donderdag 17 september 2015

Farewell summer vacation: 8 countries 8 days

I have just returned home from a roadtrip vacation a few days ago. This kind of marks the end of summer for me. Before that I actually had an event that was 'autumn' to me already but I'll post about it later. First the end of summer!

I've been going on roadtrips with my father ever since I was a teenager and we get on so well we continued going on holiday togehter when I 'grew up'. We usually go in late August or early September. So it always marks the end of summer to me. As my father loves photography this post contains many, many pictures.

This year we visited 8 countries in 8 days. We only had a real look at 4 of them the rest we kinda brushed through on our travels.

First my visual packing list. I like packing and I don't so many choices to make....but so much joy in planning what you are going to wear. An essenial part of the vacation for me ;)

 7 dresses, 4 hats, 5 pairs of shoes, 4 cardigans etc. etc., equals way more than neccesary but I wore most of the stuff I packed at least once.

Day 1: Winterswijk (Netherlands)-Bouillon (Belgium)
Outfit: 1940's blue dress made of two different fabrics, bordeaux red felt hat, matching wool cadigan, dark blue summer coat, umbrella, rainboots

On the first day we drove from my parents house in the east of the Netherlands to Bouillon in the south of Belgium. It was a drizzly day. We had a magnificent walk in the 'hautes fagnes' (high moors) in the Ardennes. The misty pictures truned out rather magically.

On the shores of a murky water, between the electric green with autumn peeking through the mists.
The sign read Hertogenwald occidental (three languages in that description Dutch, German and French!)

Day 2: Buillon (Belgium)- Eguisheim (France)
Outfit: 1930's floral cotton dress with matching hairribbon, straw hat with  dark blue crossgrainribbon, off-white cardigan with dark blue border, dark blue summer coat, off-white canvas lace-up espadrilles
The second day we visited the abbey of Orval where they produce beer. The ruins of the old abbey could be visited.

The actual abbey complex now in use was not open to the public unfortunately. Very interesting architecture a mixture of neo-roman and art deco. We could get a peek  of it through a window though.

On our way, just over the border in France, we passed the basilique d'Avioth and decided to take a look.
Then we went on to Verdun to see the WWI memorial. I thought it was very impressive. I only ever saw pictures of the fields full of crosses but never of the memorial building.  Over the door it reads PAX (Latin for peace), with hindsight you think: if only......

It is actually an ossuarium with the bones of the men who died underneath the floor. These could actually be seen through tiny windows. A bit morbid but effective, it made the hairs on my arms stand right up....
Then we had a beautiful drive on the 'Route des Crêtes' in the Vosges mountains, which was built during the first WWI by the French army but is now a tourist trail.
At a certain point we could get out and walk to a point where you could se the other side of the mountains. All seemed aglow in the light of the setting sun.

We stayed in Eguisheim a nice little town built in a circle with many old houses still intact.
Day 3: Eguisheim (France)- Montreux (Switzerland)
Outfit: Late 1930's-early 50's seersucker cotton chintzy print dress, straw hat with brown crossgrain ribbon, brownish silk socks, same shoes as day before
Our first stop was a rather unsusual building called the Goetheanum in the Swiss village Dornach. It was built in the 1920's as a Antroposophic centre and it still has that function.
There are as few right angles as possible. Because the building is still in use you can just walk in and take a look.

We drove on to Neuchâtel where we visited a museum with a Art Nouveau stairway.

They keep three automats from the 18th century that each perform a different art: writing, drawing and playing the piano.
They still function but do not usually perform on a daily basis. When we where there the clockmaker who operates them was there for a private viewing. I asked if there was a possibility for us to see them as well and he very kindly made the pianoplayer perform for us: magic!!!
She even had the high breathing you would expect from an 18th century woman wearing stays!
On to Montreux on the shores of the lake of Geneva, the so called Swiss riviera.
We had a lake view!

And another sunset!

Look at that plane pretending to be a falling star!

Day 4: Montreux (Switzerland) (via Italy)-Locarno (Switzerland)
Outfit: dark blue cotton dress with feather print and white collar, camel cotton cardigan, two tone (brown and camel) schoes, brown stockings.
This day was reserved for driving in the Alps.
Before we left on the balcony in Montreux.

In a lift to the top in Saas Fee, sooo high!

Pyramides: like a giant baby had been playing with clay

Alpine view.
On our way to Locarno we drove over the Simplon pass and then through Italy. The road was supposed to be a main road but it was 1,5 lane narrow and winding. The rugged Alps surrounding it made it look like a kind of gorge and the overgrown rocks felt like a jungle. Great, but impossible to photograph!
Day 5: Locarno (Switzerland)  (via Liechtenstein) -Bludenz (Austria)
Outfit: 1940's floral cotton with black background, camel cardigan (later with rustbrown wool one on top of it), black canvas t-strap shoes
In the morning we visited the city of Bellinzona which was of great strategic importance because three passes could be garded from it. Hence a grand fortifications were built, parts of which still exist and is UNESCO heritage.
The main part of the fortifications are three castles, we walked from one to the other. Quite a lot of climbing.
Then we went over one of the passes: the San Bernardino. High up it was cooold only 3 degrees Celsius! and foggy. two cardigans needed...oh and my legs were bare
After passing the highest point the mist slowly cleared away and made for some pretty amazing pics, you can see the change between the first and the last.


I was so cold standing on that bridge, but if felt rather nice, in a way.
We spend the night in Bludenz, Austria, by way of Liechtenstein but we did not see anything there, just passing through.
Day 6: Bludenz (Austria)- Oberammergau (Germany)
Outfit: see day 2 minus the ribbon and the coat and different shoes (dark blue/off-white striped espadrilles)
This day we visited three castles in Germany. The first was Tettnang neer the Bodensee. Such pretty interiors but no photo's.
Then we went to Kempten to visit the Residenz and we had a very good private guided tour! No pictures again. In the park near the Residenz there was a flea-market going on. I bought some costume jewellery my father will give me as a present come Christmas, so no pic, just the stall.
We ended our day at the Linderhof, built by Ludwig II of Bavaria (the one who also built Neuschwanstein) to look 18th century French. But the over-elaborate decorations of it would never have existed in the 18th century making Linderhof a perfect example of 19th century interpretation of bygone eras, over-the-topping it with trim.


Ofcourse a oriental folly could not be missed.

And a huge fake grotto that was set as a stage for Opera's.
Such theatre throughout. Whereas Ludwig never lived in  the Neuschwanstein or Chiemsee palaces he did spend a lot of time dreaming in the psychedelic splendour this private fairyland, wanting to be Louis XIV ;)
Day 7: Oberammergau (Germany)- Nürnberg (Germany)
Outfit: as day 3 minus the socks
The main thing we visited was the palace complex of Schleissheim just outside Munich. It consisted of several gardens and three palaces. Taking photographs was allowed everywhere to many were taken...
This is my favorite of the entire trip: me in front of the fountains, in the cascade, as a backlit silhouette.
 This one looks like a postcard I think.


Ad that was only the garden.
There was so much to see inside:

In the smallest palace they exibited a fine collection of porcelain, my favorite was this  Meissen monkey ochestra, such fun!


Later that day we also visited the Germanisches Nationalmusem in Nürnberg with a very diverse and interesting collection. The costumes was what I came for! No pics though.
Day 8: Nürnberg (Germany)- Winterswijk (Netherlands)
Outfit: 1940's cotton dress, floral on black background, bordeaux red wool cardigan, mais yellow crepe hat with bordeaux grossgrain ribbon, black t-strap canvas shoes
And then the last day, always a bit sad, and a long drive home....
My rather sad face in the morning says it all (plus the only day without pincurls)
On on way home we visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a picturesque little town with lots of kitschy shops, great for buying gifts.
At Käthe Wohlfahrt everyday is Chrismas, and Christmasshopping in September did cheer me up!!
They also had a Chrismas-decorations museum in the shop. I did not expect much of it but it was quite nice and inspiring.

If you could only still order these...
This Christmas will be my first with my own home with my own tree. And all I want for Christmas is a treestand like this:
The spoils of shopping!!!!
And with Christmas in sight the summer comes officially to an end, and so does this post!

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