24 March 2010

Amy & Amanda trip Roman castle Saalburg + Ich bin ein Berliner

Our nieces Amy and Amanda are here for a visit for the next few weeks. We are so excited to be able to show them around some of our favorite places! They flew into Frankfurt last week, so we took the train up and showed them around the area for a couple days.

The very first thing Chris had them do was try a Berliner (a jelly donut nicknamed Berliner by people in Germany who live outside Berlin). I would like to point out that there is a strange tendancy to name foods after cities where they are popular... Frankfurter = hot dog, Berliner = jelly donut, Pariser = croissant... and the list continues... Chris had the girls say "Ich bin ein Berliner" before sampling their donuts, and then had to tell them the story behind the famous quote since they hadn't actually heard it before... sigh. These kids, what do they learn in history?

Amy and Amanda brought Oliver and Elora their birthday presents, which Oliver asked to open continuously from the moment he saw them. Ollie got a tool kit, and Elora got a doctor kit which they have had fun playing with. The best part of this pic is Amanda's face - a bit tired, are we? Chris took the girls over to the Frankfurt temple to do some baptisms and then we headed out to a nearby Roman fort.

Here are some ruins that you can walk around in outside the fort.

Entering the Roman Fortress - Saalburg. It is the largest Roman fort in all of Europe, and was built along the limes which was the series of forts that guarded a wall that was built from East to West across Germany to protect the Roman Empire from Germanic tribes.

Here we are chucking spears at Chris while walking along the top of the walls.

Oliver decided to crawl into the ruins of a Roman bath. He was pretty pleased with himself about the whole thing - too bad he is wearing khaki pants to crawl in the mud.

On top of the walls of the bath.

Here are the girls with some ancient weapons. They were pretty impressed with all the crossbows and catapults.

There was a fun exhibit showing the different types of armor worn by the Romans throughout the years of the empire. Here is Amy popping out from behind one of the cutouts. She sort of looks like she is cutout too...

Ollie's favorite exhibit was the playmobile toy soldiers. If only we had that many toy soldiers at home, we could have some pretty awesome battles.

They had some armor to try on too. Here is Amy who said the chain mail was REALLY heavy. It is so heavy you can't put it on by yourself, someone has to help you because it is too hard to lift over your head.

Amanda sporting the armor.

Elora stabbing Daddy. Thwarted by the chain mail!

There was also a coloring station with lots of fun pictures of soldiers that all the kids enjoyed. Except Oliver who kept running back to the playmobile toy soldiers...

Elora with the helmet. She chose not to try out the chain mail. I guess we all complained too much about how heavy it was.

Oliver and Daddy on top of the walls of the fortress.

Closeup of Oliver and Daddy.

Amy and Amanda on the bus trip back to the apartment. It was a fun first day, but the poor girls were so tired, I think everyone went to bed about 7pm.


  1. Not true according to: http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/historical/a/jfk_berliner.htm

  2. What's not true? That he said it or that people outside of Berlin refer to Krapfen, the kind of donut eaten in Berlin with jelly inside as a Berliner? Both of those are true. But it's clear JFK wasn't calling himself a Jelly Donut, something we never said :)


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