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A Glimpse of Germany--Part 2

Story ID:5271
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Travel
Location:Landsberg am Lech Germany
Year:2009
Person:Ken and Nancy Kopp
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A Glimpse of Germany--Part 2

A Glimpse of Germany--Part 2

A Glimpse of Germany--Part 2

A Glimpse of Germany--Part 2

Our next stop was in Lahr, on the northern edge of the Black Forest. I wrote a full story called “Grandpa’s Town” about that visit so will not go into it here. If you would like to read it, go to http://www.ourecho.com/story-5240-Grandpa-s-Town.shtml or put “Grandpa’s Town” in the search engine at the top of the home page.

While staying in Lahr, we took daytrips to Strasbourg, France and Baden-Baden, Germany. Strasbourg is in the Alsace-Lorraine area, which through the centuries has bounced back and forth between Germany and French rule, but today it is very French. We strolled through the historic area, poking our noses into many of the little shops. A light mist became serious rain, so we ducked into the first restaurant we saw and were rewarded with a charming country French kind of place that was alive with activity. The tables were filled with people chatterng in many languages, and the wait staff bustled busily, weaving expertly between tables so close that conversations were easily overheard. The food was wonderful, an onion tarte I will dream of for a long time to come accompanied by a fresh, green salad and a smooth white wine. Baden-Baden is a resort town with many upscale shops, a huge casino and spa. Long ago, royalty came to play, and now the well-to-do Europeans do the same, along with tourists like us. We drove farther into the Black Forest to Triberg where the famous cuckoo clocks are made. The prices were such that we looked, didn’t buy. The poor exchange rate of dollar to euro makes travelers think carefully before a purchase.

Next, we traveled what is known as The Romantic Road. We stopped for lunch at a winery and ordered soup that had a local specialty. Clear broth with a large ravioli in it that was filled with a ground veal and herbs. Very good, especially when washed down with a glass of the local beer or wine. We found ourselves in a Greek hotel for the next two nights, a very nice place run by a couple and one of their mothers. The food in the outdoor terrace dining area was terrific. Bad Mengentheim was the name of the town, and from here we drove to Rothenberg, which was a walled medieval city with the wall still intact today. The historic area boasts beautiful buildings and shops galore, catering to the many, many tourists who visit. One of the best known is the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Shop, which seems to go on forever and ever.

The next town we stayed in was Neuberg, where the hotel is one I’d just as soon forget and a lasagne in an Italian restaurant is one I’ll always remember. Picture lasagne, then add chunks of proscuitto ham, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and peas. Sounds weird, but it was very good—especially when followed by homemade tiramisu.

On to Landsberg am Lech, a town situated on the Lech River. Another with a lovely historic area which was its marketplace. We had a very nice hotel and ate in a Croatian restaurant one evening where every table was filled and one poor waiter had to handle the whole crowd. He never stopped running, spoke no English, and not a lot of German, but a man at the next table did some translating for us, and we made out fine. That happened a number of times. People hear English and are willing to help. If only we’d had an English speaking person one day at an inn where Mavis and I ordered a Wurstsalat, thinking it was a green salad with some kind of sausage in it. Wrong! I won’t even tell you what it was, for fear of spoiling your next meal.

We then went to a town called Eggling, hoping to stay there two nights. Ken and Mike went into a hotel to book rooms, and they were out again in a flash. The clerk told them there was a big wedding in town and every room was booked. So, on to Pfarrienkirchen, which turned out to be a fine place to stay. A good hotel, fantastic restaurant, two waitresses who spoke no English but took good care of us and made our two evenings there memorable. We drove a short distance to Passau the next day. This town is known for having three rivers meet there, also for frequent flooding. St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Passau has one of the largest pipe organs in the world. We had visited there on one of our earlier tours and were anxious to return to hear the daily organ concert. But, it was Sunday and no concert.

We headed back to our first hotel in Hohenlinden to get packed up and ready to fly home. There we were greeted as old friends. Our last dinner in Germany couldn’t have been in a better place. Roast pork, potato dumplings, and excellent red cabbage would satisfy most anyone. Mike and Mavis opted for a shrimp dish that looked and smelled mighty good. We talked about Ken driving almost 2500 miles in our rental car, about the way he and Mike packed all the luggage in the trunk like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece had to fit a certain way. There was so little room left that our shopping was kept to a minimum.

We flew home the next day after an emotional farewell to our friends at the airport. On the long overseas flight, I thought about the many scenic places we’d visited, the good food and drink we’d had, the numerous friendly people we met. Germany is incredibly green, so clean, filled with history and friendly people. We’d seen many of the cities on earlier trips, but this one, where we drove through so many villages and small towns, remains my favorite. Although this report seems overly long, it is only a glimpse of what we experienced.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Photo 1: A street in Baden-Baden, Germany
Photo 2: Nancy in front of Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Shop in Rothenberg, Germany
Photo 3: The square in Pfarrienkirchen, Germany