Germany · My Thoughts

Days 12-15: Salzburg, Free Time & Home! Wow!

Days 12-15 came so quickly! We opted to stay in Grassau and explore then on to Salzburg. Then we had another free day to pack up and enjoy a farewell banquet. Then we flew home—our magical Bavarian ended!

Day 12: Free time. Optional tour offer—Tolzer Twirlers Anniversary Dance in Bad Tolz.

Maypole in Grassau, Germany - Days 12-15
May pole in Grassau

I know most people who know Lin and I will be shocked that we opted to not dance that day but to explore Grassau. We made that decision because of three reasons:

  1. The trip to Salzburg the next day—we wanted to be rested for that because we both looked forward to the city and the Mozart concert that night.
  2. We had been going at such a clip, we both worried about our current health situation, and needed a break.
  3. We had been in Grassau for two weeks, but hadn’t had the time to explore this quaint little village.

After breakfast, we walked to town in the rain. First, we went to the Information office and inquired about restaurants for dinner. Interestingly, being a Saturday night, we thought we’d have lots of options! No, we had two choices, both Italian! We visited the May Pole—each village had a May Pole that told about the life there.

Next, we went into the church, the church of Assumption of Mary, right across the street from the Information office. We had walked by this church often and did not know the magnificent interior. It’s amazing how this small village supported this gorgeous church, stunning and ornate!

What made it fun, too—we watched a wedding party prepare for a wedding that afternoon!

Our next stop—a steamy latte for me and cappuccino for Lin, and delicious German sweets in a coffee shop. We relaxed, enjoying people-watching and no rush!

Our favorite thrift shop we had visited earlier wasn’t open this Saturday—Heidi’s is only open one Saturday a month. Then we found out that all the shops in town closed between 12 and 1! What a difference in commercial attitude than what we are used to!

We found a nice-size department store though. Lin bought a much-needed umbrella because ours had died! I bought two sweaters—one gold and one lime green for a great price. I got a nice discount on the first one I bought.

We ended our afternoon back at our apartment, then we met John & Barb Sloper for dinner at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria for dinner. I had rigatoni with pepperoni. When the server brought our dishes, I didn’t see any round meat on my dish. I took a bite, and it blasted me out of the room. Then, I grabbed the server and asked him about the pepperoni—I found out in Germany pepperoni is a chili pepper, not meat. So, I drank lots of water and ended the meal with Tiramisu, then we went to the ice cream parlor near and Lin had his usual ice cream.

NOTE: Everyone who attended the Tolzer Twirlers Anniversary Dance in Bad Tolz raved about their experience. They had over 300 dancers!

Day 13: Salzburg: City walking tour with English-speaking guide. St. Rupert’s Day Evening – Salzburg Mozart Dinner Concert. No dance, live Classical Music tonight!

This day became one of my favorites! When I think of Salzburg, I will think of two things: The Sound of Music and the bells ringing!

When we left the bus once we arrived, I asked about leaving our bags. “Yes, that’s okay,” so we did. As we prepared to go on a walking tour of Salzburg, Kim Oxendine and Gina handed us our bags and said, “The bus is not coming back!” Thank you, Kim and Gina, for taking care of us.

We started the walking tour at the Mirabell Garden, the same place where they filmed a memorable scene from the Sound of Music. It sent chills over me! When Lin and I got home, watched the Sound of Music and stopped it every time we recognized a place we had been—what a thrill!

The garden features gorgeous flowers, statues and fountains—and the Sound of Music!

Then we walked to Old Salzburg. It was the Feast of St. Rupert, the patron saint of Salzburg and the city overflowed, even though it was a Sunday! The narrow streets fascinated me—metal shop signs hung over our heads!

Mozart's birthplace - Days 12-15
Mozart’s Birthplace

On the tour, we saw Mozart’s birthplace, “The house where Wolfgang Amadé Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, is now one of the most visited museums in the world. No other place makes the person behind the artist Wolfgang Amadé Mozart and his music as tangible as his birthplace.”

We also saw the Saltzburg cathedral.

Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral

At the end of the tour, Lin and I stopped in an outdoor beer garden and enjoyed venison sausage and sauerkraut and a cheese tray. So delicious!

Cemetery in Salzburg
Cemetery in Salzburg

After lunch, we shopped some and then walked to the cemetery. The cemetery plots overflow with flowers. We visited the chapel there and lit more candles for our friends.

Funicular ride to fortress - Days 12-14
Funicular ride to fortress

Then we rode the funicular up the hill to the fortress overlooking Salzburg. We spent a lot of time wandering around the fortress. My favorite part—standing near the wall and listening to the bells and taking pictures of the skyline full of church steeples! It felt other-worldly!

View of Salzburg from the Fortress - Days 12-15
View of Salzburg from the Fortress

Listen to the bells I recorded:

After our great time in the fortress, we rode the funicular back down and arrived at the restaurant just as our group went in. We savored a three-course meal. The entertainment began during the meal and continued. They did a section of one of Mozart’s opera, then a course, then singing! It was fabulous!

Night time view of church & fortress - Days 12-15
Night time view of church & fortress
Tony Oxendine, Jet Robers & Tom Crisp at Last Dance in the Barn - Days 12-15
Tony Oxendine, Jet Robers & Tom Crisp at Last Dance in the Barn

Day 14: Free time for last-minute shopping and time to pack. Last dance 11 am—1 pm. Please bring luggage to the hotel lobby to be loaded onto busses no later than 4 pm. Special Farewell BanquetNo dancing after banquet—party or early to bed.

Sadly, our trip was ending! We had a last dance and enjoyed our last time in the barn dancing. After lunch, we shopped some more, and I bought a fantastic pair of shoes! Wore them to church today! We packed up our bags! That’s always a major event, trying to get all our souvenirs in, but once again, we succeeded.

The day ended with a Farewell Banquet. I thoroughly enjoyed a highlight of the evening—each person in the group shared if they wanted to share their favorite memory of the trip. It really brought back so many outstanding memories as I listened!

Day 15: Depart Grassau for an early flight from Munich to USA.

Because we had people who had early flights, we left Grassau at 6:00 A.M., breakfast at 5:00 A.M.!

Our travel day home was eventful for sure! We had delays and friends missed connections in London, having to stay a night there. We made ours, but we got home later than planned with a delay in Denver.

Days 12-15 sped right on by! What an amazing trip we had! Tom, Gina and Curtis Crisp provided a trip of a lifetime with their experience and knowledge. If you’re interested, the next trip is September 16-30, 2025. Tony, Jet, Tom and the international callers entertained us with their great calling! Thanks so much!

Close up of church steeple & fortress - Days 12-15
I leave you with a closeup of a church steeple & fortress in Salzburg!
Our group that went to Germany - Days 12-15
Our group that went to Germany

Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir - Days 12-15
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Germany · My Thoughts

Days 9 -11: From Innsbruck to Munich & More

Lin & Larada in Reit im Windl, Germany - 9 Days
Lin & Larada in Reit im Windl, Germany

Days 9 – 11! Three fun-filled days lay ahead of us: from Innsbruck, Austria to the Hofbraeuhaus in Munich and more. We ended the week with a trip to Reit im Winkl, a scenic village near Grassau. That evening we had the pleasure of a traditional Bavarian show with lots of dancing and music!

Day 9: Innsbruck capital of Austrian Western State of Tyrol and Rattenberg am Inn – famous for Swarovski Crystal.

Fog hung by the mountain - Days 9

During our drive to Innsbruck, Austria from Grassau, we traveled along a valley with the steep Northern Chain mountains in view, 7,000-8,000 feet high. So scenic! Fog hung down on the mountains, adding a mystique to those glorious mountains so nearby.

When we got to Innsbruck, we did a bus tour first, then a walking tour. During the bus tour, the tour guide shared the history of the city. It was heavily bombed in World War II with twenty-two air raids. The bombings destroyed every second building. Innsbruck hosted the Olympics twice: 1964 and 1976. That wasn’t surprising with it surrounded by mountains.

During the walking tour, we saw the famous Goldenes Dachl (Golden roof).

“The Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) is a landmark structure located in the Old Town (Altstadt) section of Innsbruck, Austria. It is considered the city’s most famous symbol. Completed in 1500, the roof was decorated with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles for Emperor Maximilian I to mark his wedding to Bianca Maria Sforza. The Emperor and his wife used the balcony to observe festivals, tournaments, and other events that took place in the square below.”

After the walking tour, we walked around the downtown area, and the mayor of Innsbruck rode by on a bike. He stopped, and we got our picture with him. What a friendly, hospitable ambassador for Innsbruck! Then we ate quickly to have time to shop.

From Innsbruck, we drove to Rattenberg on the Inn River, known for beautiful crystal. This little village sat right next to the river. We wandered along the main street shopping.

Lin by the Inn River

We danced that evening in the barn—an exceptional way to end the day!

I continued to write haikus about my experience:

Disconnected now!
Connected only in room!
I like the freedom!

I love Germany!
The home of my ancestors.
Their feet touched this soil.

(Thinking about our trip to Scotland in May)

I love Scotland, too!
The home of my ancestors.
Their feet touched this soil.

My heritage has
Deepened as I have traveled.
I’m more than I thought!

Day 10: Munich City Tour with English-speaking guide. Visit downtown Munich, including Marienplatz & the famous Hofbräuhaus. Return to Grassau in time for dinner and dance.

Again, we traveled to Munich, but this time to see the city! And once again, we enjoyed the bus tour seeing city and then walking see the people. Before the bus tour, we drove to the Nymphenburg Castle for a potty break. What gorgeous gardens surrounded the castle! During the bus tour, I take lots of notes—way too many to share here.

As we passed one building, the tour guide identified it as the building where Hitler spoke to the people. Today it is a high school. Then he stressed we need to be attentive to the Neo-Nazi movement because it’s a world-wide threat.

When the walking tour started, we had a tight schedule: we needed to get to the Marienplatz (heart of Munich) at noon to see the Glockenspiel in the New City Hall. As we walked rapidly, I kept my eye on Curtis, one of our tour guides. When we arrived in the Marienplatz, I had a couple minutes to get my camera ready, but tourists packed the Marienplatz!

How fascinating the Glockenspiel was! Here’s more information about each part:

Then we headed for the famous Hofbräuhaus. Our tour guide showed us where his beer stein is locked up—small little lockers lined the room.

How lucky we were! Lin and I headed towards the band and took several pictures, enjoying the Oom-pah music and the personalities of the musicians. A couple seated right by the band motioned to us to join them, so we spent the whole time there, sitting right by the band!

After sharing a sausage tray with three different sausages and the best sauerkraut ever, we leisurely listened to the band and enjoyed the show. Then we had plenty of time to leisurely shop and enjoy the atmosphere.

When we got home that evening, we danced again after dinner—I loved all the dancing!

Day 11: Morning: Visit the beautiful village of Reit im Winkl. Evening: Bavarian Traditional Schuhplattlers Show. Oom-pah music tonight.

We had a later morning departure, so we had a more relaxed morning. We had a rainy drive to Reit im Winkl, a beautiful alpine village. The bus driver told us the tale of how Bavaria won Reit im Winkl from Austria—very entertaining.

St. Pankratius Parish Church & Larada in her Yellow Raincoat - 9 Days
St. Pankratius Parish Church & Larada in her Yellow Raincoat

When we arrived, we walked to the St. Pankratius Parish Church and went inside. Again, I lit a candle for our friends, Bob and Linda, who had COVID. Then we hiked to the falls above the village. The rain added to the atmosphere, and I thoroughly enjoyed my yellow raincoat. Then we shopped around and ate some local goodies.

Flowers, flower boxes, flowers draped over balconies—that’s what I remember about this quaint little village.

On the trip back to Grassau, Gina Crisp told us her immigration story—so moving and so sad! But she has certainly taken her experience and had an open heart to all immigrants!

Curtis Crisp, one of our tour guides, dressed up for the Show - Days 9
Curtis Crisp, one of our tour guides, dressed up for the Show

After dinner that evening, we returned to the barn for the Bavarian Traditional Show—a highlight of the trip for me! I dressed warmly this time and kept comfy the whole evening. During the show, we enjoyed traditional Bavarian music and dance! During an open dance, Lin and I enjoyed a spirited polka—what fun!

The dancers spanned all ages from young children to grandpa and all in traditional outfits. I saw such similarity to our square dancing in their costumes. Also, it reminded me of dances I grew up in Branson, Colorado, with children allowed to enjoy themselves on the dance floor between dances. They ended the show with something like a Grand March or the Mexican “La Marcha” with floral arches they put into different shapes, ending in stars.

The children waiting patiently for their time to perform! Days 9
The children waiting patiently for their time to perform!

I took lots of video that evening!

Sample the Bavarian Traditional Schuhplattlers Show:

Sample the Oompah band

See these young boys trained up in their traditional Bavarian dance thrilled me

What a fantastic end to the day again—a celebration of Bavaria!

These three days fun-filled days are some of my favorites of the trip! Music, dance—you can’t beat that!

If you have missed my previous three blog posts about this trip, here they are:


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Germany · My Thoughts

Day 5-8: Oktoberfest to King Ludwig’s Two Castles!

Oktoberfest Welcome Sign - Day
Welcome Sign

During Day 5-8 in Bavaria, we experienced Oktoberfest in Munich and saw two of King Ludwig’s amazing castles. We also had a relaxing day at an Alpine ski lift and a square and round dance.

September 16

Day 5: Alpine ski lift. Invitational Square & Round Dance 

After a busy day at the Salt Mines & Eagles’ Nest the day before, our thoughtful tour guides planned a relaxing day on day 5. But Lin and I got up early to go to Heidi’s Thrift store in Grassau for local souvenirs. I bought my brother a beer stein at a reasonable price.

The bus picked us up at the chestnut tree, and we drove a short distance to catch the alpine ski lift up the mountain. I love ski lifts; however, I’m not a skier, so most of my experiences have been in the sunshine. We marveled at the different pine trees and a creek running below us. I had fun taking pictures of different people in our group.

When we got on top, Lin and I ate lunch with friends from Arizona, John & Barb Sloper. What gigantic meals we had—Lin had sausage, and I selected a cheese & bread tray. We should have split one! Then we spent the rest of the time hiking up the mountain higher. It felt like “Sound of Music” country, our first of many times of referencing one of my favorite movies.

Hillside - Day

On the return trip, Lin hiked back with Curtis and I rode the bus. Then I got a much- needed nap and Lin swam in our pool with a friend from Arizona. I ALWAYS bring my swimming suit and often have to corworse Lin in bringing his. As I packed, I thought, “Germany, swimming suit? It will be too cold!” So, I didn’t bring mine ONCE! And he brought his! Go figure! And he used it often!

After dinner, I walked to the barn with a friend from Las Vegas, and she complimented me on my writing—what a delightful surprise. We danced the night away with Jet Roberts, Tony Oxendine, Tom Crisp, Klaus Völkl & Stefanie Christian on the rounds—and I wasn’t cold! In fact—it was super-hot!

September 17

Day 6: Munich Oktoberfest and Opening Costume Parade. Square & Round Dance & Potluck in Munich hosted by the Tamara Twirlers.

Oh, what a day! To get to Munich, we had to get early because we left Grassau at 8:00 AM. The trip took one hour and ½. After arriving in Munich, we walked twenty minutes to get to the park.

As we walked under the Welcome sign, I thought, “This looks like a state fair with then or more beer tents.” To begin with, we walked the total length of the main street to the Ferris wheel and with Arizona friends.

Again, I dressed inappropriately. I wore a leather jacket and wore jean leggings—and what a hot day! I was so hot at one point; I felt nauseous! Our tour guides told us to watch the parade because people from different towns in Bavaria wore their unique costumes, so that’s what we did. I got some magnificent pictures. 

When we went inside our first beer hall, the noise inside overwhelmed me. People sat elbow-to-elbow at long wooden picnic-type tables. Young people stood on top of the table with their beer mugs, singing a spirited song. Beer maids and servers carried six liter-size beer mugs. In the center of the tent at the bandstand, a band played spirited Bavarian music. What an amazing atmosphere! 

Right as we arrived, one band from the parade wove their way inside the hall and played a song, interrupting the band at the bandstand. We had just heard this band out in the parade—such a celebration.

Lin with our Bratwurst - Day
Lin with our Bratwurst

Leaving there, we ate bratwurst for lunch and continued watching the parade—yes; it goes on for hours! I ate a bite of brat, ran over to the parade and took a picture, then ran back for another bite. They did a fantastic thing for recycling plastic/glass. They gave you a token when you bought a drink, then we got money back when we turned in the empty.

I loved all the gigantic draft horses pulling the beer wagons. Also, I enjoyed the leather lederhosen and hats with feathers the men wore, and the form-fitting Dirndls the women wore with aprons. What a photo fest for Line and me!

Band in a beer tent - Day
Band in a beer tent

For another adventure, we visited another beer hall and met a delightful couple, visiting mostly with the husband. Everyone was so friendly—maybe because we sat so close to each other.

Tamara Twirlers banner - Day
Tamara Twirlers banner

Afterwards, we drove to a dance hall in Munich to dance with the Tamara Twirlers. They hosted a “barbecue” beforehand, but really it was a potluck with delicious homemade Bavarian food. What a delightful night we had dancing with our German dance friends!

September 18

Day 7: Lake Chiemsee boat cruise to visit Herrenchiemesee Island and King Ludwig’s Castle. Optional: Hotel Wessner Hof. Free Schnapps Tour. Dinner on your own. Caller’s night off.

King Ludwig's bedroom furniture - Day
King Ludwig’s bedroom furniture

Another fun-filled day. We drove to Lake Chiemsee and then cruised over to see one of King Ludwig’s castles. When we got to the island, I rode a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle; Lin walked. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of this amazing castle. King Ludwing was eccentric, building this castle for himself—no one else!

That evening we took advantage of the options and had dinner out at Hotel Wessner Hof. Its owner is a personal friend of our tour guide, Tom. Afterwards, they offered a free Schapps tour. Our group toured first then Lin and I and Nina, Dean Singleton’s girlfriend had ice cream for dessert.

Another wonderful fun-filled day in Bavaria!

September 19

Day 8: King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle. Visit the village of Oberammergau, famous for woodcarving and the passion play.

What a special day—Lin’s 83rd birthday, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Oberammergau!

Neuschwanstein Castle - Day

First, we drove to Neuschwanstein Castle but faced delays because of a detour. Tom jumped out of the bus to get tickets. Then we had a wild ride up to the castle on a windy road and the driver using one hand!

Before our tour, Lin and I walked up to a bridge where we could take picturesque pictures of the castle. I was so excited because I had anticipated this excursion so much.

The fairytale castle Neuschwanstein is a popular sight in Germany. The castle in Hohenschwangau (Bavaria) was built by order of King Ludwig II and the inspiration for the Disney Cinderella castle.

Our tour of the went at 12:45 pm. This is where King Ludwig II lived. Inside, it was much more subdued than the castle we saw the day before. Moorish influence showed up throughout. 

Door to Neuschwanstein Castle - Day
Door to Neuschwanstein Castle

Then it was on to Oberammergau, another place I had dreamed of visiting. It is the sight of the Passion Play every ten years. When I was a youngster, my Sunday school teacher saw the play and brought each of her students a pen to commemorate it. 

To celebrate Lin’s birthday, I bought him an authentic cuckoo clock here and shocked him. We had it shipped home.

We ate a late dinner back at the Hotel Sperrer that evening, but Gina had a birthday cake for all those celebrating their birthdays. I’m sure this was a birthday Lin will remember forever!


What a jampacked four days we had seeing all these amazing sights. I slept peacefully that night with such satisfaction at seeing some bucket list sights, but I plan on returning to Oberammergau in 2030!!


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Germany · My Thoughts

Our First Two Fun-Filled Days in Bavaria

Our first two fun-filled days came after two travel days. On September 12 we left Albuquerque, NM and arrived in Munich on September 13. Then we began to sample our destination in the next two days.

  • September 12—Day 1: Travel Day
  • September 13—Day 2: Travel Day
  • September 14—Day 3: Frelichtmuseum—Farmer’s Museum. Dancing after dinner.
  • September 15—Day 4: Berchtesgaden: Salt Mines & Eagle’s Nest Tour. Dancing after dinner.

September 12

What a delightful start we had on September 12 for this trip: we didn’t have to get up at 0-dark-30! We left the house at 10:00 am, ate lunch at the airport and had a leisure time at the airport. But we worried about our connection in Chicago because we only had one hour and twenty minutes, and this was our international connection. However, when we got to Chicago, we faced a two-hour delay. That didn’t bother me at all! We met up with friends from Las Vegas, NV and visiting with them made the time go quickly.

Also, I prepared for my e-book launch the next day of my new book, Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir. That launch went on in the background of this entire trip.

Here’s a copy of haiku I wrote when we settled into our seats on our plane for Germany:

I love to travel. 

The secret is: flexible! 

It took years to learn!

We are moving now.

Two-and one-half hours late!

Now I am hungry!

Beforehand, we bought Economy Plus or something like that for the international leg of the trip, so we had plenty of leg room. Also, we sat on one side with three seats and the seat next to me was empty, so I stretched out and slept on some of the flight. Lin sleeps easily when we fly.

September 13

Waking up on an airplane fascinates me—so many miles have sped away! When we arrived in Munich, Germany, they checked our passports, then we got our bags—our bags came quickly. Then we met with up Gina & Curtis Crisp, our tour guides. Tom rode to Grassau on our bus. Off to Grassau, we went an hour and a half drive. 

They dropped us off at the Sperrer Hotel, the headquarters for the tour, for an orientation meeting. Then Curtis made two trips to transport all the apartment residences over to Gameis Apartments. When we arrived, our bags waited at the door. We had a gorgeous apartment in the Bungalow there. Ahead of time, we had volunteered to stay in the apartments and do the ten-minute walk over to the Hotel Sperrer daily.

So, at our welcome dinner, the Mayor of Grassau greeted us and a man played “the alphorn,” which I have seen on the TV commercial for Ricola cough drops. The actual size amazed me and then how it came apart. They continued the evening’s festivities with a welcome dance, but exhaustion hit, so we walked home in the rain. My yellow raincoat I bought at the Edinburgh castle in May came in handy, repeatedly!

September 14 

The next morning, we slept in and learned that was a bad idea! All the eggs and bacon/sausage were gone, so I had granola, which was delicious! A morning routine started for us in the apartment: we walked over and met the bus at the chestnut tree, about a five-minute walk. Then we drove for forty-five minutes to the Frelichtmuseum—Farmer’s Museum.

What an amazing place! It reminded Lin and me of the Heritage Park Historical Village Living History Museum in Calvary, Canada we visited in 2012. We had too many choices and not enough time. So, we headed in the opposite direction of the rest of the tour and explored on our own. A quaint train provided transportation around the outdoor museum, which we hopped on a couple times. We saw old farm machinery and amazing accommodations, dating back to the 17th century, that housed the animals below and the people above on the second floor. Many meager homes had an altar in the kitchen’s corner.

Religion played an important role in the 17th century farmer’s life, so we saw a beautiful small chapel and crucifixes in various places. We saw wood used in unusual ways, like a water trough. They also used a small tree branch to tie up fences. Beautiful gardens dotted the landscape.

When we returned to Grassau, we had dinner first, then we square danced. A friend who had taken this tour in the past warned me about the barn, where we danced, being cold. So, I put on a long prairie skirt and long-sleeve top and warm socks, but they moved the dance to a different location, and I overheated! Lin and I thoroughly enjoyed dancing to Tony Oxendine (my favorite caller of all times) and Jet Roberts. We especially enjoyed dancing in a square with a Sweden caller, a German caller and Tony & Jet’s wives!

When we got home, I checked the free downloads of my new book: 2000! Wow!

What a glorious day we had!

September 15

This morning we arose earlier and enjoyed a great breakfast meeting a new couple from Tucson. We walked to the chestnut tree and enjoyed sitting near the front of the bus on the forty-five-minute drive to Berchtesgaden Salt Mines.

Salt Mines

First order of business: everyone had to put on a jumpsuit. Then they packed us onto a wooden bench on a string of compact cars like a train to travel down into the mine. We had to straddle the bench, and they kept packing us on like sardines. 

Going down the slide—I'm the one hidden in the back! First two days
Going down the slide—I’m the one hidden in the back!

When we stopped, the excitement began. Four of us together slid down a wooden plank. We went down with Dean Singleton and his girlfriend, Nina. Oh, what a ride! We toured that area, then went down another slide with John & Rosie from Las Vegas.

On our next adventure down in the mine, we rode a boat out on the brine and they had a light show. We ended with sampling the water—very salty.

Eagle’s Nest

From there we drove to the Eagle’s Nest in Austria, Hitler’s hide-away. We missed our reservation to go up to the Eagle’s Nest, so we had an hour delay. During this time, Lin and I shopped and bought souvenirs.

How breath-taking the bus ride up the mountain! When we arrived, we had to walk through a tunnel Curtis suggested we make note of, and the construction was amazing! Then we rode an elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest—eerie to think Hitler had been there!

Lin and I hiked to the top, the mountain above the Eagle’s Nest. I struggled with some of the steep incline but it was worth every step! We saw Salzburg in the distance—amazing panoramic view!

After dinner back in Grassau, we walked through a park, hoping to hear a band that set up there earlier, but they had finished their concert. How hard to believe the first two days of our time in Bavaria are gone! I continued to get free downloads of my new book. My comment in my journal at the end of the day: “I’m beat! I’m going to bed!”


Tom, Gina and Curtis Crisp made our first two days in Bavaria delightful. I plan on sharing more next week on the next four days of our trip. Be ready!


Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir - Our first two days

Germany · My Thoughts · square dance · Travel

Germany: Our Trip to Breathtaking Bavaria!

On September 12, 2023, Lin and I left Albuquerque for Munich, Germany through Chicago to begin an amazing Bavaria Tour with square dancers and the Crisps. In Chicago, we endured a delay, but the overseas trip went seamlessly. We bought the upgrade to Economy Plus for the overseas leg of the trip and enjoyed the extra leg room.

The Crisp Tour began at the airport in Munich, Germany airport where Tom, Gina and Curtis Crisp. They met us joyfully at the airport even though our group was two hours late! Gina greeted me personally and gave us our room keys and our name tags. They gathered the group, and we walked to the buses—I was in Munich! Yahooo!

Then we headed to Grassau, a small village one hour away. We stopped first at the Hotel Sperrer where most of the tour had their rooms. We opted to be in the apartments, a 10-minute walk away. Curtis carpooled us to the apartments and what a lovely surprise we had with our room. We had a lovely space with a kitchen, living room, spacious bedroom, and a bathroom with a sunken tub. We settled in then returned to the Hotel Sperrer for our first dinner together and our orientation meeting.

After dinner, the mayor (in German Bürgermeister) of Grassau, Stefan Kattari, welcomed us. Looking out the windows, we realized it was raining, so we walked back to the room and didn’t join in the welcome dance that night. We were exhausted.

We had fourteen days of action-packed fun.

Itinerary of our amazing trip:

  • September 12—Day 1: Travel Day
  • September 13—Day 2: Travel Day
  • September 14—Day 3: Frelichtmuseum—Farmer’s Museum. Dancing after dinner.
  • September 15—Day 4: Berchtesgaden: Salt Mines & Eagle’s Nest Tour. Dancing after dinner.
  • September 16—Day 5: Alpine ski lift. Invitational Square & Round Dance with Jet Roberts, Tony Oxendine, Tom Crisp, plus a Mystery Guest Caller and Klaus Völkl & Stefanie Christian on the rounds.
  • September 17—Day 6: Munich Oktoberfest And Opening Costume Parade. Square & Round Dance & Potluck in Munich hosted by the Tamara Twirlers.
  • September 18—Day 7: Lake Chiemsee boat cruise to visit Herrenchiemesee Island and King Ludwig’s Castle. Optional: Hotel Wessner Hof. Free Schnapps Tour. Dinner on your own. Caller’s night off.
  • September 19—Day 8: King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle. Visit the village of Oberammergau, famous for woodcarving and the passion play.
  • September 20—Day 9: Innsbruck capital of Austrian Western State of Tyrol and Rattenberg am Inn – famous for Swarovski Crystal.
  • September 21—Day 10: Munich City Tour with English-speaking guide. Visit downtown Munich, including Marienplatz & the famous Hofbraeuhaus. Return to Grassau in time for dinner and dance.
  • September 22—Day 11: Morning: Visit the beautiful village of Reit im Winkl. Evening: Heimatabend – Bavarian Traditional Schuhplattlers Show. Oom-pah music tonight.
  • September 23—Day 12: Free time. Optional tour offer—Tolzer Twirlers Anniversary Dance in Bad Tolz.
  • September 24—Day 13: Salzburg: City walking tour with English-speaking guide. St. Rupert’s Day Evening – Salzburg Mozart Dinner Concert. No dance, live Classical Music tonight!
  • September 25—Day 14: Free time for last-minute shopping and time to pack. Last dance 11 am—1 pm. Please bring luggage to the hotel lobby to be loaded onto busses no later than 4 pm.Special Farewell Banquet. No dancing after banquet—party or early to bed.
  • September 26—Day 15: Depart Grassau for an early flight from Munich to USA.


I have memories to last a lifetime. I started organizing my picture last night, and I relived each moment! Bavaria, the part of Germany and Austria we visited, is overwhelming in natural beauty!

As you can see, we saw many sights. We danced a lot, and we were busy, busy! We met some wonderful new friends from all over the country. In my next couple of blog posts, I will highlight some of my favorite places and memories. There’s no way I can write about each day individually—I wouldn’t write anything else for the rest of the year. Highlights—that’s what I plan to do!

Have you ever been to Bavaria in Germany? If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t, Crisp Tours may be returning to Germany in 2025. Email me if you’re interested and I will forward it to them.


Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir--Germany