We took a bus tour day trip to Switzerland with the USO. Since we are living in the southern part of Germany we are about 1.5 hours from the Swiss border. We stopped at three different places today. The fall leaves are at their peak and the coloring was gorgeous and the weather was very nice, one of those Indian Summer kind of days.
Our first stop was Rhine Falls. It was a baby version of Niagara Falls and the largest waterfall in Europe. We took a boat to the rock in the middle of the falls then had to change to climb to the top. On the top of the rock we got some different views of the falls. When riding the boat to the rock island, you could feel the strong current. Our tour guide guide said the water was about 2/3 what it normally is, since more water comes in the summer due to the snow melting from the Alps. He said in the summer all the rocks are covered with water, it was still amazing to see. We were given some free time, so we took a little walk to one of the castles on the hill and walk across a train bridge and got a great top view of the falls.
We took a walking tour around Boblingen which is one of the cities near base. The rectangle beige building is there city hall and every city has one.
We are still in the hotel but hopefully for only a week and half more. I am getting tired of fast food and living out of the suitcase. We reserved a 3 bedroom on the 3 floor. Sadly it isn't on the base Mario works on, so he will have to commute. The drive on a good day should be 10-15 minutes. Our stuff probably won't come till the end of November but we can request furniture to borrow. Here is floor plan of our place, stay posted for pictures.
Today we drove to Schloss Solitude and walked around. The area had walking trails and a huge front lawn. So we may go back and bring the dogs. As we walked towards the castle, the ground was covered with buckeyes and made me think of home. The trees are really changing with the cooler temperatures.
Later that day, we headed to the Stuttgart Airport to drop off the rental car. We wanted to explore public transportation, so we took the S bahn or train back to the hotel. We took two different trains, and then walked a few blocks towards the hotel. When leaving the train station, I saw the bike stairs and I thought that was a great idea to get your bike up the stairs. On the way to the hotel we explored a pet store and home decor store. Then stopped by Burger King which had really nice seats.
I can't believe we have been in Germany four days already. We are slowly learning our way around, luckily Mario has been here before so he remembers a lot and plus he is my driver showing me all around.
The weather has been very fall like in the mid 50's to low 60's. The leaves are changing and when your walking around you can smell the leaves. I love Fall. This week looks like it is cooling down to mid 50's calling for rain/snow at the end of the week with a high of 48. Now I wish I would have bought more pants and long sleeve.
We walked around downtown Stuttgart. It had numerous stores including a TK Max (T. J. Max) and a small craft store. The fountain area is called is Schlossplatz The new palace is near the old palace and is used by the state government.
Since we are staying at the hotel we have been eating a lot of fast food, you can only make so much food in a hotel room with only a small refrigerator. We decided to change it up one night and eat at the Steak House which is attached to the hotel. It wasn't cheap but man was it good! We had crab cakes for an appetizer, then for dinner, I got steak loin with mushrooms, Mac n cheese, and mash potatoes and Mario got a burger. I got a glass of wine which was cheaper than the bottle of water we ordered. I am slowly branching out and trying more options instead of soda all the time. Plus the soda over here is made with real sugar so it has a different taste.
Saturday night we went to a festival at Neckar Park in downtown Stuttgart called Cannstatter Wasen Volkfest. It was the 170th Stuttgart Beer Festival. It was pretty much like a festival back home with rides and food tents, but here had a few different beer tents. I'm not a beer fan so we didn't explore the tents and plus the lines were huge to get in. We found a free parking garage, saved us 5 euros, and the walk to the festival wasn't bad. On the walk we passed the Mercedes Benz Area (soccer plays here) and the Porsche Area ( performing/shows). We got a waffle with vanilla creme, see below. On the walk back to the parking garage, we saw cars being towed. They used a crane and lifted the car onto the tow truck, they don't mess around here.
The Curtis family has finally arrived in Germany! Our flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt wasn't bad, just long. It was a little under 9hrs and landed earlier than planned at 7 am. We couldn't sleep, so we watched some in-flight movies. We had dinner and breakfast which wasn't bad at all. For being a big plane of 45 rows which at least 8 seats across we got off the plane pretty quick.
My biggest worry were the dogs and they did great! I did get a little emotional when I dropped Trooper off in Oversized baggage in Atlanta, mind you he was already whinny and had threw up in his crate. Sissy was a little whinny on the plane, luckily in our row of three seats no one was next to us, so I put Sissy crate next to me. When we landed, we heard Trooper barking from below the plane, which was a reminder that he made it to Germany in one piece. My biggest annoyance was when we got to baggage, Trooper was sitting off to the side and the only reason I saw him was because he was barking. I'm glad no one took my dog. We got our luggage and rental car. It was an adventure to say the least fitting four suitcases, two crates and four of us in the car we rented. After that adventure, I'm really not a fan of two door cars.
The autobahn or highway was fast, I'm glad Mario was driving. We hit a lot of traffic leaving Frankfurt and heading to Stuttgart. The drive was about two hours. Our rental car had a GPS which made the drive easier. After all the traveling, I am glad the hotel let us check in early. We took all our luggage to our room and took a few hours power nap.
Since the hotel on base was booked we are staying in the Germany economy, which means we are staying in the city. We are currently staying at a Marriott which is about an eight minute drive from base, but we may have to find another hotel closer and cheaper to base. It all depends on how the housing situation. Mario was going to talk with the today, keep your fingers crossed we get a house soon! Normally when we move there is one major base, but in Colorado Springs there were five bases between the Air Force and Army, it's like that here, but they are much closer in distance. We are hoping we can live on the base which Mario will works on, but may have to live on another base and commute due to housing availability. We picked up a few things for the store to eat and grabbed a quick dinner at the food court. For my non military friends, I may be referring to the PX or commissary. The PX is like a Target but on base and the commissary is the grocery store on base.
After 3 days of driving, we made it safely to Atlanta. All in all, it wasn't a bad trip but had some delays due to accidents and the rainy conditions thanks to the tropical storm. We are checked into our hotel, which isn't the greatest, but we needed to stay cheap, because who knows how long we may be living in a hotel. The dogs are slowly adjusting to hotel life. We have been working on not barking at every noise they hear.
The hotel provides an airport shuttle which is good because we drop off the car tomorrow. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the airport and from the car drop off place.
The greatest part of traveling/ moving is when your adventures take you near old friends. I got to hang out with an old friend and her kids today! We walked around downtown Atlanta and went on the Ferris wheel. It was great seeing them!
Tomorrow we will drop off the car which will be loaded on a ship and delivered to Germany. On Tuesday we will head to the airport to start our adventure. We fly out at 4pm eastern time. Our flight is 9 hrs which has us landing in Germany around 7:20am, which is 1am eastern time. I'm hoping things fall into place on this last leg of this the trip.
I am really glad that the dogs are good travelers and love their car rides. They are adjusting to all the changes, but still cute as ever!
A teacher who loves traveling the world.