My husband recently traveled to Germany and brought back a strong opinion, a bag of souvenirs, and a long list of no useful information. This is my attempt to make apple wine out of his sour crab apples.
Stewart had to fly to Frankfurt, through Zurich on a business trip. A big lover of the good old US of A, he did not look forward to it at all, which left me insanely jealous and shaking my fist at the unfairness of it all. I begged him to take pictures and notes and essentially make me feel like I was there with him instead of left behind to parent two little boys all by myself. At first it seemed like his work schedule would leave no room for exploration of his surroundings, but he made great progress and wound up with a free day.
From the hotel Mercure in Friedrichsburg which he loved and said had all necessary amenities, he managed to navigate the the signs and local language to get to the central train station and hop on board one of many offered sightseeing tours to get a look around the area. He chose the Rhine Day Tour. He was there during the week, so the other travelers he encountered were also people on business trips, but there was one American couple with a child, who seemed out of place during the wine-tasting stop.
The tour took Stewart to the beautiful countryside along the river Rhine and the participants got to ride on a ski lift for a better view.
At the bottom of the mountain they ate lunch at a local restaurant which also offered the wine tasting. He learned that a local delicacy, ice wine, is made when the grapes are frozen and picked during the middle of the night and all the local spirits are subject to purity laws. He brought back a bottle for me, and I must say it was fantastic.
The tour also included a ferry ride where views of medieval castles were on display, and a chance to get out and walk around and shop for gifts in the village of Rűdesheim/Drosselgasse.
Overall, my husband’s reaction to flying to Europe, going through the hassle of exchanging money, dealing with a foreign tongue, and clearing customs, was not worth it. He says “If I want to see rolling hills, I will go to Paso Robles. If I want to see the water’s edge, I’ll sail to Catalina. And for tasty beer, I’ll pop open a Sierra Nevada. In other words, Germany is nice, but California is something special.”
We obviously don’t share the same taste in travel. I enjoy exotic adventures and sights unseen. Luckily, there are plenty of those in California too. At least I got him to bring home some pictures, so I can gaze at them as I dream of the day I will get to travel to Germany…with some girlfriends!