Let's Get this Trip Started

Trip Start Apr 27, 2014
Trip End May 08, 2014

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Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog buddies - let me start by saying that I was a bit remiss on this trip.  I was enjoying the trip and taking photos, but I just wasn't dedicating time to write.  So here I am in Albuquerque wide awake at 4am on the first day back in the States.  I'll catch you up on the trip in three easy installments:  Dusseldorf, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Got some nice photos so come join us on this trip!

We left New Mexico after a very hectic few days getting ready for the trip.  We stopped to celebrate a friend's graduation in Albuquerque (at a casino!) where I proceeded to win close to $1000 with a $20 dollar limit that I had placed on myself.  Woo-hoo!  Something to have upon my return.

The trip to from Albuquerque to Frankfurt was pretty uneventful made even more fun with an upgrade to Business First.  This was the first time for me on the 2nd floor of a 747 with seats facing backward.  It was a small space to begin with and as we were the last row of 2 facing backwards (and with no seats to our right), it really felt like we were flying in our very own private space.  We were close to the galley and the stairs so on occasions we'd hear the flight attendants, but it was worth the privacy.  As usual, I kicked off the start of our journey with a glass of champagne (which just always tastes better in these circumstances).

The trip was relatively quick and before we knew it we found ourselves in Frankfurt.  From there it was a quick 2 hr train ride (right from the airport!) to Dusseldorf.  The countryside was bursting with green (remember, we're coming from the high desert where the trees have yet to get their leaves).  At times, I felt like putting on sunglasses to shield from the wonderful, intense, penetrating shades of green bursting before our eyes.  There were also fields of something that were a beautiful, contrasting golden rod color.  Trying to capture some of this while moving on a very fast moving train what a challenge.

On our arrival to Dusseldorf we didn't even bother taking a nap.  We showered and got ourselves out the door and off to explore a new city.  The hotel is a healthy walk from the center and the old city (which worked quite well for us, as we're counting our steps and trying to meet our daily goals).  We found a place for a hearty German lunch and a heartier stein of beer.  It was a beautiful partly sunny day with just enough crispness in the air to make it enjoyable.

The next day was a foggy, rainy one which we thoroughly enjoyed to the point of walking from our hotel to the Dusseldorf Rhine Tower and the Frank Gehry Buildings.  The "mood" was a perfect one for our visit to these.  The rain and fog took turns entertaining us throughout our walk.  When we arrived at the tower the fog lifted enough to uncover the tower and the rain would take its turn and gently surround us with its moisture.  It was a perfect curtain for viewing the Gehry buildings.  We walked over 20,000 steps on this day.  After a long walk around the area by the Gehry buildings we decided to take a cab to Cologne--what a beautiful city THAT is!  I was so taken by its beauty that I didn't much pull out my camera while there--even I can't believe that.

We arrived and went right to the cathedral.  I realized after we entered that Cologne has a group of the Monastiques de Jerusalem and that mid day prayers were starting in 10 minutes.  I asked where the church was and was given directions.  Paul and I almost ran there and made it about 30 seconds before the service started.  It was the little oasis I needed at that very moment.  Check them out: http://jerusalem.cef.fr/cologne-gross-sankt-martin.

The next day I headed for the airport early while Paul slept in as he didn't need to meet his group until after lunch to head off to his meditation.  The flight to Berlin as a comfortable one.  The weather in Dusseldorf was overcast and raining, but by the time I got to Berlin, the clouds had parted and a beautiful sunny day unfolded for me.

But that's the next entry--
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Armando on

Such Beauty.........thanks for sharing.

hstraube on

Loved hearing all of this and seeing the cool pics. And the story about winning $1000 on your $20 budget! The gods are smiling and so am I :) Welcome back to the United States! (I love how they say that when you come back to Miami from out of the country :)

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