Pizza picnic in the park

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Europe » Germany
July 24th 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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Beautiful park near Bacharach's ferry dock. At the top of the hill is the castle, now a hostel. I had hoped to stay there, but didn't book far enough in advance.
Geo: 48.7598, 8.23979

Good breakfast this morning! Vanilla sugar for the coffee (though the vanilla flavour was weak), muesli, pineapple wedge (not the best), yummy waffles, a lone sausage, and sunnyside-up eggs, with gorgeous orange yolks. Lettie asked if I wanted another egg or waffle, but I just couldn't, even though I really wanted to. She's a nice lady, and I'd hate to force her to clean up the mess after my stomach exploded, which is surely the outcome had I eaten any more. Though I did manage to eat a small container of rich, thick peach yogurt without my stomach losing containment ...

I noticed others having Lettie's traditional German breakfast, which included grilled sausages - I probably could have handled that since there weren't any of those mundane cold cuts, but I was quite content with my choice of waffles and eggs.

I left my bag at the pension and went off to sightsee until my 13:30 train. I popped into the TI to use their internet terminal - garbage! The display was crap, and the glare from the sun made it even worse. It also didn't tell you how much time you had left, but how many points - useless, if

A war memorial.
you ask me!

I walked around town, and decided against hiking up to the Burg (castle) because it was getting hot out, and I was lazy. I should've worn shorts today! Lunch was a surprisingly good pepperoni pizza from the kebab joint we ate at last night.

Back to the pension to pick up my bag, and off to the train station. During my 80 minute layover in Mannheim, I realized that you could print train schedules from the self-serve terminals, so I planned out my remaining train journeys, and also bought one future ticket (certain routes are significantly cheaper if you book a week or more ahead). It was a beautiful day, so I killed the rest of the time outside - it wasn't the nicest spot to hang out near the train station, but I didn't bother walking into the city centre because it didn't look too promising.

Baden Baden - it was a hot hike up to the hostel, and it seemed to get steeper the higher you went, and I became increasingly fatigued. The reception was empty and is only staffed intermittently, on the hour, so I didn't have to wait too long. After the long,

View of the town from a tower nestled up in a vineyard.
tiring walk here, of course my room ended up being on the top floor! The room was like an oven - it was probably the former attic, since the ceiling was low and irregularly shaped. It's another soulless hostel.

I hopped a bus into the city centre, took a quick walk around, and had dinner at Restaurant Laterne. The beer is very expensive here - 4.50 Euros for 0.5 L! And I've never heard of this before, but you can't order a small beer outside, only larges. Gouging! But what do you expect? Baden Baden is an expensive spa town with tons of rich tourists.

After dinner and gelato, I walked down Lichtentaller Allee, a path in a park that runs alongside a river (more like a stream). I was quite impressed - Baden Baden is a very beautiful, elegant, and green town. This was unexpected, and a nice surprise.

There were numerous beautiful mansions lining the stream, with their own private bridges going across. The end of the walk leads to an old abbey, but unfortunately, it was closed already. A few times along the way, I noticed signs for a toilet, but I never could seem to find them,

Creepy statue, looks kinda like the Dracula from Bram Stoker's version.
so I ended up finding my own toilet ...

Back to the hostel - for some reason, the area surrounding it reminded me of the neighbourhood that I stayed in while visiting Palma de Mallorca. Perhaps it's because Mallorca has been on my mind after meeting PIP (psychotic Irish Patrick) in Amsterdam, who in turn reminded me of psychotic Nicky from Mallorca.

It was a creepy walk back up to the hostel, since it was almost pitch black near the top, and almost like a forest. It was disorienting walking back, because of the darkness, shadows, and brief glimmers of car headlights. I jumped once, thinking that a dark figure suddenly appeared in front of me, but there was nothing. Then I had the feeling that I was being followed.

Later that night as I tried to sleep in the room, I felt as if there was another presence in the room, in addition to the other two people staying there. I had my earplugs in, but thought I heard someone whispering German into my ear. It was probably my mind playing tricks on me, but maybe I'm just overly sensitive to this stuff after having that creepy episode in the

Figurine of Loreley, the legendary nymph. With a seductive pose like that, it's no wonder she caused sailors to drown!
Canary Islands (see blog entitled "Sleeping with ghosts" ). Or maybe, now I'm a target! Either way, I am NOT staying out this late tomorrow night!

Additional photos below
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Too lazy to hike all the way up to the castle.

Lunch along the river - Thin, crisp crust, and a nicely flavoured tomato sauce, good cheese ... not terribly filling, but I didn't want a big meal after today's massive breakfast. I just needed something to get me through until the next town. Nothing beats a picnic in a park, on a day like today!

I tried some Riesling gelato, a local invention - not sure that it tasted like riesling, but it did taste of white wine. It was more like sorbet and not creamy, but perhaps the alcohol content prevents it from having a nice, creamy body.

I picked up a berry fruit cake at the Mannheim train station - it had kind of a cranberry crumble topping and was fairly moist, though the crust was a bit hard.

It was a lovely evening, and Jesuitplatz was a nice spot to have a meal.

I ended up with a Frantiskaner beer - quite light, but so light that it had little flavour. Maybe they water down their beer to gouge you even more? I ordered the escalope with cream sauce and spaetzle. The portion sizes are pretty pathetic here, but it looked a little better when I dumped the spaetzle on the plate (it had come in a side dish). The plate was garnished with tiny little shards of tomato and bell peppers - they were so few in number that I wondered if they had accidentally fallen onto my plate. The pork (or veal, or whatever the heck it was) was quite dry and tough. The sauce was bland, but became quite tasty once the appropriate amount of salt and pepper was added. The spaetzle was different than what I've had before ... more like little strings, and they were a little bit crisp (pan-fried). The spaetzle with the sauce was the best part.

Baden Baden's cathedral, I think.

Beautiful Lichtentaller Allee.

After dinner, I grabbed a gelato - the coconut gelato wasn't that great, but the bits of coconut were a nice touch. Ferrero Rocher - it had big chunks of cookie and hazelnut fudge, but wasn't that great once those chunks were gone, because all that remained was nothing more than chocolate gelato.

Interesting concept - travel agency/coffee shop.

Baden Baden's abbey.

A church near the hostel. Much more impressive in person, the lighting in this picture is off.

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