Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Germany - Frankfurt and Wurzburg

A comical leave taking...the limo was late, we've been trying a new service. They went to the wrong house. We were cutting it a little close so didn't want to wait for them anymore and decided to drive. We drive half way down the street and Lee realizes he's driving with the garbage that he meant to put in the trash can at the end of the driveway still in his lap. Then after we have been driving toward Logan for around 15 minutes I suddenly realize that I have forgotten my coat. Chagrined and feeling stupid but there's nothing I can do, no way or time to turn around. I bought a nice waterproof shell to wear with layers just for this trip. It's supposed to be cold, too, so will have to remedy this at some point.

Thanks to Lee and his many airplane miles we're flying business to Frankfurt. It's fun to be pampered, but I don't want to spend too much time enjoying things. It's only a 7 hour flight and I need to try to sleep a little. We're taking off at 5 pm and arriving at 5 am. It will be a short night.

The flight is uneventful. Lufttanza doesn't have lie flats, and I wasn't that sleepy anyway. We take our time in the Frankfurt airport, nothing is open yet anyway, but we find their Welcome Lounge and take a shower and change clothes. Get our rental car, make sure my phone is working, off we go.

This part of the trip is really the only part I'm a little doubtful about. Will getting into Frankfurt be difficult? (No). Will it be hard to find parking? (Well yes and no, there is plentiful parking, and lots of signs, but it probably is a lot easier if you know German). Is there much to do in Frankfurt? ( there is a little to do, and really there is enough. We just want to kill a few hours before we head to Wurzburg).

So it all works out. We park, walk along one side of the river, gawk at the Kaiserdome, walk over the Iron Bridge, wonder at all the engraved locks, wander through the Sachsenhausen, find a place to have some coffee. A big plus to being in Germany. Germans love coffee, good coffee. The place we pick also has plum kuchen, a German speciality that my grandmother, my mother, and I love to make. I'm starting to feel right at home.

The Germans are nice. The like to practice their English. They are thrilled to hear that my mother is German, that we are going to Trier. They love it when I try out my teeny bit of German on them. When I tell them my mother's age and the year they left, they almost instinctively know that my family is Jewish. They are interested, respectful.

A lady we talk to in the coffeeshop recommends one of the museums along the river, the Stadel Art Institute., so off we go. The wind is brisk and biting, I'm not going to last too much longer without a coat. Everyone is complaining about the weather. It's supposed to be a lot warmer by now.

The museum is a nice collection, a mix of modern, impressionistic, and old masters. We kill enough time that when we are finished its time for lunch. Back across the river we decide on a Mediterranean restaurant with colorful pillows, hot mint tea, and a plate of hummus, couscous, babaganoush, and other middle eastern specialities.

After lunch we go in search of a sporting goods store. I find a shell on sale that will do just fine. It's black, so it's not a total waste of money, since the one I left behind was tan. At least that's what I tell myself.

A pleasant drive to Wurzburg, except for the crazy number of trucks on the A3 autobahn. Wurzburg is a charming town on the River Main. Hotel Gruner Baum is cute, our room clean and quiet. I'm feeling the lack of sleep by now...but have to stay awake for dinner. At the hotel's recommendation we go to the Backofele Restaurant which serves traditional German food in a nice atmosphere, with more friendly people and an apple pancake for dessert, oh my oh my....

I sleep 11 hours, that's crazy, I never do that!

Light breakfast at hotel, bread, fruit, coffee. Jog along the river. Another cold day. Up the hill to the Marenburg Fortress. Lovely walk, bits of spring here and there. We check out the fortress museum, and then its back down the hill to lunch. I had said I was going to have sausages, but they have something called liver dumplings on the menu that I can't resist. They turn out to be tender, delicate, giant liver meatballs with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. I can only eat one. Lee gets bratwurst...they are good too. I even have a beer, so you know I'm really on vacation now!

Then to the other end of town for the 3 pm English tour of The Residence, an immense palace modeled on Versailles. Our guide is really good, funny, entertaining, informative. I have lots of fun taking pictures of the rooms, the ceilings, the stucco decorations, the painted mirrors.

By now it's 4 pm so it's time to indulge in the German tradition of coffee and some kind of pastry. We share a chocolate cake cause that's what Lee was craving. Then back to the hotel to rest a bit before its time to head out again for dinner. We have already set our pattern for this trip. Eat, tour, rest, repeat.

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