Friday, July 27, 2012

Family tree Germany trip: Part 2 of 4

During the second part of our Germany trip we stayed in Baden-Baden, a spa town in the Black Forest. We had perfect weather during our stay: sunny days with cool nights (read: no rain).

Monday July 23

After breakfast with Michael and Anja we hit the road and I drove to Baden-Baden. On the way we stopped at Dürnau (Where ancestor Christina Meyer was born in 1839) then later Stuttgart where we visited the city's zoo (as per the sister's request).

Highs: Finding a bathroom in the evangelical church when we stopped in the tiny town of Dürnau and I really had to go, buying the second to last available seat on a flight back to Madrid from Dusseldorf at the end of our trip, hearing grandma's pronunciation of "Jagermeister" at the hotel bar.
Lows: Arriving to Dürnau's townhall at 12.40 to find that on Mondays it closes at 12.30.

Dürnau, Germany

Stuttgart, Germany

Tuesday July 24

We called today our "spa day" and stayed within Baden-Baden, exploring the town.

Highs: Getting a free third hour at the spa thanks to a summer deal, sweating in the aroma-sauna room at the spa, buying a vegan gluten-free lactose-free rice milk chocolate bar at a health foods shop, the sister getting two job offers in one day, the nice lady at the hotel letting us print that night after the other hotel lady said no that morning.
Lows: A fly flying around in our sugar bowl at breakfast, the sister and grandma having to pay 6 euros each to use a towel at the spa when they could have brought one from the hotel (I brought my travel towel along), getting charged 7.50 euros for a 1L bottle of water at lunch.

Spa in Baden-Baden, Germany

Wednesday July 25

On Wednesday the sister drove us to the small town Domfessel, France because we have an ancestor whose passport was issued there in 1785. After visiting the two cemeteries and meeting a woman from town we drove to the next closest town that actually had a restaurant.

Highs: Listening to French radio, finding a Wurtz gravestone in Domfessel, meeting a French woman who made phone calls around town to help us with our hunt, desserts from France, durum being the same price as doner kebab, grandma asking the sister if she'll keep our last name when she gets married and the sister's initial response being "Well, it has a nice ring to it". (I guess you'll only understand that pun if you know my last name, but we laughed hard)
Lows: The shower curtain falling while grandma was showering in the morning, my wristbands making grandma's wrists smell like pee because they'd gotten wet in Madrid and have been in a hot airtight case ever since, only finding two kebab places to choose between for lunch in France, the sister driving past multiple barricades and getting halfway through a tunnel under construction before being stopped by construction workers and told in German that cars couldn't be here.

Domfessel, France

Thursday July 26

Today I drove two hours to Tauberbischofsheim where we saw the town center before heading to the cemetery. Afterwards I drove another hour to Heidelberg to visit the castle ruins. We had our first post-breakfast meal at 19.30 on the way back to Baden-Baden.

Highs: Remembering to put diesel in our diesel-only rental car, driving fast on Germany's highways with no speed limit, getting to the Heidelberg castle an hour and a half before it closed, bringing back wine from Tauberbischofsheim to our hotel room.
Lows: Waking up super early, lady working in the Tauberbischofsheim tourist office telling us, "Do you need me to do something or can I get back to my work?", driving in Heidelberg, the GPS leading us down a pedestrian/bike only street where I had to stop and turn around in a tight spot with many obstacles (fountain, parked motorcycle, bicyclists, benches, restaurant terraces, etc.) in front of an audience composed of four restaurant terraces in another small town- Walldorf, eating at an Italian restaurant for the third time during the trip, buying a wine opener for the two smaller bottles we got today then finding out tonight that they're twist-offs.

Tauberbischofsheim, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany

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