Hello all! For those of you not aware, I’m currently traveling through Europe and am in London at the time of this post on Day 16 of the trip. I’ll try to keep my posts brief, but that’ll be difficult since so much is happening every day, but I mostly want to share my pictures with you, so that’s where the focus will be. I hope you enjoy!
Jan 17-Day 1: Bad Kreuznach
I had about 24 straight hours of travel from Dalian to Frankfurt airport. Surprisingly however, I wasn’t really all that jet lagged! My first stop was in Germany to see friends and family there. First friend on the list was Felix. This was really quite a special reunion for me since it had been so long (4 years) since we’d seen each other, because of how we got along in Japan, and because of how short a time he lived there at the dorm in Japan. So, I trained out to a station near where he worked where he picked me up. He still had to work for a little bit, so I settled at Felix’s university lab/office while he held his lesson, then went to his house after and caught up for a bit. Went shopping for beer, came back, met his girlfriend Francie, then went for dinner at a nice German restaurant to eat schnitzel. It was great! And boy did I sleep well that night.
Jan 18-Day 2:
With a beautiful sunrise view from Felix’s house, we enjoyed a slow morning, eating a standard German-style breakfast consisting of crusty bread, deli meats and cheeses, eggs and lots of coffee. Made some plans and eventually settled on my heading south to Stuttgart earlier rather than later so that I could go see my cousins. Before I left we went to Bingen, a small town on the Rhein, which is where Felix lived right after coming back to Germany from Japan (which is where we met), so that I could catch a train south. The picture below shows just a taste of how picturesque the German countryside is. We wandered around town for a bit and stopping off for a very quick pint at the Swolen Heart before very nearly missing my €60 ICE train to Stuttgart!
Arriving in Stuttgart a couple hours later, I transferred to the S-Bahn heading to Ehnigen which is where I was to meet my cousins. This reunion was a bit different, since I barely remember meeting my cousin Leah when I was a kid and had never met her husband Bryan before then. They could barely recognize me with my hat and “reddish” beard, since the most they had ever seen of me was a likeness from when I was 11 years old at a Krausch family reunion. But after we’d identified each other with a “Dan?”, “Leah?” It was all down hill. We all got along really well and had a delightful time getting to know each other! They had plans to take me to a town called Tübigen, where I saw a castle and a neat little German college town. We drove around quite a bit though because they’d never approached the town from the direction we came from that time. But eventually we parked and began finding our way on foot.
After seeing what we could see, we went back to their home briefly before taking to our feet again to go have dinner at their neighborhood Italian joint, which had some amazing(!) pizza.
Jan 19-Day 3: Mercedes-Benz museum, military bases, Lichtenstein castle, Motorcity. Not much more to say. Bryan and I must’ve spent a few hours at least wandering the vast museum that chronicled not just MB history, but the history of motorized transportation, Germany, and the world as well from a unique perspective. Very fascinating!Next, we picked up Leah from the school on the military base where she teaches before heading to Lichtenstein Castle. Unfortunately, none of us thought to check the hours, and we got there after they’d been closed for about 30 minutes. So we wandered around outside the castle and enjoyed the views. For dinner we went to a cozy spot next to a place called Motor City! This place had a staggering collection of absolutely gorgeous vehicles for sale. But don’t take my word for it, just look!
And that was it for my time with Bryan and Leah! It was awesome! I’ve promised to come visit them again next time I’m I Europe. They said I can use their place as a hopping point to the rest of Europe, and you can bet I will!
Cheers from London 🙂