We loved Germany!
Our first stop in this historic country was in Cologne, which was a random pick by Cheril…Blah. LOL. Outside of the spectacular cathedral that you see once you leave the train station, there didn’t seem to be much else downtown (some museums, but we weren’t interested in those).
We had lunch at a home-style restaurant where Cheril decided she wanted to be adventurous and try a drink she’d never heard of. Big mistake. Not only was it disgusting and bitter, it had the never to sound and look as though it would be divine! Ugh.
Campari. Drink at your own risk.
The food on the other hand, was great! Though simple, it was one of the top meals of the trip (not beating De Kas in Amsterdam.) We can’t remember the name of this dish, but it could have just been a glorified hot dog. lol. Either way, it felt like somebody’s mama made it with love!
After fueling up our bodies, we did a city tour and some exploring on our own, and eventually landing at a gay bar called Baustelle 4U. As usual, it was cool hanging out with the guys and we engaged in what’s probably typical tourist conversation. lol. It was interesting to chat with a Polish guy who told us he wasn’t so sure about America – that Americans smile too much and that’s just not natural. Who knew?? lol We’ve definitely never heard that complaint before! He was cordial though, just giving his impression. When we asked the bartender where are the women were he said, BERLIN. Gee, great. lol But that there were a few other bars we could hop to on the same street if we just wanted to see more family. So off we went.
While Monica tried German beers, Cheril had water or Sprite (as usual). lol After a while, we decided to just go back to the hotel. There was a party going on at a club that night, but it was 18 and up and we weren’t interested in that young of a crowd. Back to the hotel it was—well, after being taken to the LINDNER instead of the WYNDAM due to our cab driver not knowing what the heck we were saying. lol. We need to brush up on German and learn how to say more than danke schon (thank you very much)! Speaking of the hotel, this was the first time we’d ever seen one with vodka and beer in the vending machines. Whaaat?? Yep. Right next to the gummy bears!
Booze and efficiency is what we’ll remember about Cologne: the €2.00 drinks in the picture above and the bathroom light timers that cut off after 15 minutes (no 20 minute showers around those parts!) We’ll skip this city the next time. It wasn’t the reason we fell in love with Germany.
What really made us take the plunge was Rudesheim and Weisbaden! We realized after visiting Cologne and London, which we’ll blog about next, that we really enjoy countrysides more than big cities. I’m not sure why we keep forgetting this. We say it every time we go to a new city—it’s not cultural enough, too loud, too busy, blah, blah, blah. Yet it’s hard to resist temptation in a foreign country. There is just so much more charm to country-sides and suburbs—less populated but still alive with personality. It also helped that Cheril’s sister lives in the Weisbaden and really showed us around!
Rudesheim was stunning, with its vineyards, castles, view of the Rhine river and cable-car rides above it all. It was impossible to capture it all with our travel camera but we tried.
This is a place we definitely want to come back to, especially when it’s warmer out. Heck, we might even brave it in the winter to walk through the forest.
After a day in Rudesheim we went around Weisbaden, which was very, very charming! We can see why Cheril’s sister chose not to come back to the states! The architecture, the shops, the people, and the obscenely clean streets are pretty attractive.
But there’s that whole pesky, tax-you-to-death thing that we’re not so crazy about in Europe (21% sales tax in some places and up to 50% business tax!). What? We’ll just have to visit more often rather than entertain thoughts of bailing on the US. lol Anyway, as much was we loved going about town, it was also great to have some downtime and enjoy family. We knew Cheril’s sister would take care of us but we had no idea she was neighbor’s with a retired French chef who would prepare a special meal for us. We were spoiled!
It was the best way to recharge before going haywire in the UK. We know for sure that we’ll be back and next time we want to visit Berlin or Munich. Germany is a country rich in history even if unpretty, and we want to experience more.
Until next time…a few more images are below: