Posts Tagged ‘ Germany

Jamie and Val in Frankfurt

Currently stranded in SFO waiting on a delayed flight. Since I haven’t gotten around to post this entry from when I was in Frankfurt, now’s as good time as any time. Here goes!

My last two days in Germany, Val and I stayed in Frankfurt. We arrived by train early Sunday afternoon and very luckily found ourselves at this awesome hotel: Hotel Lindner. For one, it was more like an apartment than a room. It was so big it had a hallway! It’s probably one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. This was our view:

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DSC00596On top of that, instead of chocolates on our pillows were packs of gummy bears shaped as sheep! How can you beat that? Anyway, after we walked around our place gong “Wow, wow, this is amazing,” we took the short walk into the city. It was sunny. On our first day we walked around the old part of town and had a late lunch of pork sausage and potato salad. We then walked around some more and went back to the hotel, later eventually made our way down to the river to read and write. That evening we had dinner and drinks in the hotel bar. I ordered a steak and finally went back to red wine after a week of drinking Riesling. Back in our room 300 was playing on in German. (I really need to see the first 15 minutes of that movie.)

Day 2 in Frankfurt began looking very gray, it had rained all night long. We walked into the city and did some shopping in an German-equivalent Hello Kitty shop before making our way to the Opera House. There we met my colleague Philip from the Frankfurt office there and had lunch at a pretty good Italian place. I had seafood risotto, I think I missed rice.

Me & Val in FrankfurtAfterward Philip helped me get allergy medicine and showed us the agency office nearby where we had a tour and I met some folks there. Later, Val and I made our way back to the city where we went shopping on the famous Zeil street. I hadn’t done some serious shopping in a while so that was pretty fun. Even bought a new dress and trucker hat.

That evening we returned to the hotel to rest and we later went to a Spanish bar Philip had recommended we check out. They had the best raspberry mojitos. Afterward we went to the hotel spa where both of us had massages. I had a bit of a language barrier problem there, but otherwise it went all right. I think Val had a better experience though. For the remainder of the night I somehow managed to pack all my things, including the new purchases, into my small luggage and we ordered room service of chocolate cake.

All in all Frankfurt was a perfect way to wrap up the trip: Moseyed around, enjoyed in our crazy nice hotel, went shopping, and overall just relaxed.

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Friedrichsbad Baths

Baden-Baden – Day 2

The following day we had breakfast in our cute little hotel above a pastry shop (The Hotel Beeg) and walked around town some more. Most notably, Val brought me to the Freidbrichsbad Baths!

Friedrichsbad Baths

At the Friedrichsbad you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world within 20 minutes

- Mark Twain

Basically you pay a flat fee to progress through the following stations:

1. shower; 2. warm air bath 54 C; 3. hot air bath 68 C; 4. shower; 5. soap and brush massage; 6. shower; 7. thermal steam bath 45C; 8. thermal steam bath 48C; 9. thermal full bath 36C; 10.thermal whirl pool bath; 11. thermal kinotherapeutic bath; 12. shower; 13. cold water bath (immersion bath) 18 C; 14. drying off (warm towels); 15. application of moisturizing cream; 16. resting area

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Casino Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden – Day 1

On Thursday, Val and I took the train (actually 3) to Baden-Baden, the famous casino and spa town. We arrived in the afternoon and walked around before having dinner. We ultimately ended up in this bizarre little restaurant filled with smoke and chicken dolls hanging from the walls. This oddity aside, the food was really good and I found my new favorite German dish: maltauschen. Think big ravioli. Kinda.

Casino Interior

The big event of the night though was to visit the Casino Baden-Baden. This was unlike any casino I have been to in the States (and was certainly not Vegas). For one, it cost money just to enter and there was a strict dress code of jacket and tie. Once inside, we found ourselves surrounded in a lavish room filled with much older German and Russian men. The atmosphere looked something straight out of a James Bond movie. What was even more unexpected was that the place was quiet, save for the clicking of chips and the spin of the roulette ball. Everyone inside was stoic, walking about gravely. We spotted only 3-4 other women there at most. It was also much smaller than any casino I’ve been to. It being a Thursday night, only 4 roulette tables and 1 blackjack table was open.

Given the grandeur of the place, I was surprised to find that the minimum bets were extremely low (10 euros per hand in blackJack, only 2 euros for roulette). Granted, most folks played much much more than that, which made playing side by side with them even more funny.

We played roulette mainly, which was a little odd without the usual cheers and jeers, but still pretty fun. I played a few hands at the lone Blackjack table which was exciting, despite not doing particularly well. Interestingly, an old man was playing 4 of the 7 positions on the table with 200+ euros per hand and was just bleeding money like crazy. The vein on his temple pulsated as he cursed under his breath, hah. The whole experience was quite surreal and it was actually one of my favorite on my trip. I only wish I could’ve recorded video of it!

Tübingen, Germany

While in Germany, I stayed about 3 days in Tübingen, the university town that Val is studying at this semester. Besides teeming with college students, I soon learned that the streets there are filled with chubby-cheeked, blond, blue-eyed babies, and a disproportionate amount of people carrying ice cream cones. No, really. It’s rather bizarre.

Walking past the big church in Tuebingen

It was generally wet while I was there, except for our last day, which incidentally was my favorite. We rented a paddle boat on the Neckar river, had a picnic, and later went to a grassy area to read Harry Potter. So this is what vacation is about.

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