weekly photo challenge: grand

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Within thirty seconds of seeing the challenge, we knew which picture to choose.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany is GRAND Рnot only in size but also in wow factor! It is the beautiful castle nestled in the mountains and the scenery surrounding it is also grand!


For other photos for this challenge, visit The Daily Post


weekly photo challenge: unexpected

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We haven’t written much lately – time simply gets away and then here we are at the weekly photo challenge again. But after today, we have made a promise that we WILL complete our post about Day 2 in Dubai ūüôā

In the meantime, the word this week is: UNEXPECTED 

During our travels, we always experience or see something unexpected: sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. But unexpected also doesn’t necessarily need to fall into either of those categories.

Back in 2006, Germany was the host of the Football World Cup. We were driving through the Romantic Road in Germany several months after the World Cup had ended. What Mr WiseMonkey saw in the male bathroom was completely unexpected. He had to run back out and ask Mrs WiseMonkey for the camera to capture this unexpected sight….

This is what he saw…



And if you “play” correctly, you can score a¬†GOOOOOOOOALLLLLLLLL!¬†

For more “unexpected” photos: see The Daily Post

speeding through the romantic road

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Got the keys to our hire car, an upgrade to a Mercedes, which was equipped with a sat nav (thank goodness)! Except that the directions were in German so before we could get out of Frankfurt we needed to work out how to communicate to “Olga” in English. And once we did, Olga was so very helpful, it made our road trip through Germany child’s play.

A thing about driving in Germany, which we were fully aware of before we decided to do this trip, was that there are no speed limits on the autobahn. Little did we know how nerve-racking it would be to start off with. Cars, vans, motorbikes alike were all zooming down that right-hand lane at speeds we didn’t even know road vehicles could go. Yes, we had always seen on car odometers that the dials do go up to 220 kph (or beyond) but to witness it, not on a race track, is a different ball game altogether.

So we began cautiously but we soon hit speeds of 150 kph, which is much faster than anything Australian roads would allow. In four days, we had become speed demons, that still had no idea how to work our hire car’s headlights or windscreen wipers! We’d worry about it when we needed to.

And all this for the ultimate destination: Hohenschwangau, the home of Neuschwanstein Castle. The moment we glimpsed at it high in the mountains was while we were driving around a bend and there was the dreamy home of King Ludwig II nestled in the side of the mountain, a pure fairy tale image. The extravaganza before the curtains come down for Germany!

Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella’s Castle

from paris to berlin

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“From Paris to Berlin, And every disco I get in. My heart is pumping for love…..” Infernal¬†

This song was our anthem for a long while and now we are here in Berlin. We farewelled Paris by spending a day at Disneyland Paris. For a day, we were able to be big kids, cuddling (and at times almost choking) all our favourite Disney characters. It was one of our highlights of this European adventure so far.


We made it to Germany after a little drama with the staff at the Air France check in counter. We asked to be seated together when we checked in but were told firmly that the flight was ALL booked out and that there was nothing the ground staff could do for us. And that we needed to just wait til we got on board to sort out our seating. Funnily enough when we climbed onboard and settled down, both of us were sitting beside empty seats. What were the chances of that – gee whiz!

Getting past German customs was another rather intriguing encounter. We have been questioned about what was in our luggages many a-times before but not in such an odd manner as we did at Berlin Airport. As we were collecting our luggage off the carousel, we were promptly pulled aside by a stocky, blond German man who was unlikely to be much older than us. The conversation went a little something like this:

Him: (expressionless face) “Hello. Welcome to Germany!”

Us: (all smiles) “Thank you!”

Him: “Where have you come from?”

Us: “Paris”

Him: “Can I see your passports?”

Us: (handing them over).

Him: “You are from Australia.”

Us: “Yes, we have been travelling since July around Europe.”

Him: (in a stern voice) “Do you have anything to declare?”

Us: “Nope!”

Him: (still in a stern voice) “Any drugs?”

Us: “No!”

Him: “Do you have a koala bear in your suitcase?” (clearly a joke but still in his stern voice)

Us: “Uhh…. if there was one, he would be dead now…” (jokingly)

Him: “Okay – you can go.” And still NOT even a smirk from him.

Victory Column
Victory Column

Anyway, Berlin is a city full of surprises. We turn one corner and there is a marathon going, we walk a little further and there are modern buildings, we walk another way and there are historical buildings and the most unusual thing we stumbled come across had to be the nude sunbathing park in the middle of the city while we were looking for the Victory Column. We’re sure this isn’t the reason that everyone seems to love Berlin so much.