Germany-October 2018

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I used to be convinced that once I visited a city, that it would be better to go somewhere new, versus returning to places I have already been. Well cities evolve, so that is just dumb thinking on my part. I LOVE visiting Germany, especially for the Christmas Markets. Since I was attempting to learn the language, I thought what a better way to force myself to speak, then to spend a week immersed.  So Hallo Deutschland! 

First stop was Koln or Cologne.  I had flown to Frankfurt and took the train to Cologne. Which sounded like a good idea when I booked it, but the reality I should have flown. I was traveling for 30 days, so I had 2 suitcases and a laptop bag. And they were heavy. Lifting them onto the train, was interesting. So yeah, trains are not the best idea if you have lots of bags!  But Cologne was just beautiful in the fall. 

This is the part where I should tell you all the great sightseeing that I did and culture I took in. Sorry nope. I walked a lot and just enjoyed the beautiful fall weather. I caught with a friend Laura, who lives close by.  Apparently this my new way of traveling, just not making plans and going with things.  Fun note, I saw Shania Twain in the hotel lounge. 

We took a day trip to Dusseldorf. With the amazing weather, it was great to just stroll around. I would like to visit again in the summer, as the river front looks amazing. 

After spending a week in Cologne, I attempted to head south to Frankfurt. There was a fire on the train line, so I was told to go main train station and take the regional train. And then the adventure began, I had to take a train to the other station, found the regional train that was chocked full, and it was going to Mainz, not Frankfurt. While the train ride was scenic, along the Rhine, it was not ideal to stand for 3 hours only to arrive in Mainz, and find that the trains to Frankfurt were still having issues.  I gave up and took a taxi!  By the time I arrived in Frankfurt, I was pleasantly surprised.  I had been once before, but only vaguely remember walking over a bridge. I really enjoyed walking around and taking in the varied architecture.

I really only headed back to Frankfurt, because I was scheduled to fly out of there on Monday night. Rather then stay all weekend, I headed down to Heidelberg to meet up with some friends, Kevin and Lisa. I had met Kevin while living in Brisbane, so it was nice to meet up in his home country. I continued to be super lucky with the weather. Heidelberg is an idyllic college town. Perfect for a weekend visit. 

Too soon, I was on the train, heading back to Frankfurt. In hindsight, I should have just gone straight from Cologne to Heidelberg. Or even better, try not to cram in some many cities into one trip. But it worked out in the end, lesson learned. It was worth getting to catch up with my friends.  

I’ve normally try to visit Germany in late November because I love Christmas market. But now having visited in the Fall, I think I may need to make this an annual thing. It was just a magical!

Stay tuned…. next stop back to Australia! Until then Safe Travels!

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30 day Trip- October 2018

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When I first started traveling, I would take really short trips. Mainly due financial and time restrictions.  But now I am older, I am just not in a rush. I really enjoyed my trip to Paris in June, in which I had no agenda other then to just enjoy. I recently started to learn to German, so I thought spending a week there would force me to actually speak. (It did not). Most people I interacted with preferred to practice their English. And honestly native English speakers will rarely corrected a non native speaker because we are used to a million different ways to say the same thing. However native non English speakers prefer their language spoken exactly the same way they say it. So while you may think you are saying it correctly, they will correct it.  Go ahead test this theory out…….

My original plan was to fly to London, buy some boots and then head over to somewhere in Germany. I had found a free ticket to Gatwick, using Qantas points for only $8.  Which was a surprised because Heathrow charges a hefty fee to arrive there. I was also able to find a free return on United from Frankfurt.  Luckily I am frequent flyer and was able to cancel those flights with no fee.  No sooner had I finished booking, did I get a text that Oliver and Rowan had finally set a wedding date. Great, since I was going to be in Germany. Oh the wedding is in Australia……

I do have a job and I had a conference to attend in Tucson, Arizona in the beginning of October and one in Las Vegas at the end of October.  So Flo logic decided to spend the entire month on the road, as it did not make sense to keep changing time zones. Note I said “FLO Logic”. I was able to throw in a side trip to San Francisco to see my friend, Madison’s video premiere. So what was meant to be a week in Europe, morphed into a 30 day trip.

  • Chicago to San Francisco- 2 nights
  • San Francisco to Tucson -2 nights
  • Tuscon to Houston- 1 night
  • Houston to Dallas to Frankfurt to Cologne- 6 nights
  • Cologne to Frankfurt- 4 nights  ( including one night in Heidelberg)
  • Frankfurt to Dubai to Sydney- 8 nights
  • Sydney-Brisbane-Sydney-Day trip
  • Sydney to Dubai to Frankfurt- 1 night
  • Frankfurt to Dallas to Houston to Las Vegas- 4 nights

It sounds as awful as it reads. I tried to fly non-stops as much as possible.

But here are some fun facts:

  • I had too much sugar on the 1st flight. Which then made me make better choices the rest of the trip.
  • I only ordered room service 4 times in Tucson, Cologne and Las Vegas.
  • I DO NOT recommend Uber in Tucson. One of drivers were too busy texting to see oncoming traffic.
  • I had the best night of sleep at the Marriott Houston Airport. I actually complained about the quality of the bed, I mean who has the most ridiculously comfortable bed at an airport hotel?? Seriously I had to set an alarm to make sure I was awake for my 12pm flight!
  • I was in Sydney during the Invictus Games, and I stayed at the same hotel as the athletes.
  • The Bellagio in Vegas allows smoking in the casino. You have to walk thru the casino to get to your room.  It was gross.
  • I have a lot of friends all over the world and was lucky to catch up with them in various cities, all over the world.
  • I fly thru Dubai airport, wear your joggers, I think it rivals Heathrow in terms of walking at least a mile to get anywhere.
  • I had a migraine in Tucson, which I think was allergy related, but other than the sugar debacle, I did not get sick.
  • I did have to buy a new suitcase in Frankfurt, to get the goodies I had accumulated home.

In the end it was not ideal to travel like that for 30 days, but it worked.  Stay tuned, more details to follow!