Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017 "rocked" for me!

Over the past couple of years in Germany, Bill and I have learned to plan Mother's Day carefully.  Back in 2015, we made the mistake of showing up at a local restaurant with no reservation.  Although we were eventually fed, we spent some time watching the very stressed wait staff running around like chickens without heads.  Last year, we went to Bad Urach with our dogs, Zane and Arran.  We enjoyed a nice walk with many, many other people and their dogs.  It was a bit of a madhouse.


Dietingen...  there's plenty of free parking at the museum!




We weren't the only ones looking at rocks, either.


And there are cool sculptures on the grounds, too...

This year, I decided Bill and I should visit Welt der Kristalle, a small museum in the cute little town of Dietingen.  I had heard about this museum of gems, fossils, and petrified wood from a German friend and kept meaning to go there.  I even saw one of their vans in Vaihingen once and was reminded we were due to visit.  Today's stormy skies and the fact that they are open from 11:00 until 5:00 on Sundays made simple work out of the choice to make today the day.  I am especially glad we visited the museum, since yesterday's best laid plans were blown to Hell and I ended up eating at McDonald's.

Anyway, Welt der Kristalle opened in March 2011 after two years of planning and construction.  Although it's not a very large museum, it does have some very impressive gems, fossils, petrified wood, and crystals from around the world.  Feast your eyes...


The first of many amethysts.  Lots of people were taking pictures and I am including most of mine in this post.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't see this museum for yourself.








Petrified wood from Arizona.


Gigantic quartz!



A little something for paleontology fans.








You can also see the underside of this crystal.


In the smaller upper level of the museum, you'll find different rocks from around the world.  They have curios full of things like lapis lazuli, sodalite, turquoise, malachite, and amber, to mention a few.  The biggest crystals were overwhelmingly represented by amethysts.





If you want, you can pay to split open a crystal yourself.  I was very tempted to do this, but I didn't get the sense that the staff spoke a lot of English.  The museum includes films, all of which are in German, as well as signage in German.  Fortunately, I understood a lot of the signs.

Before we toured the museum, which didn't take very long because we didn't watch any of the films, the cashier explained that if we made a purchase in the shop of 20 euros, they'd give us a rebate of two euros off the cost of admission.  If we made a 50 euro purchase, the cost of admission to the museum would be completely refunded.  I did, in fact, purchase over 50 euros worth of stuff in their shop, which consisted of all sorts of crystal related items.  They had everything from works of art to jewelry.  They even had a special water pitcher you could buy and put crystals in it for healing purposes.  I didn't go for that.  You can see what I bought at the end of this post.  

Edited to add:  My German friend posted this video about things to do in the Dietingen area.  The video is in German, but apparently there is a Kinderparadies down there.


Although you can purchase coffee at the museum, there is no restaurant there.  However, the enterprising Adler family runs a nearby Greek restaurant and gasthaus and provided us with a lovely lunch today.  I got the feeling this place might have once been a church or something.  That's just the sense I got when we walked inside and saw all the stained glass windows.  I'm probably wrong, though.  It may be that the owners just love stained glass.


Plenty of parking is available and they have a nice biergarten.


We ate outside despite the rain.


We enjoyed the local brew...

I think the young lad who waited on us was a little confused when Bill spoke German.  I thought I heard him say "Are you speaking English?"  Bill missed that comment and spoke German, which seemed to catch the guy off guard.  The people sitting behind us had something that smelled delicious.  I don't know what they were eating-- we didn't end up getting it ourselves-- but what we did have was very good.  I went with the gyros and calamari and Bill had baked gyros in Metaxa sauce.


Both dishes came with a very simple salad.


This was really good.  It totally hit the spot.  The tzatziki was delicious and the tomato rice married well with the pork and calamari.


Bill loved the baked gyros, too.  I didn't try it, but he said it was kind of rich with its cheesy topping.  It was nice on such a cool, rainy afternoon.



A house shot of ouzo was included.


The weather got worse, so Bill went in to pay the proprietor.  He ended up scaring the shit out of her as she was focused on cleaning behind the bar.  It was pretty funny!  Total damage was about 35 euros.

I noticed that just down the street from the Greek place was a cafe that appeared to be very popular.  A lot of people were sitting outside there, although I don't know what was on their menu.   There are also a couple of other gasthaus restaurants on the way back toward the autobahn.  The drive from where I live, down in Unterjettingen, is very pleasant.  

I would say Welt der Kristalle would be appropriate for elementary aged kids.  It doesn't take a long time to see the whole place, but it might be a good activity paired with other things to do nearby.  We were gone less than four hours today, which made our dogs happy.


I bought a beautiful amethyst and a shiny iridescent blue rock at the gift shop.  The blue rock goes especially well with my Borowski eggs.  ;-) 

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