A Travellerspoint blog

Off to Ocky (short name for Lynn's family)

semi-overcast 4 °C

Off to Ockenfels today to link with my family history. My grandfather was an Ockenfels and interestingly he was a shoe maker and there is a Castle of the same name that is today the head office of a shoe factory.
The journey was a very picturesque drive along the Rhine about an hour south of Koln. The Castle stands out on the hill along with some lovely homes. Historically there were only 62 houses so it is likely that our family lived in one of them. A nice feeling. IMG_1003.jpgIMG_1007.jpgIMG_1008.jpgIMG_1014.jpg
We had intended to have lunch somewhere along the Rhine but decided Frankfurt was too close to miss so one and a half hours later on the autobahn we had lunch and a look around Frankfurt. Firstly though, my husband who loves porsches, sees and hears a white GT3 Porsche fly past at 200km/hr in the fast lane while we totter along in the slow lane at 130km/hr.

Frankfurt is just another city with lots of buildings and shopping centres.
Trip home was quick and we found a LIdl (supermarket like Aldi) to pick up a few supplies. When we got to the checkout I handed the lady my visa card, but the lady was quite emphatic saying “NEIN VISA” repeatedly and loudly. So we assumed they didn’t accept visa. MMM’mmm, of course now that is John’s favourite saying causing us lots of laughs.

Posted by BioC12 12:56 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Hello Koln or Cologne

rain 5 °C

Farewell to Hamburg and Hello Koln, but on the way a little stop over at Meren to check out the factory outlets. I couldn’t wait to get into the Nike shop and found a pair of boots plus a few long sleeved T’s. Lynn found a pair of all weather boots in the Croc shop, on sale, so we're both happy.
The new car meant a new SatNav to get use to. "Well not happy Jan" - she (female voice in the SatNav) keeps leading us onto the smaller roads parallel to the highway. Lynn was getting frustrated as the travel was so much slower, while I was accepting the reroutes and enjoying seeing all the little places along the way.

Yeah well it took 5 hrs to travel a 2 hr trip and by the end I was loudly demonstrating to the GPS to shut the f^#k up. Funny how a machine can do funny things to you. Almost every day of travel Lynn asks John if he is talking to her or the SatNav lady...and of course its the SatNav lady………..mmmmm not so sure LL believes my explaination.

The new hosts were Laura and Paul. Laura has 3 degrees in science, neurology and genetics...and is currently studying medicine so understandably had her head in books during most of our stay. Paul on the other hand is a freelance photographer and former drummer in a band, then a roadie for Prince and Grace Jones, so quite a character.
Yes a bottle of port and lots of conversation made a very social introduction to these hosts - and the tiny science beakers topped of the meeting extremely well...John will be on the lookout in every little secondhand and antique shop for these now.

Lynn likes the mattresses we sleep on and I know she'll grill Laura about their sourcing of such a comfortable mattress.

Posted by BioC12 12:19 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Unplanned Stay in Hamburg

overcast 6 °C

Wake up Nannie a big day ahead chortles my husband. But I think I need coffee first to understand the instructions and german place names we are to visit.
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First stop are the wharves from which John's ancestors, Jens Frederik Jessen Rosendahl and his brother Neils Christian Jessen Rosendahl migrated on a ship to Australia in 1871.
After a stroll along the river, our next stop is a food street...lunchtime. So many eateries and restaurants within a couple of blocks, many of which are Portuguese. This was another experience of German pastries and bakeries and they all look delicious. Quiche and salad was the healthy choice of the day.
Walked off lunch to visit a beautiful church. There are so many churches across Europe so expect a few photos. They have amazing architecture considering many were built in the 1300's.
We noticed many, many locks attached to the small bridges over the canals and later found out that it was the practise of lovers to place the lock and throw away the key. Mmmmmmmm think we tossed our key sometime ago, but then again I married a Locke...go figure.
After walking the central shopping area we met the markets. These are truly something that Australia could learn from, although weren’t so keen to try the raw sardines and onion on a roll !!!!!!
Sausage of every variety seems a favourite
Our favourite was the hot red wine, rum, sugar and spices
Stopover on train home was the “ red light area” but not so exciting.
We finished a wonderful day and felt like we had really experienced the attraction to Hamburg .

Posted by BioC12 13:07 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Last day in Denmark

overcast 7 °C

Another rainy day met us, so we had breakfast then talked about the day ahead. I've completed the family history activities that had led us to Denmark. Lynn didn’t really like Denmark...although comfortable and cosy in the accommodation...she just didn’t feel good in the area. Maybe some research on this coastal area is needed.
The decision was to pack up and drive to Hamburg, change the hire car to an automatic and reduce the travel time to Koln on Friday. The wind and rain while driving was almost cyclonic, a good thing the roads are excellent as there were times we couldn’t see 10 metres in front of the car.

Every day John decides to replicate the morning exercise classes they have on TV in Denmark, although his exercise gear is his thermals as he is in the progress of dressing. As one of the grandsons would say, "Tilly Boy".
Avis changed the vehicle to a Ford...so much better to drive, diesel, heated seats, a hatchback...and is over 300 euro cheaper??????? Something to be aware of when travelling...when you go to pick up your car at the airport they all try to upgrade the vehicle...which we spent hours online selecting.
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Since we had not planned to stay at Hamburg, Lynn got online at the airport to airbnb to find a room for 2 nights. Process was really easy although last minute and we stayed with Nicolas an electrical engineer with Airbus. His home was 3 levels and the furniture and fittings were high quality.
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Nicolas was in his early 30’s, French decent, lived in England for 5 years and loaded with information on the sites to see in Hamburg. He provided us with a schedule of train number, times, places to eat, things to see in Hamburg in a day.

If your Hamburg bound - you can't really go paste this BnB in Wedel.

Posted by BioC12 12:00 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Grindsted and the Magion Library

semi-overcast 6 °C

After coming up blank at the Billund Bibliotek on Rosendahl family records...we were given a link at the Magion Bibliotek and Cultural Centre in Grinstead to track further in John's search for his Nordic ancestry...interesting because when we ask questions about records the staff seem to gravitate toward me...not expecting that the man standing in front of them with Aboriginal and Vanuatu heritage is the one with nordic roots as well. A nice little smile passes between us.
Having done research in institutions before John is both excited and yet calm knowing that nothing may eventuate from the records.

Today turned out the latter, not that there were no records...but that the Citizen Research Officer was not available. So with an email address in hand of her contact details, we leave satisfied that the search will go on...although these will be given to one of John's younger sisters who is chief ancestry.com custodian for his family.

So the rest of the day is a slow lazy drive around the countryside on the way home...with everything done here...we decide an earlier move onto Germany. So we'll pack tonight and be ready for a early getaway in the morning.

Posted by BioC12 11:59 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

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