adventures into the unknown…
November 29, 2012
Wednesday- 27th of November
Germany is cold and rainy right now. When we found out that Kris had to come back for work, we realized that we might need to be better prepared than we were when we went to Baltimore and D.C. last month. The weather turned chilly while we were there and caught us unawares. This time we came armed with rain/cold proof walking boots, an array of sweater type tops, and real coats. And of course, the mandatory gloves and hats to keep the extremities toasty. No snow is really in the forecast though I’ve seen a few flurries predicted on the local weather station. I don’t understand much German but I know what the little icons mean on the television. Snow is snow in any language.
After we rested up and got our internal clocks adjusted Sunday day (somewhat), we found a German Hooters type restaurant on Sunday night in the airport tunnels that have everything and watched Kris’ beloved Steelers play football for awhile. Then went to sleep way too early- I woke up at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I finished a book on my Nook till Kris woke up a 4am. We made the decision to not get our rental car until Tuesday am and decided to explore Frankfurt by way of local transit.
The nice concierge gave us a great tip on buying our ticket- you visit the train ticket machine in the subway tunnel area and choose the local group ticket for 14.50 euros (allows up to 5 persons) and you ride all day long anywhere in the area. We got our moneys worth since we arrived downtown Frankfurt at about 8am, had a nice hot breakfast at Cafe Mozart, and window shopped in the German Galleria until the T-Mobile store opened at 10am so we could get sim cards for our phones. Then we took the train back to the hotel to get some more shut-eye because these bodies don’t bounce back so quickly any more from jet lag.
After the mandatory nap, we headed back to downtown Frankfurt to visit the Christmas Market. Naturally it was drizzly and cold but after a cup or two of the local Glühwein that is sold at these affairs we warmed up. We wandered around eyeballing the yummies that were on display but didn’t buy much because we had filled up on schnitzel and flammkuchen before we hit the market. Kris did buy some long ropey strands of lemon and cherry candy and I bought two marshmallow puffs that are local to the region.
Not so funny thing about Kris’ candy- she likes them. I don’t. She tried them on our road trip Tuesday to Halle-Saale and gave me a bite while I was driving. I could not hardly get it swallowed for about 2 minutes. No where to spit it out and she was rolling with laughter. Yuck. Texture thing and a taste similar to licorice. I can actually eat a piece of licorice though it is not my favorite. On the other hand, the marshmallow things are incredible and I will try to bring some home if I can get them packed up properly so they don’t smoosh.
Thursday- 28th of November
We left Halle-Saale this morning after taking a tour of the Halloren Chocolate Factory. Similar in popularity to Russell Stovers in the U.S. but better because on this tour of the factory you actually get to see the candy being made. The tour takes you through the history of the company explaining everything cocoa- origins, etc.- including why the family name was forbidden by Hitler during WWII because it was deemed too Jewish sounding. This in spite of the fact that the family had documentation proving pure Aryan heritage. Hitler was a real nutcase…
Anyway, there was even a formal sitting room with all the furniture made of chocolate in the museum. It was wild- the old style piano circa 1890 maybe- was chocolate. No pictures allowed though. Anyway, bringing some goodies home for some special folks.
I forgot to mention that Tuesday night when we arrived in Halle- Saale we checked out the Christmas Market there. It was opening night and extremely festive with all of the locals meeting up. We liked it much better than the one in Frankfurt as it felt more homey. Probably has to do with the city being smaller- only 250,000 people as opposed to Frankfurt’s approximate 680,000.
There are a few more things to tell you about our visit in Halle-Saale but after driving most of the day to Karlsruhe in the slushy sleet and snow, I have to beg off till Sunday or Monday. We are here overnight and leave on a train to Paris in the morning for two days. Then back here to Karlsruhe for the week. Kris does have to work! That will leave me plenty of time to catch you up on our adventures.
Please forgive any typos that I have missed. Promise to fix them later.
Till next time-
Love and sweet dreams,
P.S.: For some reason I can’t get pics to post. See next post with pics only!