For those of you who didn't know, I got to tag along with my husband on a business trip last week. Since I had to cancel the convention I'd planned to attend later this summer due to an eight-fold increase in costs, he hoped this would make up for it a little bit.
Our first night in Frankfurt, while stumbling around, hunting for food, we stumbled on the last night of a street festival celebrating Spanish-Germans. A rather interesting mix, in my opinion, but really, who can argue with bratwurst, pilsner and chorizos? Plus the music was fabulous :)
The next day we wandered... a lot. We saw a church, the museum of natural history...a whole bunch of stuff, but probably my favorite was something really kind of simple and "quiet". On the Eiserner Steg Bridge, there were padlocks everywhere. To be honest, I've seen a lone lock or two on a bridge before, but never so many (there were hundreds all together). Apparently this is a common thing that people in love do to symbolize their affection.
The next day we were off to Baden Baden, where the hubs had to go to work. I took a lovely walk through town (in sweltering heat while hoping for the A/C to kick on in the hotel--no such luck...horrible A/C there). But I found this lovely view along the river.
The heat in Baden Baden killed me (I do not like heat, especially not humid heat), so I don't have a lot of great pics from there. Then we left to hit some sights on the way to the airport. Our planned stop at Mummelsee didn't work out, but we did make it to Heidelberg Castle. It had the biggest keg I've ever seen :P
[caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Yes, it was so big that there was no angle where I could get the whole thing in the picture."][/caption]
(Apologies. Wordpress has decided I'm no longer allowed to center things. *grumble*) The highlight of my first full day in Poland was definitely the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Over the years, the miners have carved art into the salt and it is quite simply breathtaking.
[caption id="attachment_750" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The largest of the chapels in the mine. The picture doesn't begin to do it justice."][/caption]
Back in Krakow for the night, we went out to dinner and then made our way to a bar to sit outside and people watch. Of course, the view didn't hurt either.
The next day we went to Wawel Hill to tour the castle and grounds. There were a ton of things to look at there, but my favorite was the Dragon's Lair. There's a legend about the dragon of Krakow, and we all know what a sucker I am for legends...and dragons.
[caption id="attachment_752" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Sadly the picture I have of it breathing fire looks weird because of the wind :("][/caption]
Then it was off to the airport to go back to Frankfurt. While we did sleep there, we decided to go back to Heidelberg the next day since we wanted to see more of it than the Castle. Most people know I'm not a history buff, but at Heidelberg University we found the single coolest historical site I've ever seen. It's called the Student Prison, and I could have spent hours there (and curse myself for all the German I've forgotten since high school).
[caption id="attachment_753" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="I really want to write a story about a place like this--as soon as I find the time. *sigh*"][/caption]
We'd run into a woman that morning who was heading to the "Philosophers Way" for a walk. After doing some shopping and sightseeing, we decided we'd do it on our way back (basically making a circle of Heidelberg). There's one thing none of the maps and stuff tell you about the Philosophers Way. There is an easy way to get there and a hard way. The easy way is this nice gentle slope up the mountain. The hard way is called the Winding Path as it takes you on a nice steep, twisty trail up the mountain. We...took the hard way, so by the time we got to the top I wasn't feeling very philosophical, just very asthmatic :P The view was fabulous though.
[caption id="attachment_754" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="View through the trees of Heidelberg Castle, Old Bridge, and some of the surrounding area."][/caption]
After that, we returned to Frankfurt for our last night. It was the end of some women's soccer/football thing, so in the midst of our Frankfurt bar-hop, there were also fireworks. It was a fabulous way to end the trip!
[caption id="attachment_755" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="One of several bars we visited that last night. "][/caption]