No cookie, no peace!
- many breasts (all man-boobs)
- 1 beast
No cookie, no peace!
When we arrived at the main Dresden train station, I immediately commented on the large number of cop cars there. Honestly, I was being snarky and figured there was just a police station near by. That was until we got to our hotel.
We weren't staying in the city center. When I hit Orbitz up for hotel rooms, almost all of them came back at over $200. I didn't know why. I just assumed that Dresden was very popular this time of year.
The tram we took to our hotel gave us our first clue as to what was going on.
But when we got to our hotel we saw this.
The intersection the hotel was on was shut down and a crowd had formed hoping to get a glimpse of the US President. Unfortunately, I guess, this route was a decoy and Barack never showed up.
The next morning, after packing, we were headed to Frankfurt to decompress for a day before our flight home. The only problem was the streets were blocked again.
No problem. There was another train station three tram stops from our hotel. We can either take our train from there (hopefully) or we could take a train from this station to the main one. Either way it was better than just standing around.
We hiked to the train station and just as we were to cross the street to the train station, we were told we could not cross. A friendly police officer informed us that President Obama's motorcade would be passing by in about an hour and that no one was allowed to move until after he's passed.
So I guess we did end up just standing around.
After what seemed to be much more than an hour and enduring a light sprinkle, our friendly Polizie announced, "Here he comes!"
Well, they can't all be great days.
The intent today was to head into Cannes on the last day of the film festival and soak in the city.
Well, there's just not that much to Cannes. Yes it's pretty. But there wasn't much to do unless we wanted to spend a lot of money.
So with some extra time on our hands, we headed over to Nice. Admittedly, we went to Nice without much of a plan. And with the last train going back to Antibes about an hour after we got there. Thus all we did was walk around a little bit around the town near the main train station.
We then got back to Antibes and had dinner at the same restaurant as the night before only this time I had the Mussels. Disappointingly they were not as good as the scallops. But It was still overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. So that's cool, huh?
For dessert we had a crème brulee and threw a Frisbee not quite on the beach since there wasn't a beach there.
Well that's just great!
I got up early this morning and wanted to post some blog items and maybe figure out where our next stop might be. So I hop on the Orange provided WiFi. After struggling through their website that was supposed to be English, but was partial still French, I found a way to buy time on their network. I walked through the steps. And at the end was told that my password would be emailed to me.
If I had email access I wouldn't need to buy time from you guys?
Well I bought an hour from the front desk and finally got on for a little bit.
But enough about my internet problems. This was another great day.
We headed back over to the Cathedral after a quick breakfast at café near our hotel. And as amazing as the cathedral is on the outside, it was equally amazing on the inside. How did they have the technology to build this in the 1100s?
Next up, we take the train from Strasbourg to Colmar to take a local train to some of the small wine making villages in the area.
And here's an example of the great luck we've had on this trip after only 3 days. We were originally going to go to Turkheim. But upon getting off the train, we didn't see anywhere to go and quickly go on the train and got off a couple stops later.
We got off the train this time and was greeted with the stench of a freshly fertilized field. Seeing a small village in a nearby hill, we hiked up and found a small winery.
And this is where a good day becomes a great day.
We met one of the owners of the winery who graciously gave us a tour of the building. The winery makes mostly white wines and sparkling wines (not Champagne since it's not in the Champagne region) and a Pinot Noir. She then told us how the village was destroyed during World War I since there was major battle there and also sustained considerable damage during World War II. The winery had mostly shut down well into the 70s making only enough wine for the family that owned it. But things turned around in the 80s and is now thriving from the renewed interest in small label wines.
Interestingly, the owner was recently in Houston trying to find a distributor in Texas. Their wine can be found in Washington, Oregon, Michigan and Massachusetts.
After the tour, we were treated to a tasting. It was a little disappointing that most of their wines were white and neither of us are much fans of white wines. But we did find a nice dry Riesling. But for me the standout wine was the Pinot Noir. I had a visceral reaction upon my first sniff. It was beautiful. And it tasted even better than it smelled.
We bought two bottles of the Riesling and one of the Pinot Noir. We intended to give one of the Rieslings to Vanessa's aunt, but she doesn't like wine. How is that even possible in France???
We headed back to Colmar to find a train to Beaune. But there were no trains or hotels in Colmar. But the friendly ticket agent in Colmar found us a hotel in Mullhouse, so we crashed there for the night.
We're in Europe!!!!
And I can't say I'm real impressed with Frankfurt Airport. It reminds me of both Newark and Hobby airports way before they were renovated.
After a lengthy walk from our gate to baggage claim, we thought we were lost. There was an official-looking area that looked abandoned except for a uniformed gentleman that was leaning against a wall appearing to be on break. We asked if this was the way to baggage claim. To which the man replied snarkily, "Well you have to go through us first. ". He then pointed to a beaten-down man that took our passports, stamped them and moved us on our way. It's good to see that after only a couple of years in Germany, JT has made snark all the rage.
The trip from Frankfurt airport to Strasbourg went smoothly, for the most part. We missed our train from Offenberg to Strasbourg, however. Looking at the schedule, the next train was due to depart in a half an hour, so no worries. Well, until it never arrived. And then the next train never arrived. A quick review of the timetable showed that those trains only run on Saturdays and the next train for today was an hour away.
But we did eventually make it to Strasbourg, got our hotel and went site seeing. And while the amazing beauty of a Strasbourg should alone be enough to blog about, the thing that struck me most was that kids are punks the world around. We first observed a table of "Too-Cool-For-School" punks smoking at an outdoor café while drinking their Coca Colas. Ooooh la la. But the topper was seeing about half a dozen punks yucking it up and drinking their Forties while leaning against the Notre Dame Cathedral.
And it was while dining, that Vanessa and I had a conversation about the awesomeness (literally awe inspiring) of the Cathedral. It is both an amazing achievement in both engineering and artistry and taking nearly 300 years to build. To which Vanessa suggested that the only thing close to this she could think of that was close to this were the pyramids of Egypt. To which I quickly replied
"With an almost infinite supply of Hebrew slaves, you can do pretty much anything."
Which became one of our many catchphrases of the trip.