Dreamy Treehouses

One of my Christmas gifts from my husband last year was a “gift card’ to spend a few days away over Valentine’s Day. Since we were going as a family, we tried to find something toddler-friendly. As we were comparing all our options we came across a deal to stay in a treehouse, with breakfast and daily entrance into a Wildlife Park included! It wasn’t a hard decision to make. Natur-Resort Tripsdrill here we come!


Entrance: The shepherd wagons are there on the right side of the picture!

As soon as we arrived, I knew we had picked the right place! As you drive in you see shepherd wagons, which are also bookable to stay at. Once out of your car you enter the woods, where there are 28 treehouses. Some for up to 6 people, the rest for up to 4! Our treehouse was one of the smaller ones, and it was located at the back of the area (nice and quiet)!


Our treehouse: Raben-nest (Raven Nest)

The first thing I noticed upon entering the treehouse was the cozy clean wood scent! Each house has floorboard heating, a bathroom with a shower, a fridge under the counter with a coffee machine, and a nice table area with benches and stools. The smaller houses have a full bed and a bunk bed. The space is small, but since the weather was amazing, it wasn’t a problem for us at all!


Our beds

The wildlife park has 40 different types of birds and animals, including bear (which we didn’t get to see since they are in hibernation) and two types of wolves! It was quite cool to hear the wolves howl at night (from the safety of our treehouse, of course).


Naturally, I HAD to capture a pic of the Bald Eagle!

A beautiful 14 pointer Rothirsch (Red Deer)

Red fox

Dwarf deer

Black Stork

One of the highlights of the wildlife park was feeding the deer! It took Michael a little while to get used to the deer being so close, but by the third day he was enjoying feeding and petting the deer! Ella also tried to pet them, she wasn’t afraid at all!


Ella wasn’t a bit afraid!

“We are waiting…”

The dwarf deer were more his size!

It was the perfect place for a getaway! The peaceful sounds of nature, instead of the loud music or yelling voices that we often hear here at our apartment, was relaxing and helpful! The cute treehouses were comfortable, and yet, different enough to make hitting the reset button easy! In short, I definitely recommend it, AND look forward to being able to go back there again before too long!

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Hello new in-laws, I bring you eel.

We headed south by train last week to Diez to visit Andreas’ brother and sister-in-law, also my in-laws now I’m happy to say.

Andreas reflected in the train window pulling into the station in Cologne. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Andreas reflected in the train window pulling into the station in Cologne. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

We arrived mid-day Thursday with a box of Bremerhaven smoked fish and an eel wrapped in newspaper. That evening, after dinner, Andreas’ brother Burkhard put an old card game in a cigar box, that he had been storing in his basement on the table. The cards were of tractors, race cars, tanks and ships. I’m not sure how the game was meant to be played but young Andreas had been fascinated by the stats of the various vehicles on the cards and had organized and ranked them accordingly as a kid in the 60’s. We ended up throwing away all but the icebreaker ship. (they were stinky)

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Friday, we traveled by car on the Autobahn (oh boy!) to Weilburg where we had a yummy, roadside Currywurst lunch and then visited the Rosenhang Art Museum. The Museum was created in a renovated brewery and the eclectic mix of modern art presented is all part of a private collection.

Inside the Rosenhang Museum in Weilburg, Germany. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Inside the Rosenhang Museum in Weilburg, Germany. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

In fact, the owners of this space and collection also sell tickets and walk around monitoring and greeting the visitors. Some of the brewery equipment is still in place and the gallery spaces are rough, weird and totally refreshing after years of experiencing art on boring white walls.

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"Porcelin Car" by Ma Jun, fiberglass 2008

“Porcelin Car” by Ma Jun, fiberglass 2008

My favorite piece in the museum by Cornelia Schleime

My favorite piece in the museum by Cornelia Schleime

Later that evening Burkhard and my new sister-in-law Carina hosted a homemade pizza dinner party with their friends. We had a great time and ate and drank too much.

Burkhard's neighbor friend gets a lesson in pizza dough making before the party. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Burkhard’s neighbor friend gets a lesson in pizza dough making before the party. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

On Saturday Andreas, Burkhard and I visited Limburg to do some shopping and sight seeing. Limburg has some great older architecture that survived the war.

Limburg. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Limburg. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

We also got to see some of Burkhard’s restoration work. He’s a master craftsman specializing in restoring very old wooden windows

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Behind the Limburg Cathedral. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Behind the Limburg Cathedral. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

After Limburg we returned to Diez for coffee and cake and then to see Burkhard’s latest project, the restoration of an entire home.

Smallest cookie with biggest coffee. Diez, Germany. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Smallest cookie with biggest coffee. Diez, Germany. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Inside the restoration. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Inside the restoration. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Selfie in a spooky cellar that would make an awesome speakeasy. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Selfie in a spooky cellar that would make an awesome speakeasy. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Burkhard shares his vision for the house and garden project. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Burkhard shares his vision for the house and garden project. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

The next day we drove to Carina’s hometown to have coffee with her parents. Her mother always presents a beautiful table with delicate china, flowers and homemade cakes. It’s really special and her cakes and coffee are wonderful.

Marga gets a lesson on her iphone from Carina after coffee. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Marga gets a lesson on her iphone from Carina after coffee. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Later that night everyone settled in in front of the TV, two of us with our knitting, to watch a German Survivor re-cap show and some strange game show where the contestants were popping balloons with radio controlled cars.

Cozy by the wood stove. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Cozy by the wood stove. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

On Monday, before we returned home, Andreas and I walked to town for coffee and to see the bookstore’s new window. The woman who works there creates really cool scenes with cut-out and painted cardboard.

The sign says if you can see pink elephants you should go inside the bookstore so they can help you. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

The sign says if you can see pink elephants you should go inside the bookstore so they can help you. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

I’ll leave you with a little bit of Diez history that has haunted me since our visit last Christmas. These stairs connect the shopping district to the neighborhood we were staying in and we walked them every day.

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This sign says:

Down these stairs, 41 Jewish orphans and their tutors were taken in a dark night in a pogrom-like action on 20 August 1935 by Nazi-sympathizing local citizens from the Israelite orphanage next to the castle and were pushed to the marketplace. The next day they were deported to Frankfurt. The married couple who directed the orphanage were probably murdered in concentration camps along with many of the children.

In memory of the victims

A warning to the living

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(“Translating the inscription, I am appalled by its poor writing. A pogrom is described as “pogrom-like,” violent pushing, beating, and yelling at the Jewish children is described as an “action,” and local citizens are described as “Nazi-sympathizing local citizen.” The voice is passive and the violence is implied. The first sentence reads poorly, because it names neither the perpetrators nor their actions.”    ~ Andreas Muenchow)

According to Wikipedia the Jews in Diez can be traced back to the Middle Ages around 1286, but after WWII, “Almost nothing remains of a Jewish presence in Diez.”

The castle in Diez. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

The castle in Diez. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Diez and Limburg are really beautiful cities. If you’re traveling through Germany, I recommend them.

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Zigzagging our way through Córdoba

There is a place in the middle of nowhere, but where everyone can gather. Ready to bustle anytime of the day or night. Where you can linger over a cafe’ con leche and listen to the native language reverberating through the crowd. Every street and square in this city will tell you a different story. This is ours!


Plaza de la Corredera

We took the AVE high speed train from Madrid and arrived in Córdoba late afternoon. Dropped our bags in our hotel room and ventured out to catch the late afternoon sun. We looked to the GPS on our phone for help navigating the ancient city. Directing us to turn right then left wait straight we were wrong then back on track. The alleys and streets all seemed to be connected and leading us where they wanted us to end up. We eventually put the phone away. We were curious at every turn made in the streets. Both of us participating in pointing out the dazzling architecture and hidden gems along the way. This was how we ended up in Plaza de la Corredera our first day. We ordered ice cold beers and shrugged off jet-lag by letting the sun warm our skin. Not leaving until the sun finally began to dip behind the buildings.


Follow your intuition, let your mind guide you and step carefully.

Córdoba is part of the region known as Andalusia in Spain. Once ruled by The Moors, which shows up in the architecture. The very reason I was drawn to the city of Córdoba was to see the Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral.


Inside the Mosque-Cathderal

Deeply rich in history, the Mosque-Cathedral and the surrounding structure was quite breathtaking. You can see the influence of Moorish, Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic. The best time to visit the Mosque-Cathedral is between 8:30-9:30 am. The entry is free at this time and you can wander around before the tour groups arrive. Stand still and look up and down. Take notice of the detailed carvings in the spacious interior. One cannot help but stare at the rows and rows of stunning columns. I was completely in awe.

Next get in line and purchase tickets to walk up The Bell Tower. Views of the Jewish quarter, the Mosque and the city await you. There is history in every step you take upwards towards those enormous bells.


For 2 euros you can walk up about 40 meters for sprawling views of the city and immerse yourself in feeling history that lies within.


From above looking down into the garden area

No longer worrying about becoming lost we made our way to the Jewish Quarter. Meandering down the middle of the narrow streets. Taking pictures and looking into shops. The white washed buildings nestled between the winding streets made a fascinating journey back in time.

We became immersed in the beauty and forget we were sometimes in the middle of a road. Beware as cars can and do drive down these tiny streets.

Now onto the food! All the cafe’s in Córdoba offered an array of beautiful pastries to look at and consume. However, I began to notice what the men in business suits and the women with briefcases were ordering for breakfast and it was a simple and beautiful meal. The “tosta” (grilled bread) with a rich red tomato spread served in a small ramekin. After you place your order and the crunchy bread arrives, a bottle of olive oil will be placed at your table along with a salt shaker. Drizzle the olive oil once over the bread and then again a second time. Spread the tomato puree and shake the sea salt generously over the bread. Perfection!


Breakfast with coffee for about $2.oo

Lunch was all about the “Eggplant” fried and served with honey and sesame seeds. We wandered into Taberna El Poema simply because it was only a 5 minute walk from where we happened to be that day. Our waiter was working on his English and I on my Spanish. We helped each other out and both learned a few things.


These gentlemen come here every week at the same time and sit at the same table! They were singing, talking, drinking and lunching.

Eggplant quickly fried and drizzled with honey and sesame seeds! It tasted like a fried dough from the fair. Light and delicate.

Delicious


Ratatouille with eggs and a glass of Vino Tinto

Dinner in Spain. Why do the Spanish have to eat so late. I know the siesta is supposed to help you out but 11pm for dinner – that’s rough. We opted for a restaurant offering Tapas with the mind set we could comfortably eat a little earlier. Garum 2.1 Bistronomic tapas offered inventive dishes with vegetarian options. I guessed we missed the mark on our timing though (actual photo :)


Even 9pm is still too early. Lets just say we had an intimate dinner!

The colors of Spain!

Córdoba wasn’t just a day trip from Madrid or Seville for us. It was our base for 3 full and exciting days. We immersed ourselves into the culture and the people. We found local restaurants. Drank wine everyday with lunch. Lingered over coffee in the square every afternoon. Managed a day trip to Seville and a half day in Madrid.


“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures” – Lovelle Drachman

Cheers Tamara

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