I got up at nine this morning to catch an early train to Baden-Baden; I was a little cloudy from the previous night, but nothing a little coffee can't cure. After getting my Eurail pass validated, on my way to my platform I hear a train whistle; that's weird, I've never heard that before. After climbing up to my platform I think, "Was ist das!?!" A huge steam engine is sitting at the station. How cool. Since this is a national holiday, "Corpus Christi", everyone is traveling. After boarding the train I am kicked out of my seat four times by persons with a reservation. Sure, I could have reserved a seat; but that costs four Euro. No thanks, I'll deal with the annoyance. After wandering through the train for ten minutes, I finally find an open seat that lasts. During my wanderings though, I saw families and friends having an all around good time. Lots of drinking, games, mini kegs even. A side of Northern Germans you rarely see. I choose the more scenic but slower local train so I could view the Rhine
. I think I'm going to do a boat trip on the river now. Amazing scenery. Castles, ancient little towns, the whole nine yards. I pull into Baden-Baden at 2:00 thinking that I'd be just in time to check into the hostel. Nope; this hostel has a ridiculous check in time of 5:00. 5:00! Who the hell does that? So I catch a bus into town, wander around for a few hours, then go back to the hostel at five hoping for a room. Nein, wir haben nicht. Damn it all. This is the only hostel in town too. I conferred with Rick Steves for a bit and found a hotel that was just a little bit more expensive than the hostel; and it came with free breakfast AND sheets! Score. After unloading my pack, I wander the town; relieved that I have a place to sleep. I take Rick's little town self guided tour; it adds so much to the experience when you know what the hell you're looking at. This city has been rich and important for well over 2,000 years. The Romans had royal and military bath houses here; gambling is legal, and its secluded in the Black Forest. I'll add in all my little knowledge tidbits in the photos section. I give myself one restaurant meal a trip, that way I can try local cuisine; nothing fance, but not kiosk food either. I ate at a very nice little restaurant; had a delicious beer, and a huge flat bread meal. Thanks Rick. Das ist alles fur dies tag.