Published: August 6th 2007June 19th 2007
Back In Europe Again!
Our flight back to Germany was a pleasant one due to Emirates high class entertainment systems, quality service and great food. While slightly more expensive than some other carriers, I repeatedly say that Emirates is well worth it. Once out of the US look for Emirates as a preferred means of getting from point A to point B, you won’t be sorry!
Since we’ve been to Frankfurt many times we decided to forego the long train ride into the metropolitan area and instead opted for a cheap Accor hotel close to the airport. As an adjustment back into the cramped European way of doing things, this particular hotel wasn’t a bad one. The room was small, the bed was small and there was no A/C (80 degrees in our room every night, not comfortable) but it was clean, the staff was helpful and there was plenty of hot water so we were pretty pleased overall.
Our first night in town we walked into the nearby town center in Kelsterbach, a pleasant change to be able to actually walk in a pedestrian section of a small town and search for dinner. We eventually
chose a small Italian restaurant which was run by a really great Italian older man. It was a little strange to be able to speak English, German and Italian all in the same conversation but it proved a fun place to eat. The food was good, super cheap and our host was a jovial fun loving Italian type. Roaming Through Wiesbaden
Since we had a whole day free before heading on to Paris we had to come up with something to fill our time. We saw a good portion of Germany in December but there are always places that are close by that we haven’t been able to visit yet. When Kel was in Germany in May of ’06 with her MBA program she went to dinner in Wiesbaden, a slightly larger town that was very near to our present location, so she suggested that we catch a train there and explore.
After catching breakfast at our hotel we started our day’s adventure by walking back in to Kelsterbach to the closest train station. After traveling a while in Europe you come to understand that it’s the simple little things that can be really challenging
in day to day life. In this case it was getting a train ticket. The machines that dispense tickets are very clear to Germans, I’m sure, but are very confusing to us. We spent about ten minutes staring at the machine attempting to figure out which of the many ticket options was the one for us. We eventually settled on the Tageskarte which, we think, allows you to travel to and from a single destination any time during a day.
With tickets in hand we took the next train to Wiesbaden which gave us some decent views of the nearby country side and the absolutely huge Opel car plant a few stops down from Kelsterbach. After traversing the Rhine we arrived in Weisbaden, got off the train, and started our day of exploration.
After our travel in more exotic and slightly scary destinations in Asia we are much more laid back in places in Europe so instead of having a plan in Wiesbaden or even a map we just walked out of the train station and headed into town. Soon enough we saw a church steeple rising above nearby buildings and headed in that direction figuring that a
large church would probably be close to the town center. We arrived at the St. Bonifatius Church and found a map which led us to the Tourist Information office. After a brief stop inside the TI we set off to explore the old town with some information and a map in hand.
The beauty of Europe is in its old towns and its history. One can get completely caught up in staring at old buildings and wandering for hours in even the smallest of Europe’s cities. After having been in Australia/New Zealand, where there is no “old” history, and Asia, where the history is so foreign, walking through Wiesbaden was a joy. We spent the next few hours wandering the old pedestrian streets stopping only to take pictures. We saw the Rathaus (government building), Marktplatz, Marktkirch (Market Church), the Heidenmauer (Heathens Wall, the oldest structure in Wiesbaden and part of the old city walls), and Kochbrunnen (hot fountain powered by famous hot springs) all before stopping for lunch.
What little German we knew when we left Europe in January came back to us pretty quick as we started ordering food. With no English menu to help us we
had to do a bit of translating from our language book but we managed to get a good, fortifying lunch. It’s always funny to see waitresses smile at you as you order in broken German. They all speak English, at least a bit, but get seem to get such joy out of your attempts to speak their language.
After lunch we explored the old town a bit more before stopping at a cherry stand which was set up in front of a small market. We bought a kilo (2.2 pounds) of fresh cherries for 4 Euros before setting off to find a shady spot in the nearby Warmer Damm, a beautiful park which was first established in 1861. On the way we took pictures of a few more historic buildings before settling by a small, duck filled lake to eat cherries and relax a bit. We sat, enjoyed our fresh cherries and contemplated all the things we love about Europe.
After eating awhile we headed back to the train station and caught a train back to Kelsterbach. By time we got to our hotel we were pretty tired from walking all day and it was getting pretty late.
The strange thing about Europe during this time of year is the long daylight hours. Due to the fact that Europe is further north than most of the US, many countries get a much extended period of daylight. In the case of Germany we were getting daylight almost until 10pm at night with the sun rising between 5 and 6am. Pretty wild huh? It makes it very hard to remember that it’s getting late and that you need to eat dinner.
We decided to bite the bullet and get dinner in the hotel because we were pretty tired. After an okay meal we headed off to our 80 degree bedroom and tried to get some sleep before our flight to Paris in the morning.
Hope you’re doing great at home. We miss you all!
There are more photos below