Friday, August 19, 2011


 We left Paris the evening of Sunday, July 24th, still on a high from the Tour de France. Our destination was Karlsruhe, Germany, a town just inside the border. We chose it for the distance that we felt we could cover that evening, and because it had a Marriott/Renaissance hotel with available rooms. With Marc traveling so much for work, he tries to stay with the same hotel chain whenever possible. Just like air miles programs, hotels have programs for loyal customers. Discounts, upgrades, free internet, and free breakfast are just a few of the benefits he receives, and with the cost of everything here being more than what we're used to, it's worth it to stick with Marriott whenever possible. This played a big part in the planning of our two weeks on the road.

We arrived in Karlsruhe after 11, so our only thought was sleep. We found the hotel fairly easily and settled into our two rooms. Yes, another hotel requiring us to take two rooms. But these were just down the hall from each other, and this hotel, unlike the last one in Paris, provided breakfast also. And free drinks in the mini bar. Gotta love that!

These pretty flowers were in our room.

After breakfast we packed up and were back on the road. There are stretches of highway in Germany with no posted speed limits. We were just keeping up with everyone else!

When you don't speak the language, signs like these are amusing.

A few more hours on the road and we were in Munich. One of those situations where we could see our hotel but couldn't reach our hotel. One wrong turn and you're 15 minutes away again. But we eventually found our way and were settled in to a lovely room, one this time, in a fabulous hotel.

This photo doesn't really do the room justice. We loved the decor, and there was a large sitting area off to the side, from where the photo was taken. Plenty of room for the 4 of us.

Had to share this photo. The hotel had a fabulous pool, spa and workout area, and Arnold photos and murals were everywhere. Apparently they still like him over here.

After a light lunch of yummy cheeses and bread, we drove to the edge of the Englischer Garten, a large public park in Munich. Its actually the largest city park in Europe. After just a few minutes walking, this is what we came upon:

Surfers. In the middle of Munich! How cool is that?

We watched for awhile as 5 or 6 surfers took turns riding the waves. Still unseasonably cold for summer, they all wore wetsuits.

I love all of the bicycles, motorbikes and scooters.

The first of several statue buskers, for lack of a better term. This guy was good!

Without maps handy, I can't recall the name of this area where we walked. It was crowded and spectacular. Besides enjoying the sights, we found a sporting goods stores where the kids picked up soccer balls. Gaby got a mini FC Barcelona ball and Nick picked up a UEFA Champions ball, replica of course.

We found a restaurant called The Hackerhaus for some authentic German fare. Nick and I had wienerschnitzel, which was fabulous, Marc had sauerbraten and Gaby, spaetzle. It was the best meal!

Some planking in Munich.

Every morning we got an earlier start than the last.  We enjoyed another fabulous breakfast, and really good coffee, at our hotel. There's also a breakfast dish that Marc says he's had at German hotels, that was on the buffet Monday and Tuesday mornings. It's like a yogurt, but not as tangy, with grainy cereals and fruits mixed in. It's really really good, but I forgot to ask what it's called. And since this was our last night in Germany, this was the last time I had it.

As we were leaving Tuesday morning, we saw the signs for the Olympic Park, and remembered we had wanted to check it out. So we did.

Besides the easily recognizable structures, there was an amusement park of sorts, a swimming pool, and this:

It was 7 euro for Gaby and 10 for Nick and so worth it. They had a blast and it was just as much fun to watch!

I snapped this photo for Nick to share on the Flyers website, where fans share photos of themselves, in their Flyer wear, in locations all over the world.

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