Monday, July 25, 2011

We're Back - Europe Trip posts to begin!

Throughout our three week trip, we carried our handy little iPad2 to check email and do some work reports, but unfortunately, we didn't have time to work on the blog. And there's also a glitch on the iPad2: we can't upload photos onto the blog site or send any attachments onto any email account (yahoo, gmail, hotmail), etc.

Regardless, we had a fabulous adventure and we kept a journal along the way as we spent many hours riding the 21-day Eurail pass.

30 June
We embarked on our 3rd European journey in order to visit three new countries starting with Germany. Our first night was spent near the main hopbahnhof, or train station. The hotel was clean and OK and we just went to bed to get ourselves used to the eight hour time difference. The nights were still bright and the sun didn't set until nearly 10pm.

1 July
Our first real day. We decided to leave our items at the Frankfurt train station after we found a working locker to embark on the famous walking tour. When we arrived at the correct station downtown, it started to hail big ice balls, the size of marbles. We met the guide who strongly dissuaded us from taking the tour in the rain so he showed us some highlights on a map and we were on our way. We accomplished two missions: 1) find a camera cord or photo reader and 2) take in a couple of sights before our train down to Heidelberg.

We found a Mac shop and bought a photo reader and a nice screen cover that actually fit precisely over the iPad screen. We also visited the big church, St. Paula's Cathedral, and later, the not so nice Jewish museum. For lunch, we went to the place the guide had recommended and Russ had his first wiener schnitzel, which was bad, with no flavor. My ravioli with tomatoes was just OK, and nothing special. Frankfurt city was not too impressive, by first impression.

That afternoon, we rode the train down to Heidelberg and checked into the Ibis hotel, located just adjacent to the main station. The hotel was modern, clean and comfortable. In the evening, Jo Anna, husband Ted and kids Zachary and Sophia took us out to dinner at the old town in a quaint area which reminded us of Siena. We worked with Jo Anna back at PIC Guam in 1991! We had not seen each other in 20 years!!

We ate at a traditional Beer house and had tasty roast chicken. We walked the streets and had "spaghetti eis" for dessert, a specialty of that gelato store where they took vanilla ice cream and put it through a pasta machine so it came out in strands. They covered it with strawberry sauce and topped it with shaved white chocolate to resemble Parmesan. It was unique and tasty!

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