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100th Blog Post and Last One of This Trip!

Pilsen, Regensburg, and Bogel for the finish

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Day 34 Continued - Pilsner Urquell Brewery

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After leaving Prague, we drove for about an hour to the town of Pilsen (Plzen). This town has one really big claim to fame. It's the birthplace of Pilsner Urquell and the only location in which it is brewed in the world. This is DH's favorite beer so this was a bit of a pilgrimage.
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This is the famous gate leading to where all the magic happens.
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We ate lunch in the brewery's restaurant before walking into the old town of Pilsen for a few pictures and to leave the kids while we took the nearly two hour tour.
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The kids took their own pictures of the town and had dessert while we were on the tour.
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Our tour guide was great at presenting the most interesting facts and telling stories about the brewery. We got to see the old brewing equipment as well as the new state of the art equipment. The scale of this operation is incredible. It's especially impressive that all the Pilsner Urquell in the world is made in this one massive building.
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We toured some of the 9 kilometers of caves underneath the brewery and learned how this was the only way to keep the lager cool before modern refrigeration. Of course we got to taste the beer right out of the barrel. So cool!
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The bottling and canning operation was an add-on from the tour that we also couldn't miss. We were surprised that they let us take as many pictures as we wanted. DH was really geeking out and enjoying every minute of this experience. I found it pretty impressive as well.
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I did the driving after the tour so DH could enjoy his favorite beer. I was proud of my sometimes 100+ MPH driving on the autobahn! It makes driving at home feel like slow motion.

We found Prosslbrau Adlersberg without any problems. We stayed at this brewery/hotel back in 2011 on our first family trip to Europe. There had been a few improvements but the hotel and beer garden seemed stuck in time and exactly as we remembered. Except the beer vending machine was now two Euros instead of one. Check out DH getting his vending machine beer both in 2011 and 2022!
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We had a nice dinner in the beer garden with lots of German classics. So meaty! I am eagerly anticipating all the produce I will be buying when we return home.
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Day 35 - Exploring Regensburg

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After our simple included breakfast, we took the bus from Adlersberg into the pretty town of Regensburg. We enjoyed one last city center with wonderful pedestrian streets, charming architecture, huge churches, and European shopping. The main church had beautiful stained glass.
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Kids even found Dunkin Donuts. Oh brother.
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After lots of wandering and a little shopping, we crossed the famous stone bridge (made in the 12th century) and found a great beer garden on the other side. We shared a couple kinds of sausages and enjoyed being right along the Danube River again. The Danube twists and winds all over Europe so it's not so surprising that we kept crossing it in one way or another.
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It was mid-afternoon and a thunderstorm was approaching. DD#2 and I decided to check out the city's largest indoor pool. We didn't take any pictures but enjoyed around 90 minutes swimming in a wave pool, a heated pool, and checking out the diving boards and slide. It wasn't a remarkable pool but got us moving for a bit.

We found yet another beer garden for dinner. This would be our last spaetzle, currywurst, and roasted pork of the trip. It started raining pretty hard so we had to move indoors.
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After a little more wandering over more bridges, we caught the bus back to the brewery hotel and called it an evening. We were all feeling a little tired as our trip was coming to an end.

Day 36 - Long drive to Bogel

We had hotel breakfast again, packed our bags, and hit the road for our last drive of the trip. I was feeling emotional with everything being our last. I love my home but could honestly spend months in Europe.

On our 4+ hour drive to Bogel, we stopped mid-way at our last grocery store and DM (toiletries store). I bought enough German face cream for a year along with a few other goodies. At the store, we stocked up on German chocolate, mustard, and Kinder goodies. It was one heavy bag!
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We had Doner Kebab for the last time. So delicious! Four giant sandwiches was just over $20. I feel like a Doner Kebab shop would do so well in my hometown. They have doner and we have burritos.
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After hitting lots of construction traffic, we finally made it to Bogel to see family. It was so nice to see where my step-mom lives. It's a beautiful 100 year old home that has been completely renovated. I wish I had taken pictures of the interior. I was so impressed with how much work and care has gone into restoring this beautiful home. We were lucky enough to stay in the two bedroom flat on the ground floor. The girls loved getting to know the cats, Georgie and Tessa.
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We attended the village summer BBQ that evening and met several locals. It was just relaxing to end our trip among familiar faces.

Day 37 - Last full day

I awoke with so many mixed emotions. It was hard knowing the trip which had been planned for two years was about to end. There were so many recent memories to process and enjoy. I got up for my last European run around the village and surrounding farmland.

We drove a short distance to the Rhine River near the Lorelei statue and legend. We took pictures of the river, which is at one of its lowest points ever. Germany is suffering a severe drought.
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We also managed to sneak in one last luge! We each took multiple runs down the luge and remarked on how different all seven luge experiences were. This one was fast and well organized without lines. It was on the shorter side but totally worth it!
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We drove along the Rhine and had lunch at a pizza restaurant near Marksburg Castle. Again, pizza is so affordable in Europe. Delicious!
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The castle was beautifully situated on top of a hill and dominated the skyline around that section of river. This castle had never been destroyed and was in great condition. Although we didn't tour the inside, we drove up to the top intending to get great pictures. Sadly, the better pictures were from below. Someday I hope to return and tour the castle.
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We drove back to my stepmom's house for my favorite part of the day - a family BBQ! We felt so special to have all three of her kids and friends come together for delicious food. We caught up and sat outside visiting for hours. It was bittersweet not knowing how long it will be until we see them all again. I really hope we have more video calls in the future.
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Day 38 - The LONG LONG LONG journey home

This is the day we all dreaded but also felt ready for at some level. We had a nice breakfast in Bogel before saying our goodbyes and hitting the road back to the Frankfurt Airport. We returned our trusty leased car with over 3,000 miles. After arriving at the airport three hours early, we waited in nearly 2.5 hours of various lines. Lines were long but nothing felt panicky. We just trusted that it would all work out, and it did. One last German airport pretzel.
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We flew to Iceland for a very short layover and passport control. Next was the long flight to Seattle. We all tried to sleep with varying degrees of success. Once we arrived in Seattle, we waited more for luggage and clearing customs. Finally, we rented a car and drove several hours back to Oregon. We arrived home around 1am local time. We were so very tired but falling asleep in our own beds was worth all the trouble.
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Now that I have been home for two days, I still wake up wondering where I am. It will take a couple more days to get over the jet lag and truly feel at home. I have already suffered sticker shock at the grocery store (most groceries are cheaper in Europe) but a little relief at the gas station (prices have dropped since we left). I love being home and seeing the deer in our yard, the space in my home to spread out, and the ease and predictability of knowing how everything works in my town. It seems little has changed since we left. I am left feeling so grateful to make these opportunities for my family. I can hardly wait to start planning the next one!

Posted by familyineurope 00:29 Archived in Germany Tagged pilsen pilsner regensburg urquell plzen adlersberg bogel Comments (1)

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