Baden-Baden, the most elegant of cities

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April 21st 2011
Published: April 21st 2011
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woke up this morning to the alarm around 845, but dozed off again to wake up around 930. was super tired after the marathon day yesterday and not getting to bed till around 130 - latest night of the trip by far! i also managed to smash my right thumb in the bathroom door and woke up around 3 with that throbbing so bad i had to take some advil before i could get back to sleep. today the bottom third of the nail is a nasty purple. hope it doesn't fall off! lol

anyways got up and went for hotel breakfast, included of course. croissants, breads, ham, cheese, cereal (with warm milk ugh), coffee, tea, juice, yoghurt. the usuals and ate heartily. forgot to bring my bag down so no stealing for lunch hehe got showered and ready, and put my laundry in a bag to get washed. head off to town.

centre of town about a 10 minute walk away and i'm pretty stunned befoer i'm halfway there. now i know i've said that every town so far has been beautiful this and amazing that. well this place blows them all away. its the most elegant, beautiful, scenic, lush, atmospheric place i may have ever been. perhaps it was the perfecto weather (not a cloud or a breeze, and 25 degrees) and that all the bulbs and lots of other flowers are in full bloom. or maybe the cute little river running through the centre. or maybe the lush green fields and huge beautiful trees everywhere. or maybe the ornate buildings everywhere. or that much of the centre is blocked to traffic so its a walkers paradise. maybe it was the clean streets and the overall richness of the place (i mean money, they must be millionaires here - but things aren't any more expensive it doesn't seem).

anyways i manage to bring my laundry to the place in my guidebook that says she'll do it for ten euros same day. the chick is russian and speaks no english. she writes on the paper that i can pick it up saturday morning at 11. thankfully another lady walks in, they converse in german and lady speaks english so when i say i'm leaving tomorrow, russian lady gives me a no can do look. turns out she wouldn't have time to iron it all. i was thinking lady if you knew how dirty these clothes are, and how i'm going to shove them into my backpack when i get back to the hotel, you would not be worried about ironing. so we agree just wash and dry and i can pick them up by 5! victory!

off i go to explore town. start at the tourist info place to get a decent map and take a stroll around. so baden is german for bathing, and the town is called bathing bathing. there's been a spa here since roman times on the natural hot springs. the two major spas in town are a big pull, and apparently the excellent german health system will foot the bill for a variety of reasons. sounds good to me! anyways i'm not into going to those things so i just had a peek and went on. climbed up a hill to see the catholic church. i've seen lots but decide to take a quick peek in. highlight of the trip. church is beautiful of course but nothing extraordinary compared to others. but there's not a soul inside and all of a sudden the organ starts up. i think the organist was practicing. so i sit in a pew and for a good 20 minutes just sit back and let the organ music sooth my soul! so beautiful. i'm uploading a video to facebook now of a few minutes of it. doesn't do it justice of course, but close enough.

head back out and around the corner is a faucet that pours our some of the hot spring water. lots of people drink it. gross. i put some in my hands (nearly got burnt, it was pretty hot!) and tasted. ew.

go further to the orthodox church which is locked up tight. too bad, it looked so nice from the outside! at this point it was pretty hot so of course i get some gelato. raspberry, and straciatella or however you spell it. mmmmmmm. then head to the mall to hit up the grocery store. i'm afraid of how much stuff is gonna be closed the next few days so i stocked up on some bread, granola bars, apples, graps, chocolate, and cookies. also bought some bread, cheese and meat for a picnic lunch.

head back to the hotel to cool off in the A/C for a few mins, then up to the train station to take care of some housekeeping. making reservations on some trains for the weekend, as when i look them up online most say something like they're expected to be busy. in other words, reserve a seat or it'll be standing room only. 5 euros to reserve a seat so well worth it to not stand up for 3 or 4 hours. i'm heading back to cologne tomorrow. went on hotwire to see about hotels and the same price for a five star hotel that i booked last time came up so i took a chance and bam i'm stayin at the hilton again! woop! for something like 25% of the regular price. awesome. so yes tomorrow getting up early, going to cologne, then going straight to burg eltz in the mosel valley for the day. weather is spuposed to be awesome for the rest of the week, look out snowy newfoundland, i've got a tan!

anyways, went back downtown for a walk around, no real sights here i want to see so i sit and people watch at a bunch of benches then go for a walk along the lictentaller alle or something. paths through beautiful trees/fields/gardens along hte river valley. so beautiful. poeple walkig dogs, chatting, picnicing, old men playing chess with huge pieces on boards drawn on the squares. sigh i love europe

anyways back to the grocery store for some more picnic supplies and have a nice little supper along the paths while reading a book. gettin tired now, back at the hotel to put on some more clothes, cooing down out there and a little nippy in shorts and t-shirt. gonna go back out for another walk around and get some pics in the sunset i think before calling it an early night. early rise tomorrow for a full day!

only 5 days left!!


21st April 2011

Music appreciation
I loved your commentary on the church in Baden Baden and the organ music. How absolutely perfect timing that the organist began his recital just as you got there -- and to an audience of ONE. I can't imagine anything more moving ---happens a few times in a lifetime--those particular experiences that totally engage the senses. You are really enjoying this city. It sounds like a very picturesque area. My impression of Munich was of cleanliness. You mentioned snowy NL. How right you are! Imagine some schools closed today because of SNOW. Good Lord, it's April 21st. We could sure do with some of that lovely European weather. It's so nice to look at flowers in full bloom after the dismal sight of blackened snow mounds. With limited knowledge of the language you get along real well Jason, I must say -- you find a way out of all difficult situations. I would have been a bit nervous of leavig my laundrywith the Russion lady in case I wouldn't get it back.(lol) I haven't seen your pictures yet or listened to video --will switch back to FB now. Enjoy your last week. Bye, Nan

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