bored stiff in all my life.

I don’t blame the kids their complaints. I fact I found them exceptionally valid. Had I had even the slightest clue before hand how this was going to be beforehand I never would have done it. Even Himself was disappointed. This is a tour for those who adore beer, who want more information than you thought possible or probably ever wanted on the topic of beer, for  people who can keep up with all of this information delivered in light-speed  rate German and who enjoy all of this with no sample of the product at the end.  That’s just not us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 11, 2014

Looking For A Brew And Finding A Brewery…

Filed under: photography,Germany,German Cuisine,Ichenhausen — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have checked into the Autenrieder Brauereigasthof hotel in Ichenhausen, Germany and like most hotel bookings made these days, I booked it on-line.

When searching the internet I’d been wondering about the weather and activities that would suit every member of the family to some degree or another.

The hotel’s indoor swimming pool was mainly for the children should the weather be too cold for outdoor pursuits, the family room and wifi were for practicality and to fit the budget and there was an extra attraction especially for Himself: Beer. Of course Germany is the home of many an excellent beer and we didn’t need to travel for over seven hundred kilometres to get one of those, but the distance covered was for an entirely different reason, one that will be explained in due course. My reasoning when booking the hotel was that should we encounter inclement weather during our stay and wish to stay more of the time indoors and at the hotel, that there should be something for Himself to enjoy too, and by chance this particular hotel came with something that was sure to keep Himself very happy indeed: it’s own brewery.

My tee-total status has been useless in the “designated driver” stakes because my foot accident has reduced Himself to being the only fit driver, ergo, he can not enjoy alcohol with a meal out and then get behind the wheel to take us home. Therefore the possibility of  enjoying some local beers in the restaurant or back in the family room in the evening is appealing. Therefore we make enquiries and signed Family Kiwidutch up for a beer tour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Grain delivery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 703 other followers