Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
20Trip End May 15, 2009
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For the Easter long weekend, I hopped on a train to Mannheim, Germany, to catch up with Jacqueline. The train to Munich was comfortable, it was almost empty so I sat in first class and the ticket inspector didn't mind :P
However from Munich to Mannheim was a very busy train, and that's when I discovered 'seat reservations'.... indeed, all the seats were reserved! I nearly had to stand (in my hot pink boots with heels) for several hours - luckily someone got off and I was quick enough to nab their seat. A pleasant older woman sat beside me and was more than happy to practice her english on me, so really it was a fast and enjoyable trip!
I was met at Mannheim by Jacky who drove me to her house. I am still not used to being on the wrong side of the road, but I trusted her to get me about safely :P After an introduction to her father and a quick tour of the house, we decided to go out for dinner
We chatted for a long time over dinner, and it was so nice to catch up. Eventually we moved on to a place called 'Barrios', a Mexican cafe with pretty good prices. Here I tried a 'hefe Radler', which had a light sweet taste. It's basically a mixture of lemonade and a yeasty beer, and is a nice alternative to a "light" beer if you don't want to get drunk :P
The next day, Jacky showed me around the city - it is an interesting place, as the blocks are in a large defined grid pattern, and instead of street names there are grid coordinates! It is really easy to orientate yourself here at least.
First we checked out the Mannheim Palace, which Jacky was able to tell me who built it or lived there (unfortunately, I have forgotten) and it was quite beautiful. We didn't go into the museum, instead choosing to continue enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine. We walked around a bit, then hopped on a tram over to the main station. From here, we walked down to the watertower (wasserturm) which is an icon of Mannheim. It was really beautiful, and I imagine the fountains in summer are even better with the light show happening underneath
After some shopping and hanging around, we caught up with a friend of Jacqueline's whose boyfriend was visiting from America. I was excited about talking to another native English speaker, but he was pretty shy. We had some ice creams (yum) and sat in the park for a while before we had to go our separate ways.
That night, Jacky and her dad treated me to a delicious German BBQ! We had pork belly, really nice sausages, and some pork cutlets - all smoky and nummy tasting! Washed down with some beer and salads in the gorgeous evening weather, it was a really nice night. We had quite a few beers and I may have done some silly things, but well it was all in good fun :P
On Sunday, we had originally planned on visiting the other nearby city 'Heidelburg', but I was feeling so lazy :P So we stayed home and watched some Disney films. I also got to find a chocolate easter bunny, which was delicious and soo sweet of Jacqueline to get for me! <3 And we had a go on the WiiFit, and I managed to set some new high scores for Jacky's brother to aim for when he gets home :P
Unfortunately, I had to leave Monday morning to get back to Linz. This time I asked about reserving a seat but it turned out the trains weren't very busy. The trip home was a little longer because I went through Frankfurt instead of Munich (which is almost the opposite direction to Linz) but I didn't mind because it was some nice new scenery.
Mannheim was a most beautiful town, easy to get to and get around in, and the shopping was good fun (better prices than Austria) too. Best of all I got to see Jacqueline and I had a really good Easter! :)
Well that's it for tonight, until next time! Auf Wiedersehen!