Düsseldorf, Köln, Saarland, Trier, Mosel, Wetter, Dortmund, Tann, Spahl.
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On September 7, 2008 we packed our bags…
Jumped on a bus around 3 pm…
Jumped on an SAS flight to Copenhagen…
And finally arrived in Düsseldorf at around 7 am in the morning on September 8.
We unloaded our gear and walked around in a bit of a jet lagged haze. The weather was beautiful and we found this city to be much better than we had even expected.
The canals were a neat surprise.
As in most European cities, Düsseldorf is full of pedestrian only streets filled with tables for the excellent restaurants. Even though it was cool in the evenings, these tables would be filled with diners long after dark.
The Rhine was very busy with vessel traffic and the waterfront was world class, with restaurants, hotels and joggers.
This evening we were still not even close to adjusted to European time, so we did what we had to do. Drink beer and eat. This was along the Rhine and as you can see, the weather was still gorgeous that afternoon.
Typical architecture in Düsseldorf.
The next morning we slept in a bit, then wandered around looking at the beautiful city, the parks and the architecture. This is the Goethe house.
Have I ever mentioned that the ice cream in Germany is pretty fabulous?
The Ghery buildings and the Rheinturm.
The next day we decided to take a short train ride to Cologne (Köln) and take a look at the Kölner Dom and some other sites along the Rhine.
We returned to Düsseldorf that evening and I was forced to have my favorite German meal, sauerbraten.
Rheinturm at night.
The next day, we picked up a little Audi A3 diesel and drove to Nieder-Roden near Frankfurt and visited Heidi’s aunt and uncle, Franz and Siglinda, for two days. We met her cousin Christoph and his wife and kids at an Italian restaurant. We had a great time reconnecting with them and talking to their kids.
Two days later we drove to Orscholz, near Saarbrücken and Trier, to visit Heidi’s other cousin Sigfried and his wife and son. The drive consisted of some pretty seriously heavy rain, so we were unable to take advantage of the unlimited speed limit on the autobahn. It wouldn’t have mattered much anyway, the diesel A3 was pretty gutless. Heidi’s cousin put us up in a really, really nice hotel near their town and we had a great meal at the hotel’s restaurant the first night.
The next day we did a quick drive into Luxemburg and back towards Trier. We did a cruise on the Mosel river.
That evening, we drove across the border into France and had one of the most memorable meals of our lives…at a duck and goose farm. It was incredible.
The next day we drove into Trier and toured both the ancient Roman and the modern German architectures.
That afternoon we drove the 275 km to Wetter to visit Heidi’s parents. Their ‘condi’ was gorgeous.
We spent the night and then the next day drove into Dortmund to look around.
Yes, that’s the real shape of that steeple. It’s not lens distortion!
The next day we drove to Bochum-Dahlhausen to visit with Heidi’s aunt and uncle.
The next day we drove to the area where Leonard was born and raised, near Fulda, which is north east of Frankfurt. This town is called Tann and it’s where we stayed for the next two nights. The town was quaint with a great hotel and restaurant.
The town below is called Spahl and is where Leonard grew up.
We drove to Point Alpha, which was one of the gates through the border separating east and west Germany following WWII.
The church below is in Spahl, where Heidi’s grandfather is buried.
Heidi liked this Bernese mountain dog.
We had lunch in the only restaurant in the town of Spahl, Heile Schern- der urige Gasthof.
This is a view from just above Spahl.
There’s our little A3 diesel.
Leonard and his brother.
Leonard and his other brother.
A couple days later we drove back to Wetter and spent a day messing around in Dortmund. Turned out to be a really, really great trip.
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