Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Walk in Wine Country

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This is a picture Ed took on our afternoon walk. It was lovely walking through the vineyards with the castle view above us and the cozy valleys below!

We went for a beautiful walk this afternoon through the forest and vineyards surrounding Nesselried, the town our hotel is in. We ended at a castle called Schloss Staufenberg, which is about 1000 years old. The castle wasn’t open for indoor tours, but was hosting an outdoor festival with music and food. Germans are good bakers! The pies and cakes were a sight to behold! Unfortunately, we had just shared some cheesecake before starting our walk, so we didn’t feel like we should buy some more (although it was pretty tempting). They had music and drinking. We saw a bagpipe player, a local choral group, and a marching band. It was a very festive festival! The marching band was a private group with people from about 10 years old to adult. They were the Blue Dragons from M√ľnster! We knew most of the songs they played. I think Germany plays a lot of the same music we listen to. Even in the Chinese restaurant last night we recognized all the songs. I felt solidarity with Grandma and Ed that they also had Chinese buffet yesterday. We also related to the bee story. We didn’t get caught in the car with a bee like Ed did, but we’ve shared almost every meal here with bees.

We attended church in Offenburg this morning. It was only 10 minutes from our hotel, but in a larger town. This was the smallest church we’ve ever attended. Besides us there were about 15 other people. The branch president made a point of letting us know that they’d be happy if we bore our testimonies, and that English would be fine. I wonder if they get sick of hearing the same people over and over again. About half of them had a working knowledge of English. One lady was Portuguese. Sadly, I understood more of her testimony than of the other German ones. I talked to here in Spanish, English, Portuguese and German afterwards. We all bore our testimonies. By the time I got up everyone had heard our story in English, so I bore my testimony in German. It wasn’t easy, but I enjoyed trying. The members were so friendly after Sacrament. We were considering leaving, but felt there was no graceful way to cut out early. They only had RS and Priesthood—no Sunday School. The Primary was 2 children, and there were no Young Men and Young Women. So, in RS, Amanda played the piano and Crystal said the opening prayer. Brittany answered most of the questions. (We had two women translating for us.) We all laughed when Brittany made a comment and the teacher said, “Das ist nicht Richtung!” (That’s wrong!) The translator said, it really was right, but maybe her translation was bad. That was good diplomacy!

One of the Elders at church was from the U of Utah. He’s a vocal music major and was interested in Amanda’s experiences with the opera. He wants to grow up to be like Amanda. There were 8 women in RS, including us, and 4 men in Priesthood, including Ed. When we left they all stayed for ward council.

So, went home, had lunch and went for our hike in the woods and vineyards. Amanda picked some wild blackberries, which were delicious. I was the only one who would try them with her. Everyone else thought it wasn’t natural to eat from bushes. It started to rain on the way home from the castle, but we were prepared with our umbrellas. We’re going to dry out now and finally get in that card game Crystal has been waiting for.
We enjoyed checking out Abby’s blog yesterday. I’m glad Verlene and Joan are reading mine, as well. Maybe they’ll drop me a comment. We enjoy getting Barbara and Mom’s comments. We’ll have easy internet access for the next several days. That’s been nice.



  1. This is a great way to hear about your travels because we can enjoy every day as it goes by. We are finally back up into the 90's here, so the green peaceful valleys full of trees look very inviting.

    What an entertaining day you had at church. I will have to have Kent read that. He enjoys visiting foreign wards.