Our First Day in Germany

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010 Sunday: Frankfurt and Heidelberg

Rita and I got up at 4:30 to go to the airport.  I had no trouble getting my bag checked and finding my gate.  I stopped at an Italian coffee place and got a scone and some juice for breakfast.  Then I went to the gate and read my book until they called the Lufthansa flight.  Since I was in row nine I was one of the last ones on the plane.  When I gave the attendant my ticket she asked me if I would mind sitting in an exit row as someone had booked a child to sit in that seat.  So I switched to row ten, but when I got there they told me that it was regulation that I stow everything up top.  I was glad it was a short flight.  When everyone was seated, it was announced that there was bad weather at Frankfurt airport and that we would not be leaving for 30 minutes.  So I read some more and we left 30 minutes later getting into Frankfurt at 10:15. 

I had no trouble getting through customs or gathering my luggage.  But when I tried to find the Avis counter, the trouble began.  I followed the signs and found a counter but she told me that there was another counter I needed to go to because Erin, Derek and Larry were flying Delta.  She gave me directions how to get to the other Avis counter and I tried to follow them but they made no sense to me.  I asked at an information kiosk and they directed me back to the same counter.  The lady was a little put out when I asked her to repeat her directions.  This time she said Terminal 2.  So now I could find what I needed.  I had walked almost all of Terminal 1 but needed to take the Skyline to Terminal 2.  I finally got in the right place and there were Derek and Erin at the Avis counter.  Larry had taken off for the other Terminal to find me.  Larry finally made it back and I found out that their flights were also 30 minutes late.

 We went and got our car and Derek drove on the autoban to Heidelberg.  We had a little trouble finding the right streets but finally got to our hotel a little after 1:00.  It had been grey and misty all the way here but it brightened a bit as we reached our hotel, Zum Pfaltzgrafen.  We are just a block from Hauptstrasse which is the main pedestrian street of the tourist area.  We had to pull through a tunnel to get to the parking behind the hotel.  Our rooms are very nice.  Derek and Erin are sharing a triple and Larry and I have our own room.

After we put our bags in the rooms we took pictures of each other leaning out of our second story  dormer windows.  Then we took off for Hauptstrasse in search of something to eat.  At the end of our road we turned into the Marktplatz and it was full of tourists.  We looked around for awhile then settled on a place on the square, the Marktstube.  We had bratwurst and kartoffelsalat (potato salad).  Larry, Derek and Erin had Heidelberg pilsner and I had a radler – part beer and part something else.  When we were finished it began to mist again.  We walked around and saw a lot of the Alt Stadt (Old Town).  It is very quaint and well kept.  Heidelberg is on the banks of the Neckar River and there is a great old bridge with towers at this end.  We went into the church on the Marktplatz, Holy Spirit, and paid to walk to the top of the tower.  The view was incredible.  We could see the castle at the top of the hill, all up and down the river and it had a great view of the other side of the river too.  We walked to two other platzes that had great views of the castle and down to an old tower right near the river.  We walked back along the river and then over the bridge.  Everyone took a lot of pictures as it is a beautiful city.  We walked and walked and walked.  At one point we went back to the rooms for coats and umbrellas.  They all brought raincoats as they had read the forecast for the next week.  I only had an umbrella but it kept me fairly dry.  It only rained hard one time.  It took us forever to settle on a place for supper because none of us was very hungry and Larry, Derek and Erin were getting tired having flown over night to get here.  We toyed with the idea of just having gelato (Italian ice cream) or apple streudel.  We settled on the Resaurant/Hotel Goldener Falke pretty close to the hotel.  It was a very nice restaurant and had everything printed also in English.  We ordered two Alt Heidelberg Plattes and split them.  It was just perfect with nurnberger, bratwurst, another meat, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.  Larry and Derek had another pilsner and Erin and I had water.  When we were finished, we came back to the hotel and the other three went to bed really tired.  I stayed up and did the blog.  It is only just after 8:00, at which time all the bells in the city rang for about 5 minutes.  We have our windows open and it is a little noisy with people and cars and the billiard room and bar just beneath us but Larry had no trouble going to sleep.   I think I am going to have to use ear plugs or close the windows.
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Peggy on

Oh, just the mention of apple strudal makes y mouth water. My Dad's parents were from somewhere in S. Germany. Let me know if you come across any Mencenberg's. I didn't see any when I was there in '72.


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