Tuesday, November 29, 2005
After a great weekend in Heidelberg, we took the train to Mainz, then another train to Wiesbaden where I met up with John and Maria for work on Monday night. After work, we had a driver take us (at 160 km/hr) to Hahn where we checked into a hotel near the Hahn airport to sleep for a few hours before our 6:25 am flight to Rome on Ryan Air.
Frank, F. T. & I left Atlanta for Germany on November25, 2005 at 5 P.M. We flew first class on flight DL 14. This was a nine hour flight and a total of 4,607 miles. We got on the plane and had champagne at 4:30. F. T. had orange juice. At 5:30 we had mixed drinks and nuts. At 6:00 we had wine, bread & appetizer, at 6:20 wine refill, at 6:25 salad, at 6:30 more bread for Daddy (F.T.), at 6:45 supper. I had pasta mushrooms with grilled scallops. F. T. & Frank had duck. Had water at 6:46 and at 7:10 refused fruit & cheese but had ice cream with nuts. At 8:00 had wine refill and refused coffee.
We had to move our clocks ahead six hours. At 6:30 (German time) we had breakfast – omelet, orange juice, fruit, bagle, and coffee. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany around 8:00 a.m. We took a train to Heidelberg. Walked five blocks to our hotel (NH Heidelberg). This was a very nice hotel. We were here for two nights. We took a street car to our old apartment. After 39 years, it was still there. Nobody was home but we took pictures. The streets were the same. We also went to Campbell Barracks where F. T. worked when he was in the Army. Frank was going to take a picture and an MP grabbed his rifle and said you can’t take pictures, I will have to take your camera. Frank told him we would delete it. F. T. talked to the commander and we were allowed to walk around the post. F. T. showed how he saluted an officer in 1967 and slipped on the ice and fell down.
Took street car back to hotel. Frank is good at reading maps. I told F. T. and Frank “I didn’t read maps in the U.S. and I damn sure won’t going to read maps in Germany”. For lunch we went in a restaurant and didn’t like it so we left. Went to another restaurant (in hotel) and they only had sandwiches because it was between lunch and supper. We really wanted German food, so we paid $10.00 for our water and left. The waitress was real nice and told us where to find a restaurant that was open. We went to a restaurant named “Merlin”. It was delicious. We had wiener snitzel. We started drinking wine instead of water because it was cheaper. Frank liked the beer.
We went to “Christmas in Heidelberg” and walked the streets shopping. There was about a mile of nothing but stores, no cars. We had supper at Braustuberl. We had rump steak, salad and roasted potatoes. Prices had really changed since 1967. Our wiener snitzel was $.75 in 1967 and now it was $11.00. Rump steak was $1.00 in 1967 and is now $15.00. We bought no water.
On the 27th we went back to the castle and Christmas village. Went back to our old apartment and still found no one at home. At the Christmas village we had hot wine with spices and hot chocolate. You drank out of real mugs. You paid 2.50E for the mug but you could get a refund on them. When you went for a refill, you got a clean mug. We kept our mugs. We also had Bratwurst, German noodles with cheese and onions, waffle with cherries and whipped cream. We had “Ice Wine” when we were in the castle. Had wine at Braustuberl and ate supper at “Merlin”. We ate wiener snitzel again. Went to a bowling alley called Star Bowl and had cappuccinos. We had breakfast at McDonald’s. We had sweet rolls and F. T. had egg McMuffin. We also bought souveniers at the Christmas village. We were able to use the internet to send e-mails fairly cheap.
Frank and I went to the sauna in the hotel. We saw two naked women and one man. We laughed until we were sick.
OUR TRIP TO GERMANY AND ROME (continued)
When we went to the castle we had to pay 1.00E to use the bathroom. This was for all of us. Oh well, $10.00 to put it in, so that was cheap. We bought a $25.00 “Heidelberg Card” for F. T. and I and $13.00 for Frank. This paid our tickets to the castle tour, car up to the castle and all public transportation for 2 days. When we arrived in Germany it was snowing and Frank hit me with a snowball.
November 28, 2005
Had breakfast at Merlin. We had a table full of food and hot chocolate. Frank had hot tea. Frank and I had eggs, cheese, feta cheese and mushrooms. F. T. had eggs & bacon with cheese. We also had grilled sausage. After breakfast we left the hotel and off to the train station. Had coca cola light – (no ice). Always had glass glasses, never paper cups. We bought bottled water, 1 ½ liter for $.75. I also bought Santas and Angels. At 1:55 p.m. we took train to Mainz. Arrived at 2:46 p.m. At 3:12 p.m left on train to Wiesbaden. When we arrived in Wiesbaden, we took a taxi to the place where Frank was having a meeting for his job. F. T. and I went shopping at another Christmas shopping center. F. T. and I had supper at Rhein-Main Grill. We had salad, cordon bleu, French fries and wine. In 1967 cordon bleu was $1.00, now it is $10.00. I discovered that the signs with WC on them stood for water closet or bathroom. You never get your choice of dressing. Salads come with dressing on them.
Plates always looked pretty with fruit & vegetables on them. No iced tea anywhere. You pay your waitress, no cash register, they carry a purse and make change. F. T. & I went shopping- bought Angela a sweater, Chris gloves, and a hat for Betty Jane. Went to McDonald’s for a cappuccino.
John (works with Frank), Frank, F. T. & I took a taxi from Wiesbaden to Hahn. It was a 60 mile drive. The taxi driver drove real fast. We arrived at Inter City Hotel about 11:30 p.m. The taxi driver couldn’t take a credit card – between the four of us we had enough money (120E) . Because F. T. and I were with with Frank the hotel charged 40E more. Frank had to sleep in John’s room. The ground was covered in snow (about 3”). I hit Frank with a snowball. Had breakfast at hotel. Left hotel at 5:00 a.m , took a shuttle bus to the airport for the flight to Rome.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Mom, Dad, and I just had a great first day in Heidelberg. We saw the house they lived in 39 years ago and walked on the army base where Dad was stationed. We had great food and fun times, saw the castle and the river. Mom took detailed notes so I will let her post her version later.
Here are pictures of the castle, the bridge, and the village--
The village had a great Christmas festival with lots of decorations and hot mulled wine.
If you are ever in Heidelberg, find Merlins' and get the Wiener Schnitzel with Pommes Frites.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Today’s a quick trip from Atlanta to Washington, DC and back to try to get my Russian Visa for my trip to Moscow next month. Despite being the day before Thanksgiving, the airport really was not very hectic at all. I think the media in general tries its best to make it seem hectic and chaotic, but it is really not all that bad.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Here’s a picture of the hotel I stayed at in Mexico City on November 21—the Melia Reforma. I’ve stayed in this area my previous two visits as well, but it was my first time to this hotel. It’s beautiful, with huge rooms and nice service. You can go to bed hungry and enjoy a fantastic breakfast…
Speaking of food, I had my new favorite snack while I was here—potato chips, drizzled with lime juice, and then sprinkled with hot sauce. I had to buy a bottle of the hot sauce before returning to Atlanta.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I flew out to London on Monday night with John, Mark, and Maria. We checked into the Jolly St. Ermin's hotel near Westminster (http://www.jollyhotels.it/eng/ALBERGHI_scheda_master.asp?Obj=561), then headed out for a day of touring the Tower of London. I had seen it from the outside, but had never toured it before; I was suprised by how huge it was. We went on an hour-long guided tour (guided by the Yeoman Warder, pictured) and then spent a few more hours exploring on our own, seeing the Crown Jewels, lots of armour, and learning about the executions, prisoners, and torture that occured there. Afterwards, I grabbed some battered cod and fries (otherwise known as "fish & chips) before heading back for a quick nap. We walked that evening to Tralfalgar Square, passing Big Ben and Parliament, with a full moon just to the left of Big Ben. It was a Peter Pan moment.