High-speed train to Germany


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Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Cochem
September 7th 2013
Published: September 7th 2013
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I escaped from Paris this morning, and I already feel better! I was so tired of the smelly, hot, crowded Metro, so I found a taxi and went to the train station in style. What a nice place! Air conditioning, shopping, restaurants, and trains to anywhere you could want to go! Fearing that it might take me a while to find my way, I arrived about 50 minutes early, so I sat in a nice Panera-type cafe and ate a pain au chocolat. I also had some tea, but of course it was hot. They have yet to discover ice in Europe. I found my train with a little help from a couple of Americans who knew a little French. I was on a TGV train which is one of the high speed trains in Europe. It was running at about 225 miles per hour on smooth tracks. How cool! I was looking forward to seeing the countryside, and it was pretty. I always like to see what is being grown in different places, but it was difficult to identify some of the crops since we were going so fast. I did recognize some corn which wasn't turning yet and some hay fields. Many of the fields had already been harvested and others were unrecognizable. I am on my way to a little town on the Mosel River in western Germany. There is a train change in Saarbrucken. I managed to exit at the right station, and I had 8 minutes to find my next train. They are strictly on time. Well, I found the right place, but after 15 minutes and no train, we began to figure out that the train wasn't coming. The announcement probably explained why, but of course I didn't know what they were saying. I think there's going to be another one in an hour, so I'm sitting on a bench in a rather unattractive area of Saarbrucken, hoping that I have this figured out. No big deal! It's a beautiful day and it is cooler here, so I'm just chillin' and thinking about the rest of the day in Cochem...on rhe river in the riesling wine area, where it's supposedly quaint and pretty. OK, I'm back, having arrived in Cochem. I made friends with a young guy while we were waiting on the next train. He spoke enough English to make conversation, and I learned a lot! He was on a 3 day holiday from jail! He was traveling to another area of Germany for a wedding; then he had a friend who would be driving him back to jail on Sunday. He has been there 3 years and has 2 months to go. He is 28, and as nice as can be! He was caught with 6 kilos of marijuana (which sounds like maryanna in German). I asked him if he was selling it, and he said “yes”. I can't believe they give them holidays from jail! He is really a nice guy. The jail he is in has taught him how to weld, and he does that every day. When he gets out, he'll be able to find a good job because of this skill. He was a huge help to me because he speaks German and understands all of the announcements. He also helped me hoist my bag into the overhead luggage rack. I learned a lot about him and the German jails. As the train progressed into Germany, the land became more and more beautiful. We were running along the river bed, and there were steep hillsides with grapes growing up each one. They are picked by hand, and considering the steep terrain, it is surely a hard job. Cochem is a Mosel River town of about 5000, and it is beautiful! There is a castle overlooking the town and hillsides of riesling grapes. A few blocks from the train station, I decided to try out one of the small pension/restaurants because it was 2:00 and I hadn't had lunch. I took a table on the front porch of the place and was immediately befriended by a group of Germans from Cologne who were visiting for the weekend specifically to drink the wine. One of the women spoke very clear English, so she was the interpreter. They invited me to sit with them, and it was a lot of fun! I ordered schnitzel, and it was wonderful! The gravy/sauce was filled with capers, which I really like. There were also potatoes, onions, and ham. It was soooo good! I could definitely be a German food fan! I also had a carafe of local white wine. A while later, the waiter asked me something which I didn't understand, and then brought another carafe of wine. Not understanding the language could be dangerous! Then after quite a bit of conversation with my new friends, another round of drinks appeared. OMG! I still had to walk several blocks to my pension for the night! After a while, I said auf wiedersehn and left to find my pension. I got about a half block away when the English speaker of the group called to me, and said she was going to help me find my hotel. How nice! We found it, I'm checked in, and considering heading out to do some siteseeing as soon as that last carafe of wine wears off! This is my kind of place...small, friendly, and beautiful! I don't need to return to Paris, but I may never want to leave the Mosel/Rhine region of Germany!

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7th September 2013

You go girl!
Sally - How brave and exciting to do this trip on your own! Being by yourself brings another whole element to the trip. You are less isolated not being in association with another person traveling with you and locals and travelers are probably more apt to engage with you.....what interesting things you learn! Not sure I would be brave enough to do it on my own but you seem to be getting along swimmingly.

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