Sunday, November 04, 2007

Three countries in one week!

I flew into Frankfurt at 7am on Tuesday morning. I took a Rhine River cruise and passed many castles and beautiful scenery, with fall colors in full flouish! It was lovely and chilly!

I spent the night at my friend Katrin's parents in Koblenz and they were such great hosts, making me traditional German food and showing me around. I would love to spend more time there with them - next time Katrin needs to be there instead of in Mozambique!

Then I headed down to Stuttgart to meet my friend Debora and her two friends, Susa and Tabia. We had planned to go to Vienna, Austria for the weekend. Here, I'm on the overnight train - I felt like I was in a movie. I'm such a tourist!

My German friend Debora greeted me at the train with the question: "Do you want to go to Hungary while we're in Vienna? We can take a boat up the Danube to Bratislava!" I said Sure, let's go! Well, when I did a search online for Bratislava, Hungary, it turns out it's in Slovakia (the southern half of what was Czechoslovakia)! So we had a good laugh about that but went anyway. We opted for the train which was only 14 Euros, return. We had a great time in this charming old city. Slovakia only entered the EU this year and it still has a very Eastern European feel. It was perfect to explore for the afternoon.

Vienna was lovely, with beautiful architecture and lots of gardens. It would be amazing in the spring or summer to sit in the many parks and try and spot traditional Austrians, as I was trying to do - men with feathers in their caps! It was too cold to sit around much, we had to keep moving! We even got on one bus, just to drive around to nowhere and get warm. it was about 40 degrees on average during the day!

After coming back from Vienna, I spent the night at Debora's house in Winterbach, outside of Stuttgart. We went to the main restaurant in their village for my last traditional German meal and . . . they were celebrating Sweden week! So everything was Swedish! It was still good! I slept on the divan in the living room, right in front of the fire - that was so amazing! The next day, I went to Heidelberg to meet Katrin's fiance, Michael. I spent the day exploring by myself and met him in the evening after his exam. This photo was taken through one of the lookouts from the Castle.

Here I'm on the bridge below the castle, jsut before Michael and I walked The Philospher's Path, up along the treeline.

I "slept" that night in the Frankfurt airport. I had to be there at 6am and decided it was just as easy to hang out there instead of try and find a room and get to the airport super early. Then I flew home to California!

I really hope to fly through Germany again because there is so much I still want to see and do. Plus, I'd like to visit when Katrin's there! And, see Debora again. Maybe for Katrin and Michael's wedding !!!

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