Here is my final post from Germany! We were in Dusseldorf for a few hours before heading to the hotel for a very short amount of sleep before our long journey home. We had a wonderful time overall and I can’t wait for my next adventure abroad! Thanks for looking!
This post is a long time coming! Sorry for the delay guys, last month was a crazy month! This photos are from our 7th day in Germany when we finally made it to Photokina. What an insane tradeshow that was! It was huge. We spent an entire day there and barely saw any of it. Enjoy!
Today, our long days and short sleep schedules finally got the best of us. We slept until about 11am before venturing out into Cologne. I must say, I am still extremely impressed with the infrastructure in all of these cities. You can go anywhere by train in no time. Anyways, we went to see the Kolner Dom (The Cologne Catherdral) and climb the 509 steps to the top of the south tower. Phew! What a hike that was! But the view was well worth it. Afterwards, we headed to the main train station and the central shopping district. Cologne is a great town!
Seeing Rothenburg during the day is even more spectacular than the creepy and surreal time we had last night walking along the wall to find a gas station. Anyways, today we spent some time walking around the entire wall of the city. I have always been fascinated by medieval castle defenses and this was a perfect place to learn more first hand. After the 2 kilometer walk around the wall, we jumped back in the car heading towards Cologne via the Rhine River valley. After our wonderful time in Rothenburg, this capped it all off. There were over 15 castles along this drive and it was surreal to see them all first hand. I felt like I was back in 7th grade history class learning about the feudal system. Near the end of this string of castles, we took a short side trip to Burg Eltz (the most well preserved of the Medieval Castles which happens to still be inhabited by the Eltz’s). The most memorable part of Burg Eltz was Rachel worrying as we drove straight up to the front gate of the castle after the place was closed. It was very funny! Even better though, was TomTom trying to force us to drive through five different fields on our way to the Mosel River valley for the last leg of our trip to Cologne.
After a night in a strange Inn in Garmish, we planned to summit Zugspitze (the tallest mountain in Germany), but its was -10 degrees celsius and snowing at the top. We made other plans instead to go to Partnachklamm (meaning Partnach Gorge). This was one of the highlights of the trip so far. It was a truly amazing gorge and the engineering that went into making that trail incredible. After we finished that short hike through the gorge we headed south into Austria for a summer luge. Basically, a summer luge is a way for ski slopes to make money in the warmer months. You get on a skateboard and fly down and concrete bobsled like course. It was exhilarating! After the summer luge we say the castle that inspired Cinderella’s castle in the Disney film. Afterwards we headed up to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (a 1000 year old, perfectly preserved, Medieval walled city) for a walk back in time.
Since we all had a few liters of beer at Oktoberfest the night before and Andrew awoke for a 3am drunken trip to McDonald’s for a cheesburger and a Sprite, the morning was a little rough for the three of us. We did manage to roll out of bed at a reasonable hour to pack and check out before our last subway adventure in Munich on the way to The Deutsches Museum. What a great place this was! It is basically the German equivalent of the Smithsonian in D.C. We strolled through the marine technology, the aerospace, bridge and tunnel building, and the foto + film exhibits before we needed to head out to find our rental car for the drive to Garmish.
Thanks to the nuances of Google Maps and crazy German city streets, our trip to the hotel to pick up our luggage took at least 20 minutes longer than it should have. My favorite part of the day begins at this point: driving 200 kph (125 mph) on the Autobahn heading to the German-Austrian Alps. We arrived in Garmish on an overcast day which hid most of the 10,000 ft mountains from view, but made for some surreal photos. The most interesting part of the day, by far, was checking into the Inn in Garmish. The Inn owner was the strangest lady I have ever met! She seemed to really like us and would never stop chatting. Thankfully we only stayed there for one night. Enjoy!
I’ve never quite felt jet lag like had on day 2. Talk about a complete daze. After slowly getting out of bed and eating the best continental breakfast I will ever see at a hotel, we jumped on the train hoping to make some reservations to get a table inside a tent at Oktoberfest. Alas, we were told we could get a reservation for next year as this year’s are all sold out already. Next, we headed to our first plan of the day, the BMW World tour in Munich. This place is simply amazing! It is right next door to the BMW World Headquarters and a massive BMW factory. The BMW World is basically the world’s most elaborate car dealership. I highly recommend it! After yearning over the Ultimate Driving Machine for a few hours, we headed back to Oktoberfest, hoping we could get a beer from a tent and not the street this time. It’s Sunday, surely the Germans have to work tomorrow. We did manage to get in a tent and get a table, only to be asked to leave 20 minutes later with no beer still. Damn reservations! We finally got a table on the patio of the Paulaner tent. Oh, did I mention it was 40 degrees and overcast the whole day. Let the drinking begin! After some sausage, 2 liters of Paulaner, many many conversations with EU nationals, we were *slightly* intoxicated and headed for home. (On the way to the hotel, I had to grab another half liter to go, ah college drinking again, lol.)
After an overnight 9 hour flight from Atlanta to Munich, Germany, Andrew, Rachel and I headed out in Munich for my first taste of Europe! My first commentary was the amazing infrastructure they have in place! You can go almost anywhere on the subway in Munich. After we found our hotel, we headed out in the city to find the fair grounds for Oktoberfest! What a sight! They had at least 10 tents that held 15,000 people each with tons of drunk Germans dancing and singing with liters of beer in hand. But, it being opening day of Oktoberfest 2008, they were slammed and we couldn’t get into any tents. Our first beer ended up being in the streets before we headed off to see Old Munich and Saint Peter’s Church. Tomorrow we will be back for more beer!
Two weeks ago some six friends and I traveled to a trout fishing cabin in Epworth, Ga to celebrate Colby and my 25th birthday. We partied, played games, got in the hot tub, and had an all around good time. I can’t wait to do it again sometime!