Monday, November 11, 2013

Man, I love Europe! Part 1: Frankfurt and Heidelberg

11/11/13
Kristen says...

Happy Veteran's Day!!

Well, I have to say I am exhausted but quite happy after 2 weeks in Europe!

I actually went to Germany for a job training, but Chris encouraged me to stay an extra week (and really, why fly almost literally halfway around the world and not stay long enough to enjoy it!?)...so I did! :)

My odyssey began on a Saturday morning in Russia...the nice thing about flying to almost anywhere from here is that you gain back some or all of the time you lost during the flights...which means that almost 24 real hours later I landed early Saturday evening in Frankfurt. I went to the hotel, e-mailed Chris and my parents that I'd made it, and passed out on the fairly comfortable hotel bed.

The next day I forced myself to get out of bed and go see Frankfurt (since the rest of the week would be spent in class)!

Here are some of the highlights:
Giant Euro Sign
The leading runners in the Frankfurt Marathon...I "ran" into the marathon all over the city (hahaha)...it was really enjoyable to watch both the runners and the crowd!
My favorite part of the city, the Römer
More of the Römer
I saw people doing this both in Frankfurt and Heidelberg...I still don't know how they did it!
Medieval pictures in the Römer
There is an historic church walk that I highly suggest you do if you ever go to Frankfurt and you enjoy old churches. Beautiful.
 I went up to the tower of one of the churches, the Dom (Cathedral of St. Bartholomew)
66 meters...315 steps!
One of the views from the top
The Dom at night
I also ate some delicious food in Frankfurt:
Hot Chocolate...soo good!
Pretzels...I can't begin to tell you how many of these I ate while in Germany...yum!! This one came with two types of cheese, onions and a radish.

After a week of Frankfurt and training, etc, I hopped on a fast train to Heidelberg for some sightseeing and history...and food.
Let's start with the Spätzle...oh my gosh...amazing. I almost went back the next day for another helping because it was so good...
Delish. For better or for worse, though, I decided on Pizza Hut for my other Hiedelbergian meal...talk about polar opposites. :)
To be fair, though, it did have cream cheese in the crust, and was pretty amazingly good. And there is no Pizza Hut (or McDonalds, or Applebees, or anything else Western...)
 Besides eating, I did see some of the sights of Heidelberg...or tried to see some of them, the ones that were open anyway...
The Textile Museum, the one of the things I was really excited to see in Heidelberg, was closed for basically just the time I was there...le sigh.
 Luckily other things were open...like the Castle!
It was pretty neat
The view of the town from the castle...pretty!
It was a rainy day in Heidelberg, so I had unfortunately curly hair.
 You have the option of riding up to the castle on a funicular, which is funny since we have a funicular here in Vlad!
This one is over 100 years old, which is kind of cool....
 Technically, you also have the option to ride down, but I decided to enjoy a walk in the woods (and burn off some of those Spätzle calories!)
I love forests in the fall
The hood was for the rain, not the cold
 Other interesting sights included the original gate to the city
 The beautiful countryside
 And the German Museum of Packaging, something of a surprise hit...
Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, a museum dedicated to product packaging...according to the obliging docent, it is the only packaging museum in Germany, and quite possibly the only one in Europe...it was certainly the only one I've ever heard of!
It did a really nice job of showing how famous German products have been packaged over time...unfortunately all the information was written in German, but the nice student-employee at the front desk was gracious enough to give me a guided tour, which was really interesting!
 I was only in Heidelberg for two days, at which point I was going to take the train back to Frankfurt and then fly home to Russia...but then I found out the school I volunteer at had a break for the week of November 4, so Chris encouraged me to stay in Europe through the week...and how do you pass up a deal like that?


So, instead of flying to Russia, I flew to Austria...but I'll blog about that another time...it's time to go to bed and get over this jet lag...I have to work tomorrow! :)
KF

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