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Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont, California, USA

Not too far off from the freeway, past Ardenwood Historic Farm, there lies a gem that is much hidden to passersby. A beautiful open space that is teeming with wildflowers in the spring overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The recent rains have worked their magic on the hills in this area, making them wonderfully green, dotting them with colorful wildflowers and filling marshlands with water.

San Antonio, Texas, USA

San Antonio

The Alamo is an historic building located in downtown San Antonio. It was walking distance from the River walk and admission is free. Its hours are 9:30 to 5:30pm. It used to be a mission and contains Spanish, Mexican and American history. The fortifying walls served many functions, from apartments to hospital to priest residence to soldier barracks over its almost 300 year history. According to the information boards in the Alamo, when Texas was part of Mexico, the Mexican government was fearful that Texas would become more American than Mexican, due to large volumes of American immigrants from neighboring Louisiana.

Lake Constance, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Lake Constance or Bodensee, by its German name, is the third largest central European lake that lies in 3 different countries (Switzerland, Germany and Austria), though no official border exists. The River Rhine flows into it. It is the source of drinking water for its surrounding area. Lake Constance offers boat rides for an economical price to its islands and shores. It is a popular (read busy) for German families on vacation, as we found out.

Austria

Salzburg

Overlooking the city of Salzburg is a fortress called Hohensalzburg. Its building began in the 1000s, although back then it very much looked like a farmhouse with fencing. As the years passed, and its function change, it began taking on a fortress appearance. Don't miss the audio guide included with the tickets, we found it very informative.  We found some stairs that climbed up to the fortress.  It was a nice way to see this part of Salzburg, as we passed by countless gelato shops, peoples' open windows and balconies, on a cobblestone path up to the fortress.

Fussen, Bavaria, Germany

Füssen is a quaint little town in Bavaria. Most will know it as the town the train pulls into on your way to Disney-inspiring Neuschwantein castle. Füssen is a beautiful town in its own right, with cobble stone streets, a town wall, colorful homes and cozy alleyways. Not surprisingly, it is on the Romantic Road. We wandered around the town, mostly so we wouldn’t have to board the crowded buses to Neuschwanstein. I am glad we did. Not only did we explore a beautiful town, we also discovered a back way in to Neuschwanstein Castle.