Here are a few pics from my recent trip to Europe. It wasn’t a regular tourist trip – some business, some pleasure, some vegging (and an annoying cold). 

First we went to London, where I didn’t take any pictures at all. I have plenty of mental images of editors, writers, friends, and the swans at Richmond. At a thousand words per pic, this would be a long blog, so I won’t even try.

Then on to Bordeaux, France, where I truly came down with the cold. We went for a long walk through a bird sanctuary called Le Teich. I saw a stork for the first time. Here’s a pic of a stork on its magnificently huge nest. I also saw some cute little water birds, which my hostess called poule d’eau (water hen) and which, in English, are (I think) coots...

This was special to me, because in my childhood I read all the Swallows and Amazons stories by Arthur Ransome over and over again. One of the recurring characters was a bird watcher, and in a book called Coot Club, a bunch of kids banded together to protect the coots’ nests on the Norfolk Broads. Now I know what a coot looks like. Sweet!

Next we went to Bavaria, Germany, where I had a great time visiting, vegging and revising a historical short story. We went into Munich and spent a while at Oktoberfest. I’m not a fan of crowds, but I’m glad we went anyway. There are vast restaurants with people swilling mugs of beer and whole cows being roasted. Here’s a pic of a bunch of beer barrels. The horses pulling the beer wagons were magnificent, but I didn’t get a good pic, alas. By the time we left I was longing for a horse of my own. No, not really. I was just so thirsty that I wanted my own barrel of beer.

Here’s a teeny little church near where we stayed. Isn't it cute? That’s me asking about the location of another (bigger) church.
I love visiting churches, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to go inside any of them. The Bavarian baroque churches have magnificent interiors. This one was closed due to woodworm repairs.  
I'm a huge fan of the lavishness of baroque art, so looking at photographs of the interior instead of seeing it for real was... not bad at all, actually. They were gorgeous photos, but I still want to go back and see the interior properly. Someday, I hope to write a historical that takes place in the late 1600s/early 1700s, just because I love baroque so much.
We also went to Fuerstenfeldbruck, where there’s another fabulous baroque church, part of an old monastery. The original monastery (built in the 13th century; the baroque buildings, obviously, came later) was founded by a duke who killed his wife because he suspected her of adultery. His penance was to build a monastery.

Didn’t go in there, either, although if I'd known more about the interior, I would have wanted to. Next time! We had a wonderful meal, and I had the beer I was longing for. It was the best non-alcoholic beer I’ve ever tasted. Wow.  

Here’s the firehouse in the town where were stayed. I love the picture on the front of the dude pouring a bucket of water on a burning house.

And here’s the enchanted garden where the Demon Wisteria is magically under control (or maybe it’s just the Bavarian winters).
Tomorrow – enchantment, fairy tales, and the October Treasure Hunt being held by the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales.


  1. Autumn Jordon // October 14, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

    Barbara, I loved your pictures and captions. You're so lucky to have traveled to those place. I would love to visit Germany one day. I should book the trip and not worry if I have to take a mortage payment to cover it.

    I hope you post more.

  2. Judy // October 14, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

    Barbara, such fun to travel with you on the Fuzzie loop! Looks like you had a lot of fun and got to stay in some interesting places. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

    Autumn - It helps to cut down on costs if you visit relatives or friends. :) But there's still the flight, unless you want to go by ocean liner, which is probably a couple of mortgage payments. Or more. Travel just isn't cheap!

  4. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

    Judy - Apart from having a cold, which sort of put a damper on my enthusiasm, it was just great. Actually, being spaced out much of the time probably meant I saw things differently. Aha! Maybe that's got something to do with meeting the King of the Fairies. :)

  5. Mary Marvella // October 14, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

    Barbara, I love traveling with you. I'd skip the beer, but I'd allow you to have a barrel of your own.

    Cool photos! See you back tomorrow.

  6. Joanna St. James // October 14, 2010 at 11:01 AM  

    You have captured the beauty of Europe I'm glad you liked it. And the beer is really alcohol free how did they manage that. If you ever come back visit corsica we have some magnificent churches.

  7. Mona Risk // October 14, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

    What a wonderful-wunderbar trip!!!
    It brought back memories of our drive through the Romantich Strasse in Germany. We had beer and dinner at the Hoffbraw in Munich during the Octoberfest. For the first time in my life I managed to swallow a liter of beer. Have you see the Eisweintchein (sp??) the fairy castle of crazy king Ludwig? I love Germany.

  8. Anonymous // October 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us and your wonderful trip. Makes me long to go back to visit again. The churches are magnificent, aren't they? Hope you really enjoyed your trip.

  9. Anonymous // October 14, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us and your wonderful trip. Makes me long to go back to visit again. The churches are magnificent, aren't they? Hope you really enjoyed your trip.

  10. Anonymous // October 14, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

    Blogger hates me today, sorry for the double post. Fairy KIng? Now you have to elaborate on that, Barbara. I love fairy lore.

  11. Nightingale // October 14, 2010 at 12:40 PM  

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Enjoyed the pictures. Hope you are feeling better.

  12. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

    Mary - A whole barrel of beer? Thanks!!

  13. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

    Joanna -- I think they brew the beer and then remove the alcohol, but I don't know for sure.

    Corsica! (Napoleon's birthplace, among other things.) I hope I can visit someday.

  14. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

    Mona - I think you mean Schloss Neuschwanstein, which is a gorgeous castle near Munich, but no, I've never been there. I keep meaning to, but... Ah, well. So far all I have is a souvenir T-shirt my daughter bought when she went there years ago.

  15. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

    Melba - I'm a little nervous about elaborating about the cat, I mean king. What if I get it wrong? Will he wreak some terrible vengeance on me?

    There will be a bit more about him in tomorrow's blog...

  16. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 1:16 PM  

    Nightingale -- Much better, thanks.

  17. Ellis Vidler // October 14, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

    What a wonderful trip! Love your photos.

  18. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

    Thanks, Ellis. Yay for technology and the wonderful easy-to-use cameras that make taking pictures possible even for me. Not that I took them all, but in theory I could have. Most of them, anyway.

  19. Lilly Gayle // October 14, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

    I love Germany! My daughter lives in Bavaria with her husband who's in the army and stationed at Graff. We visited in August 2008 and I fell in love with the country. The food, the wine, the history, the people. My daughter was supposed to attend Octoberfest in Munich with friends but because of the increased security, the missed their train---3 times! Glad you were able to make it. The pictures are beautiful.

  20. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 14, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

    Barbara thanks for letting us tag along on your trip! We didn't take a long vacation this year because of the move to the new house. So I'm enjoying your trip! Please post more pictures and details. Glad you had such a nice trip.

  21. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 7:07 PM  

    Hi, Lilly -- The food certainly was magnificent. I had the best roast duck ever at a restaurant in Fuerstenfeldbruck. I wish I had their recipe!

  22. Barbara Monajem // October 14, 2010 at 7:11 PM  

    Scarlet - A new house seems like a good alternative to a vacation. :)