Trip Start May 15, 2009
3Trip End May 20, 2009
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I hated to leave Lindau on such a beautiful day, but what could I do? I had breakfast, checked out and walked two minutes to the train station. I went to the window to get my ticket to Frankfurt Main station and awaited the train. I got on the commuter train to Ulm which took about 2 hours and then changed to the ICE (InterCityExpress) fast train to Frankfurt. Although I booked 2nd class, the 2nd class cars on the ICE are very modern, clean and comfortable. Some of the cars have power outlets and music available for headphones at the seat. Two hours later I arrived in Frankfurt and walked the 5 minutes to the Continental Hotel, a hotel I have stayed around 8 times, so I knew the way well. I checked in and then went downstairs next door to O'Reilleys Pub to sit outside and enjoy free wireless to check emails and send the most current edition of the blog. I had a couple of beers and then back to the room to ready for dinner.
I headed back downstairs and went to the Rainbow Garden, a Thai restaurant I have eaten at twice before. The restaurant is just adjacent to the main station, so 5 minutes later I was was seated. Another great Thai meal that is a nice compliment to the German food I had had over the past few days. Just spicy enough and not as overfilling a a heavy German meal can be. I then went back to the hotel for the night, the last in Germany for this trip.
My flight was scheduled to leave a 10:55 am, so at 7:15 I checked out, went to the station and through a ticket machine, paid 3.70 euros for the trip to the airport. Fifteen minutes I was at the airport and checked in for the flight. Delta has a nice Sky Club near the gate so I grabbed a USA Today and had breakfast awaiting the departure. The plane was called on time and the 8 ½ hour flight seemed to go by fast, although I got no sleep as usual. I was in my favorite exit row seat 10H on the A330, which is the first seat in economy and has more leg room than my legs can reach. One of the flight attendants sits across me as we take off and land and we had a nice conversation in both instances. It is quite apparent that some of the Northwest Flight Attendants are very glad for the merger with Delta, as their dislike of Northwest and its anti union stances are conveyed to anyone that will listen.
We arrived in Detroit about 25 minutes early at 1:30 pm and not having any checked luggage, I was through Immigration and Customs in about 15 minutes and on my way to the World Club to await my 5:25 pm flight to Grand Rapids. There was one earlier flight, but it was full and I had to wait until my flight was called. The flight was on time and we landed in Grand Rapids at 6:00 and I was on the road and home by 7:00pm.
All in all, another great trip, albeit a short one. I always enjoy Germany, for it efficiency, beautiful scenery, good food and nice people. I cannot speak German, but I have been there enough times that I can pick things up, I can navigate a train station easily and the menu is getting easier to comprehend. English is widely spoken, especially where tourists hang out so the language barrier is certainly not a problem.
I look forward to the next time I go to Germany, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Sandy and I will be traveling to France in mid June for 2 weeks, for my next outing. We will be renting a car for the first time in all of my travels to the Continent, and spending most of our time in the Normandy region of France. We were there about 3 years ago for the first time, fell in love with the area and wanted to return with a car to wander the small towns and further take in the World War II atmosphere. We are also going to visit friends that I met in Malaysia earlier this year, at their home on the Isle of Guernsey, a UK Channel island off the coast of France. I am really looking forward to introducing Sandy to Heather and Whitford and seeing Guernsey.