Local Heart, Global Soul

July 14, 2016

The Detail Of Adventures…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden,Vianden: Tree Climbing Course — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers of this blog know that I love detail.

The floor of the forest of the Tree Climber Adventure Park in Vianden, Luxemburg was already an obstacle course for me, so I stayed at the bottom and let Himself take the photographs of the kids as they went up the hill and further away around the course.

I also used the zoom lens a lot,  not just on our group but on other more daring souls who were on the upper levels. Some of the upper levels are close by too, so with two cameras we managed a lot of photographs and a few videos of the kids for our private family album.

The instructors gave not only the preliminary class on the workings of the equipment and the safety things to keep in mind at all times, but also zipped around the course giving assistance to those uncertain how to negotiate the next obstacle, stuck because they were not strong enough to haul the rope back from the previous person who had swung over to the large nets, or encourage whose who needed a confidence boost.

With lots of people on the course the instructors could naturally not be everywhere at once.  I was therefore most impressed with many of the teens and adults, visitors like ourselves, who were friendly and patient, helping and encouraging all three of our kids, but especially Little Mr and our guest to negotiate the last stages of their courses. I saw people helping each other all around the course, and a good amount of whoops and cheers when someone they had been encouraging made it to the next staging platform. This meant that the atmosphere here was very relaxed and friendly, adding to the general feeling all round that this was an excellent day out. Kiwi Daughter already wanted to come back again, but in the end we decided that it was a bit far out of our way to come unless the weather at our lodgings further north stayed as soggy as in recent days. In all events this was a one-time visit, but both kids would do this again in a heart beat, and raved about the highlights and challenges of the course all the way home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 13, 2016

Taking An Obstacle Course Skywards…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden,Vianden: Tree Climbing Course — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Once we find ourselves together again as a group in the Vianden forest in Luxemburg, Himself now tells me that we are not here by chance but because he saw a brochure about this place in a tourist information folder back in Germany.

He had not mentioned it earlier because he assumed we would not come this far south, and once the weather deteriorated, that the weather would be good enough here to do anything anyway.

When he realised that the weather at the Landal park was not going to let up and that there was fine weather here, he remembered the brochure and set this surprise in motion.

What we see is an amazing array of ropes, cables and wooden platforms in the trees around us. There are flying foxes (zip lines), climbing nets, tunnels, cable walkways, ladders of many varieties and people shrieking and laughing as they negotiate the aerial obstacle courses. The three kids are soon signed up and attending a group session where they learn how the course and their equipment works, the safety procedures and how the general rules. After a practice run we find that they all take to it with various levels of daring. There is also an added element of age related strength and skill, Little Mr would have completed one of the upper levels completely had his legs been long enough to have negotiated the distance between the wooden “steps” in the air.

Our guest was the least confident of the three but with careful coaxing and a little help from instructors and some friendly fellow harnessed competitors, she managed to complete the first level of the course. From what I can make out each level starts at a different height and bit by bit the obstacles at that height get harder and harder. Little Mr completed almost all of the second level, Kiwi Daughter made it around most of the third but said that the added height component made it really scary, and she too had issues with not being tall or strong enough for the last obstacles in the level. There appears to be other levels too, even higher, which we just looked at from afar. There are even additional levels in the trees along the road where I came in, but I learned from the instructor that these were for very advanced visitors. After the training course, and during the rest of the afternoon, the three kids added to the squeals of excitement and peels of laughter, everyone having fun and conquering a few fears as an added bonus. I’ve never seen anything like this obstacle course, what an amazing idea!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 12, 2016

A Statue In The Forest…

Filed under: ART,LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,Vianden — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Having arrived and lunched in Luxemburg, and arrived in the middle of a forest last summer, we take a look around. Before we look at the main activity I take a look at a statue situated close by, and the view beyond it.  It is a statue of Christ, with arms outstretched. The view below takes in the course of the river on it’s way out of Vianden and the valley around it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 11, 2016

Sneaking Up On The Deer And Tripping Them Up Is A No No!

Filed under: ART,funny signs,LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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One of the photographs taken by the family during their walk in the Vianden forest shows an unusual sign. I asked Himself for a translation of the text and he said that says ‘Give the animals space to live”. Clearly if you are out on these paths walking your dog, mountain biking or walking, then the idea is that the local wildlife is left in peace. So according to the sign,  sneaking up on the deer and tripping them up is frowned upon! Personally I think that the deer in the picture fell over because he hit the red edge of the illustration he was in (just joking!). The only wildlife they encountered was one dog being walked in the forest… it was a very warm day so probably the deer were taking  nap and waiting for the cooler end of the day to come out and forage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2016

A Forest Walk… For Some…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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After taking the chair lift up the hill in Vianden, Luxemburg we discovered that we had a technical challenge. Himself had secretly lined up a special event for the kids but hadn’t realised that I would not be able to walk to it because it involved a forest walk too far for me to manage. A phone call to the guy in charge gets me a special exemption to go to where we want by car. With directions given to a lesser known entrance, I get a car journey to our destination. Himself and the kids get the forest walk  version so they get the camera to take along. Himself says not to bother changing my copyright tag… photos are photos if they are his or mine. I usually take more of them though!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 9, 2016

Looking Just As Impressive From The Outside Looking In…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden,Vianden Castle — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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One of the views from the Vianden chair lift / cable car in Luxemburg that visitors will probably not forget in a hurry, is that of Vianden castle, sitting a short way further along. It starts out as a small image in top of the skyline and ends with the visitor looking down on it from the upper station. It’s not visible for all of the journey up, but each time it is, it present a new and different view of a magnificent structure perched as castles oft are, in a seemingly impossible construction position on top of a hill. On our last visit to Vianden we were lucky enough to enjoy many views from with it’s walls, this visit the views are all from the outside looking in, both equally impressive.
Vianden Castle Looks Just As Impressive From The Outside Looking In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 8, 2016

It’s A Sobering Thought That Such A Sign Is Even Necessary…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden,Vianden: Cable Car/Chair Lift — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The cable car/ stair lift in Vianden, Luxemburg takes people up one of the surrounding hills and offers excellent views of the surrounding countryside.

I zoomed on in fields in the distance, also on the town below and also took photographs of the lift itself, intriegued at how all this machinery functions.

What I first thought to be some sort of stepped grilled cover for some of the workings turns out to be actual steps so that repair and maintenance can be done.

Judging by the positions they are located in though, a seriously good head for heights must come as a top priority in the job description!

I find the rooftop patterns in the town to be another set of interesting patterns, the river  winds it’s way through Vianden serenely and a small tower pokes it’s top out of the woods, further down the hill.

The garden that we went over as we left the bottom boarding station appears to be used for some commercial purpose too because I spy a mini-golf course, but the tee-pee? It was difficult to tell if that was for commercial or private use. On the road we crossed over a garage looks to have either a very old, or is it burnt out roof?  A sign on one of the pylons warns passengers not to swing the chairs on the cable… considering it’s location three-quarters of the way up the main incline, I wonder who would be foolhardy enough to even think of doing this but then again I am sane, sober and scared of heights, and who knows how far the effects of inebriation might take others down the path of recklessness and short life expectancy? It’s a sobering thought that such a sign is even necessary though.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 7, 2016

Going Up Rather Further Than We First Imagined…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,Vianden — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer Family Kiwidutch and a neighbour guest of Little Mr went on holiday to Germany.

The wet weather was driving everyone to distraction so we went for a car journey a little way south, crossing the border in the Luxemburg where the reported weather report had been predicted to be better, and was.

Our next move after having lunch in Vianden, is move literally next door to take the cable car from our location near the centre of town, up the hill.

Sitting in one of the chairs, you don’t have any clue just how high you will be going as you are swung out over a local garden, through a gap in the trees, over the river, past an empty section and then over one of the main roads out of town, which is as close as we managed to get to the chair lift on our last trip here.

All of a sudden you are softly jolted upwards as you find that the gradient has changed with a vengeance, and dangling from the thick cable above us, winched higher and higher until we are a dizzying height above the valley floor.

The buildings of Vianden get ever smaller and smaller and it is a stunning sight to see the surrounding countryside expand in an ever widening arc around us, revealing row after row of hills and fields as far into the distance as the eye can see (and the weather will allow). I’m sure that on a fine day you must be able to see further and in more detail. Everyone is quick to comment about the ride up as soon as we reassemble at the top…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 6, 2016

A Loo With Modern Calm and Old Fashioned Charm…

Filed under: LAVITORIAL - Intersting Loo's...,LUXEMBOURG,Vianden — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Following yesterday’s post about our lunch in Vianden, Luxemburg, our meal is finished and I needed to use the toilets before we leave. The bad news is that the facilities are down a set of stairs,  and stairs are my nemesis as far as pain is concerned. However needs must so I make my way downstairs slowly and laugh when I see the sweet signs on the cubical doors. Not only are the images humorous, they are also quaintly nostalgic and old fashioned, the polar opposite of the décor around me. The style of the basins and surrounds is a mixture of minimalist and natural… the water is sensor operated, the air dryer is not one of the bulky ones, but small but surprisingly effective. I love their style, but also their sense of humour. An excellent addition to my collection of beautiful / strange/ unusual and funny loos…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 5, 2016

Just (One) Complaint …. The Food Is Too Healthy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Having arrived in Vianden, Luxemburg, everyone agrees that the very first order of the day is to find somewhere to have lunch.

There is a cable car that runs from the town to the top of a nearby hill and the consensus is that that would be an excellent start to our activities once lunch has been sorted.

We saw the cable car some several angles last trip but were so busy with the medieval festival, we didn’t have time to go on it.

This time we find a restaurant just meters from the cable car base terminal. I didn’t get it’s name but it was large and so close to the cable car it would be impossible to miss.

Little Mr wanted something as close as possible to a toastie (Croque Monsieur) but none were available here so e settled on a crusty bread roll with cheese.

Little Mr is despite our best efforts a stubbornly fussy eater, thus expressions of horror ensued when his plate arrived with… shudder…. salad on the side! he was also seriously suspicious of the piece of cucumber sticking out of his bread roll (even though he likes cucumber), I mean, if they sneak in cucumber what else might also have been deceptively hidden?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

He raised the top of his sandwich and let out an expression of pure disgust: Olives, Gherkins (pickles)!!!?!

This was followed by a torrent of unhappy language about this complete and utter betrayal, how dare they literally add insult to injury by hiding yukky stuff inside his bread!

What a horrible restaurant, we were now expressly forbidden to ever come here again.

Our little guest looked on in amazement, we had to explain that Little Mr gets seriously unhappy when someone tries to put healthy things into his food (little does he know how often I hide veggies in his food at home!).

Kiwi Daughter on the other hand has been trying new foods a lot of late and as a reward was allowed to order a pancake with fruit salad, ice-cream and chocolate sauce for lunch. Little Guest ordered chicken nuggets and fries, and Himself and I ordered something that whilst calming down an irate Little Mr, I completely forgot to photograph.

There is a smaller locally decorated area with booth style seating at the front of the restaurant and on the other side of the fireplace next to us, a large open plan room where bigger groups are catered for. The service is fine, the food is good and (almost) all of us are completely happy with our meals.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

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