Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 1-Germany

March 20, 2015

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 1-Germany

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Dale and I pose in front of Stahleck Castle, now used as a hostel,
in Bacharach, Germany.
To read more on Stahleck Castle, click here.

 I was overwhelmed! 
The thought of packing bags for 8 weeks was daunting enough, but packing for five different countries, and two very different climates, had thrown me into a tailspin.
My hubby’s business trip would take us to Germany, France, England, and Switzerland for stays of one week each. The final four weeks would find us back at our “home away from home”, overseas for the past 2+ years, near the desert.

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I, like Mickey Mouse in Moving Day, packed furiously.
To view this 1936 Disney short, click here.

It was now Sunday morning, our flight was scheduled for late that evening, and the pressure was on. I began furiously stuffing suitcases, giving little thought to any organization, or any hope of a wrinkle-free look upon arrival. Saying a prayer, and filled with terror, all of the required resources needed for our excursion were hastily stowed in the various suitcases strewn throughout my bedroom. Somehow, miraculously, all was packed in time for our departure.
Our excellent European Adventure was about to begin!

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Meet our luggage for this trip (minus Dale’s work computer satchel).
This photo was taken at our hotel in France. 

 Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Thanks to the wonder of air travel, Dale and I found ourselves in Frankfurt/Germany just a mere eight hours after taking off from Washington Dulles International Airport.

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Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians
was one of the film options shown on our flight from
Washington DC to Frankfurt. 
I also enjoyed the offering of
How to Marry a Millionaire on the flight. :o)

To read about my recent One Hundred and One Dalmatians
trip to California, click here.  

Upon retrieving our luggage, it was time for us to navigate the first train system, of many, on this adventure. Although, at times finding the correct car and track could be confusing, we found European train travel, on the whole, quite efficient.

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Dale studies the tickets as we wait for our train from Frankfurt to Dusseldorf.

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A view from our train’s window provided us with glimpses of the pretty German landscape.

Arriving in Dusseldorf, and weary of lugging our bags, Dale and I next opted for a taxi, rather than another train, for the final leg of our journey to our Dusseldorf hotel.

Feeling a bit travel fatigued, walking into The Golden Tulip Hotel provided us with a bit of a surprise. The hotel lobby accorded us a view of the connected Espirit Arena, a 50,000+ stadium.

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Espirit Arena, connected to our hotel in Dusseldorf.
To read more about Esprit Arena, click here.

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A light rain fell, as we got our first glimpse of the famous Rhine River from our
hotel room.

 Schnitzel!

We had arrived at our first German destination. Traveling by plane, train and automobile/taxi, and we were a little on the tired side, but not ready to hibernate for the evening, as it was also my birthday! I had determined weeks earlier, that my birthday meal in Germany must consist of schnitzel. Armed with advice from hotel staff, and their instructions on how to navigate the city’s transit/train, we were off again. We were on a schnitzel quest; to find delectable German cuisine at a recommended restaurant called Schweinske in the old town/Altstadt area of Dusseldorf. And find it, we did!

IMG_0641.jpgCold, but happy, that we found our schnitzel destination,
Schweinske’s, in Dusseldorf.
March 2, 2015

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Although a bit travel weary, due to only four hours sleep
from the night before, I thoroughly enjoyed my German-style birthday with a mushroom schnitzel.
March 2, 2015
 

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My birthday dinner would be the first of several schnitzels that I had the happy occasion to eat, while in Germany, and they were all delicious!

Relaxing along the Rhine, or “It’s Just Like in the Movie!”

I love old movies! On more than one occasion, a movie has dictated the destination of a side trip, or an entire vacation, that we have taken.
(Read about my The Quiet Man-inspired trip to Ireland here and here.)

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My Blu-ray copy of The Quiet Man

1969’s, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, revolves around an eclectic American tour group, and their eighteen day trip from London to Rome. While this movie does not exactly rate in the blockbuster category for film, it does serve as an informal travelogue for some of Europe’s most scenic spots, with a few amusing stories thrown in.

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If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium, 1969

As this film aired on Turner Classic Movies recently, it was a certain scene that caught Dale’s attention; a river cruise on Germany’s Rhine. It was this particular scene that became the impetus for the three day, vacation portion, of our German trip. 

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The inspiring Rhine River Cruise as shown in the film
If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium.

To view this scene, click here, and fast forward to about 34-35 minutes into the film.

With Dale, wanting to go on a Rhine River cruise, and me wanting to visit a castle (and eat schnitzel), we turned, via the Internet, to the master of travel, Rick Steves.

It was through Steves’ suggestion, that Dale and I decided that we would spend our three free days in and around the German village of Bacharach.

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Travel expert, Rick Steves was a wealth of information on the
Rhine River area.

To view Rick Steve’s 25 minute piece
Germany’s Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg click here.

After another (luggage-lugging) train trip, we made our way to the quaint German village of Bacharach. Much of this area closes up throughout the winter months, including the hotels. While researching lodging, we were pleased to find that the Hotel Kranenturm was open and accepting reservations. We requested a room with a Rhine River view. Arriving at the hotel, and after a friendly greeting from the proprietor, Suk, Dale and I were happy to see that our room not only had a water view, but a castle view, as well!

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Dale photographs me,
as I look out the window (with the castle view),
from our room at the Hotel Kranenturm, Bacharach

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I photograph Dale from the Rhine side window of our hotel room.
(Although, the trains/train tracks go right by the hotel, we did not find it  bothersome.)

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The castle view and the Rhine River view from our hotel room windows. 

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Dale peers up through the staircase of the landmark Hotel Kranenturm.
To read more about the historic hotel, click here.

Dale and I learned, upon arriving, that the Hotel Kranenturm is a landmark in town, and  serves as lodging for the various Rick Steves tour groups that visit Bacharach throughout the tourist season.

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A Rick Steves patch is proudly displayed at the 
Hotel Kranenturm.

Photo Gallery
Please join me, as I share with you some images from our fun mini-vacation in Germany.

Rhine River Cruise: Castles and Scenery

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Koblenz: The city where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers Merge
To read more about Koblenz, click here

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Bacharach: the quintessential German town along the Rhine

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Thanks for reading!

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, look for my next post around March 31. A great big thank you to my faithful blog followers!!!

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On the road leading to Bacharach

 

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7 Responses to Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 1-Germany

  1. bwbuttons@q.com says:

    Annette, It is with great pleasure to read all your blogs and to feel like I am there experiencing the times with you… Thank you for sharing. Barb

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patti says:

    You guys are so cute! Your kids should be proud……making the best of every situation you are in.
    Love you, Patti

    Liked by 1 person

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