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Saturday morning, we woke to beautiful sunny skies.  The weather in Wiesbaden has been so yucky lately that the sunshine was especially energizing.  The dogs went a little nuts when they saw Yogi prowling around outside, but then Nel invited us to let the dogs play with her in a little paddock.  Zane and Yogi got along beautifully, but Zane gets along with everyone.  Arran needed to warm up a bit, but he also had a great time.  They rolled around in chicken shit and ran like a couple of youngsters.  It’s been awhile since I last saw them play so hard, especially Zane!

Adorable Yogi is eight months of unbridled puppy energy!  She was jumping up to give me a kiss when I took this photo, even though it looks like she’s on the ground.  Who could resist that smile?

Yogi was a great canine hostess!

Yes, the chickens were tempting, but fortunately, they were well protected.

The horses looked on in amusement.

They were so happy that they came running to me when they saw me with the camera.

Arran checks out the henhouse.  No hens were harmed.

I think Zane wanted to play with the chickens.

I already miss Yogi.  She’s so cute!

A picture of the outside of the house.

 

After an extended play session, we brought the dogs inside and went on a short excursion, starting with the St. Martinus boutique winery.  The winery is literally steps away from Nel’s house.  We could have walked there very easily, but we wanted to make a purchase and we didn’t know how much we’d be buying.

The entrance to the winery.  It’s a rather small vintner, but they have a beautiful tasting room.  In the summer, they offer group tours of the facility.

When we arrived at the winery, the parking lot was pretty empty.  Bill parked far away anyway.

By the time we left about thirty minutes later, the lot was fuller.  We even ran into an American couple who appeared to be affiliated with the military, but we didn’t chat them up.  The male half had the air of an up and coming officer.  My guess is that they were Air Force.  😉

 

The very friendly lady behind the counter spoke perfect English and let us try several of the wines, which included several whites, a red, a rose, and a couple of sparkling wines.  They also had beer that had been aged in wine barrels.  We bought several bottles of wine and a couple of the beers.  I had one of the beers last night, and it was surprisingly good.  I was expecting it to be sweet and cloying, but it was actually much drier.

The tasting room, which offers a lovely view of the surrounding countryside.

Bill tastes a sparkling wine.  I never knew the Dutch made such good vino.  The whites were good, and we bought a bottle of red, which was unusual but interesting.  The biggest surprise to me was the rose, which was dry and had a finish that reminded me of buttered popcorn with a little zing at the end.

Beautiful scenery!  This is one thing I miss about our former house near Stuttgart.

 

After we visited the winery, we headed to Vaals.  It’s just a few miles from Vijlen.  There’s a park there where you can visit Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands at the same time.  Although it was sunny on Saturday, the weather was quite cold.  Still, lots of people were visiting and, if we’d wanted to, we could have had lunch there or visited the labyrinth.  There’s also a tower to climb where visitors can get a look at three countries at the same time, hiking trails, and lots of playground equipment for kids.  I expect it gets busy there during the warmer months.  We could have spent more time there and not been bored.

Parking is two euros a day.  When you leave, you deposit your coins into the green machine.

 

A commemorative rock.


Someone brought her horse.  I was jealous.  You can bring your dogs, of course.  We did not bring ours.

 

Bill gets his bearings by looking at the sign.

The entrance to the labyrinth.  If it had been a little warmer, we might have tried it.  I read that it’s a pretty challenging maze.

 

The big tower.  It was too cold for us to consider climbing up, although there is also an elevator.  Maybe next time.

A picture of the labyrinth… again, an activity we might try next time.  

This sign was in Belgium.  It was in French.

 
 
 

And here it is…  three countries, no passports required.  This may not seem like a big deal to some folks, but I’ve never even been to Four Corners in the United States.

 

The Netherlands…

Belgium…

Germany…

 

And one more photo for the road.  The border itself isn’t all that exciting, but there are a few family activities available.

 

We probably should have gone up the tower.

 

We didn’t have to pay for anything besides parking, although there are a couple of restaurants there and I think there is a fee to climb the tower.  The labyrinth is also not free.  I noticed a couple of other restaurants in the area, including one that had its own tower.  We decided not to eat at the park, since there was a Cuban restaurant in Vijlen I wanted, and failed, to try.

Bill took a wrong turn and we took a short jaunt through Belgium, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I’ll post pictures in the next installment.

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