Autumn in the Black Forest is pretty special, especially when sharing it with faaaamily. My German is seriously lacking but the brother introduced me to Duolingo and now I am hooked. Our trip included a ride on Europe's steepest funicular railway, in Baden-Baden, up the Merkur. The view from the top is spectacular, especially when you're above the clouds and all that can be seen is the odd steeple on a tall hill, till the fog clears.

Back in the 'burgh, I took my boys round the Christmas Market to soak up the atmosphere, and we found ourselves as tourists in our own town when we got on a City Tour bus. Well, really it was as a result of badgering from a very persistent 7-year-old who just wanted a ride on a bus with no roof. It's amazing you can live in a place for so long and yet have so much to learn!