Friday, July 6, 2012

Let's Pretend It's Downton Abbey

When Tim and I planned to visit our families in Germany and England this summer, I wanted to add just one thing to the itinerary: a trip to Highclere Castle.  Mostly because I'm really interested in the architecture of the period, and....totally kidding. It's because Downton Abbey was filmed there and I freaking love that show. We're in Germany now and heading to England next week, but I don't think we will have time for the castle trip after all.

Luckily, I don't mind too much because I was pleasantly surprised by the German part of the trip. My stepdad is German, and he and my mom recently purchased an old home in former East Germany called Schloss Pütnitz in Ribnitz-Damgarten. It was in complete disrepair when they bought it, but they are completely renovating it to rent out as private holiday apartments in the future. 

Front of the house

View of the back of the house

I didn't really have any idea what it looked like, to be honest. Once we got inside...holy crap that place is big. I kept thinking I would get to live like a princess until I remembered that the place is for renting out, not making into my own personal Downton Abbey. Rude, right?  There's even the whole upstairs/downstairs thing for the residents and then the "staff". I told my parents to only hire dramatic staff that have dark histories and like to create good plotlines, but they said something about "not that kind of place"? Weird.

It's kind of neat to see all the renovations though - they are keeping the outside EXACTLY as it looked for the most recent renovation (1906). It was used for public housing over the years after World War II, because in the Communist DDR people didn't really "own" their own homes anyway. Pretty incredible history attached to it all.


Since my stepdad's family is originally from this area, we keep seeing his last name pop up everywhere. We went to the local cloisters today, and found this statue of his great-aunt. Apparently she was a short old woman who lived in the convent and smoked a pipe, but she protected all the women when the soldiers came and attacked in WWII. Girl power.

Left hand - cane. Right hand - pipe. No joke, even in the statue.

Inside the local museum there were more pictures of their new vacation house/ hotel and lots of family crests from his side of the family. Sure, it was cool, but I haven't seen my little brother in a while. We were far more interested in doing cool stuff like trading jackets.


So far, the trip is excellent. Cool weather, amazing running paths, very relaxing and awesome family. Downside = I still have to work a little, and I want to sleep all the time. There's only a 6 hour time difference but I'm still somehow exhausted!

Do you like museums? Historical landmarks?
Yep, and yep. Unless they are entirely about leaves or bugs or something. But history/art museums I find pretty interesting most of the time.

Have you ever watched Downton Abbey?
If not, I feel terribly that you read this entire post but haven't watched the best show ever. (Until I discover the NEXT best show ever, that is.)

30 comments:

  1. How fun! My favorite is are museums but I also love castles! Have fun!

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  2. I LOVE Downton Abbey and have been counting down the days till in starts again (okay, maybe not, but I can't wait for it to start again!)!!

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  3. Europe has the best structures. I grew up in Germany and this post really makes me want to visit again. Hope you're enjoying your time with your family!

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  4. That house is awesome. Do we get to see the inside??

    Downton Abbey is awesome. I'd be like you and want to visit the castle too. When I was in Austria, my friend and I made a complete side trip to Salzburg so we could take the Sound of Music tour.

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    1. Now my life goal is to go on this "Sound of Music" tour.

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  5. OBSESSED with downton abbey!!! Looks like so much fun and your little brother is adorable!!

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  6. I LOVE DOWNTOWN! Epic love! Your vacation looks so fun. I bet it is SO nice to see your peeps abroad. YAY

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  7. OMG love Downton!!! Can't wait til it comes back on!!!

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  8. I feel like such a philistine when it comes to museums, and art in general. I've only found one artist who ever "moved" me the way people talk about with great art. Everything else is just pictures, be them pretty or weird.

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  9. I haven't seen downtown Abby but I have heard so much about it I should check it out!

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  10. I love anything historical! I always say I should have been a history major but then my history major friends always complain how they can't really do much with just a bachelor's so I forget about it :D

    Never seen Downtown Abbey at all!

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  11. Heard of the show but I've never seen it. I know professor magarnicle is in it, that's about it. That place looks like a castle! Hopefully they'll always have room at the inn for you ;)

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  12. I'm the annoying person at museums that feels I need to read EVERY WORD ON EVERY PLAQUE. Never seen the show, but I've heard good things. I think I'm going to go move in with your parents in that house.

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  13. That house is spectacular. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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  14. So... what kind of Gourmet Runner discount are you going to be giving out to stay there? Germany is on my to-visit-soon list! I'm a nerd and only want to visit locations where I can sleep somewhere with history attached to it.

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  15. Ummmm.........this is amazing! I want to come visit and "rent" <--- aka free load a room when it's done. Looks amazing. I hope I get a cool stepdad ;)

    I've never watched Downton Abbey but now I want to ....so feel bad for me ;) I read it all

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  16. so cool!! and i still owe you the DVDs back-we forgot to watch the christmas special and so glad we did. had no idea it was actually an episode! oops!

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  17. guess i need to start watching downtown abbey? i'm OBSESSED w/ european architecture (weird i know) so I would be in heaven right now with all your parents renovations! you should post some photos of the inside ;)

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  18. I didn't realize you came from money. Last week you were a gator holding hick and now this? I'm confused.

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  19. Never heard of Downtown Abbey... I like museums for about 2 hours and then I have had enough... find me a pub or an outdoor cafe or a boat and I am in Heaven.

    Have a great holiday! Auf Wiedersehen.

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  20. Wow! That house is beautiful! Can I come live there?? I think it would be the perfect place for a blogger meet up!

    I can do historical landmarks and such but not for a very long time. I went on a tour of Italy when I was in high school and I swear we went to about 300 different churches. I mean, they were extravagant and beautiful but there came a point where I just couldn't do it anymore!

    I have never watched Downtown Abbey...never even heard of it. I guess I better get on that!

    I hope you and your family enjoy the rest of your trip!!

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  21. How cool is that!! Hubby and I LOVE Downton Abbey. Well, he might not admit it if you asked him... but he does. ;)

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  22. That is one awesome home! Looks like a castle to me! I can't imagine having to clean that place!!

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  23. Wow, what a great place! I love all the old architecture in Europe! Enjoy the rest of your trip! It looks like fun!

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  24. Glad you're having fun! I just moved from Heidelberg to England, both places are full of history and wonderful architecture! Enjoy your trip and if your're anywhere near Cambridge contact me, I am out this way!

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  25. you and your bro look just alike! hope you're having a great time!

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  26. What a cool building!
    I know you've heard this a gazillion times...but you and your cute little brother look exactly alike:)
    Barbara
    My Running Shortz

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  27. LOVE historical homes and history. . . (I've never seen the show, but have seen the commercials).

    I recommend the J.J. Hill home in the twin cities if you ever get to the northern U.S. Really cool home (he was part founder of the Northern Railroad that went to Glacier Nat'l Park).

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  28. That house is gorgeous and what a rich history there is in the area. Statues of women from that time are quite rare I'm sure. We want to go to Germany one day to visit the area where Allan's family is from. Hope you guys are having a great time with family!

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  29. It sounds like an amazing place. I would like to be there and check all those landmarks.

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