Europe 2008

Düsseldorf, Köln, Saarland, Trier, Mosel, Wetter, Dortmund, Tann, Spahl.

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On September 7, 2008 we packed our bags…Germany200801

Jumped on a bus around 3 pm…Germany200802

Jumped on an SAS flight to Copenhagen…Germany200803

And finally arrived in Düsseldorf at around 7 am in the morning on September 8.Germany200804


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.Germany200805

The canals were a neat surprise.Germany200806

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.Germany200807

The Rhine was very busy with vessel traffic and the waterfront was world class, with restaurants, hotels and joggers.Germany200808

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.Germany200809 Germany200810

Typical architecture in Düsseldorf.Germany200811 Germany200812

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.Germany200813

Have I ever mentioned that the ice cream in Germany is pretty fabulous?Germany200814

The Ghery buildings and the Rheinturm.Germany200815 Germany200816 Germany200817


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.Germany200820Germany200818Germany200819 Germany200821 Germany200822 Germany200823



We returned to Düsseldorf that evening and I was forced to have my favorite German meal, sauerbraten.Germany200824 Germany200825 Germany200826

Rheinturm at night.Germany200827 Germany200828



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.Germany200829 Germany200830 Germany200831

The next day we did a quick drive into Luxemburg and back towards Trier.  We did a cruise on the Mosel river.Germany200832 Germany200833 Germany200834 Germany200835 Germany200836

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.Germany200837


The next day we drove into Trier and toured both the ancient Roman and the modern German architectures.Germany200838 Germany200839 Germany200840


That afternoon we drove the 275 km to Wetter to visit Heidi’s parents.  Their ‘condi’ was gorgeous.  Germany200841 Germany200842

We spent the night and then the next day drove into Dortmund to look around.Germany200843

Celebrating!Germany200844 Germany200845

Yes, that’s the real shape of that steeple.  It’s not lens distortion!Germany200846

The next day we drove to Bochum-Dahlhausen to visit with Heidi’s aunt and uncle.Germany200847


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.Germany200848 Germany200849 Germany200850

The town below is called Spahl and is where Leonard grew up.Germany200851 Germany200852

We drove to Point Alpha, which was one of the gates through the border separating east and west Germany following WWII.Germany200853 Germany200854 Germany200855 Germany200856 Germany200857 Germany200858 Germany200859

The church below is in Spahl, where Heidi’s grandfather is buried.Germany200860 Germany200861

Heidi liked this Bernese mountain dog.Germany200862

We had lunch in the only restaurant in the town of Spahl, Heile Schern- der urige Gasthof.Germany200863

This is a view from just above Spahl.Germany200864

There’s our little A3 diesel.Germany200865

Leonard and his brother.Germany200866

Leonard and his other brother.Germany200867 Germany200868 Germany200869 Germany200870 Germany200871

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.Germany200872

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