Maybe I took this toy on a walk theme “a bit” to the extreme. I went ahead and took one of my dollhouse friends to Europe this summer. So really this article should be titled: Travels with a Toy rather than Walk.
Maybe you have been reading in the news about the Colorado Wildfires. It’s been so sad to watch. Don’t worry, our family does not live in the mountains! We are not in any danger luckily. Yet I couldn’t help but feel guilty leaving for Europe. The night before we left on our trip, the air smelled like a campfire, and it was hard to breathe.
There was a sense of guilt mixed with relief that we got out of here.
The lucky doll chosen to escape with me was a little purple dollhouse friend. She crossed the ocean with the family and made it safely to our first stop in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona is a wonderful city. In the picture you see the little purple dolly on top of the roof of Casa Batllo. This house, an up-cycled apartment building, was designed to serve as personal residence for a very wealthy family by the great Spanish Architect Antonio Gaudi in the style of Art Nouveau. Walking through this building, is like walking on the inside of a sculpture. Every little detail is a work of art: Stairs, windows, walls, and ceilings. There are no harsh corners or straight edges. Everything is round and smooth. Each room has natural light and fresh air flowing through windows and the smartly created air vents. It’s unbelievable, and you must see it with your own eyes to believe it.
I wonder what it must have felt like to live in such a house. A house that feels so organic and natural. Check out the ceiling that looks like the house of a snail. Or take a peek into an upstairs room that gives you the feel of being inside a ribcage. That’s why the house also got nicknamed “House of Bones”. Finally we made it to the top of the roof which has sculptures for chimneys. Every guide book has photos of the tiles of the roof that are made to look like the scales of a dragon.
Just when you think it can’t get any better you get to the roof. It’s the best part of the house. So make sure you get the whole tour.
I could go on forever about the beautiful sights we saw in Barcelona. The Batllo house is only one of many Art Nouveau buildings you can visit. There is so much more to see…
We spent 4 days in Spain before moving on to Germany. I had not been back to my country of birth in 7 years. Most of the time was spent visiting family. You can read about it on my personal blog.
The children insisted that we see one castle at least. So we went to see the Marksburg in Braubach, Germany. There are over 30 castles on the stretch of the river Rhine where I grew up. When I was a schoolkid we visited many of them on fieldtrips. Strangely enough I never saw the Marksburg. Maybe because it is located on the other side of the river. Getting to it from Bingen, the city where I went to school, is not easy. One can go by boat, which will take you about 4.5 hours one way with no way to get back, unless somebody picks you up or you take the train back.
We decided to take the car ferry. You drive your vehicle onto the Autofaehre. It costs 6.50 Euro car, kids and caboodle and all. Takes about 5 minutes to cross over from Bingen to the town of Rudesheim. From Rudesheim you drive along the riverbank all the way to Braubach. The last 10 miles is a windy narrow road, through green forests and up the back of a green hill. You must be careful. There is not much traffic but when you least expect it surely enough you will encounter a large tourbus or truck. The kids loved this exciting rollercoaster ride through the green forests and hillsides of Germany.
On the other side of the roller coaster ride lies the most beautiful fairytale castle. I will post the complete castle tour on my blog for those who would love to see what a dwelling that’s been lived in for 800-900 years looks like inside.
The little purple dolly was quite exhausted from the long trip. She decided that she loved Germany and begged me to stay behind. Her new mama is a little girl named Paulina. She looks just like her new friend. Don’t you think?
I hope you enjoyed my Travel with a Toy. Please, visit my blog if you want to see more photos from my trip. I took over 500 pictures, and it will take me a while to sort through them…