It looks like we left Paris just in time because this morning I heard about the flooding and museums shutting down. Thankfully we avoided all of that!
Today, we left Amsterdam at 6am and headed towards Cologne, Germany. We had breakfast on the bus and then I think just about everyone fell asleep for the little over 3 hour drive.
We arrived in Cologne, the 4th largest city in Germany, at 9:30am and visited the Köhler Dom Cathedral. 95% of the city was bombed and destroyed in World War 2 so most of the city is new with the exception of the cathedral, which was still damaged in some capacity. We got to tour the cathedral but didn’t really have much time for anything else in the city as we needed to keep moving to our next stop. It was in Cologne, using the cathedral Wi-Fi, where we learned that Muhammad Ali passed away.
We left Cologne by 10:45am and made our way to Boppard, Germany for a cruise down the Rhine River. It was a short drive as we were there a little after noon. Again, a lot of people slept on the bus, including me, but I tried to stay awake for the pretty views. The roads were winding, steep, hilly roads so it was a little unnerving in a bus but we made it to the river safely. Our cruise wasn’t until 2pm so we walked around the small town’s market. The sun was out for the first time in days so everyone was excited to bask in the sun! It did randomly start raining at one point but it didn’t last long.
A few of us saw this sandwich board with desserts on it and decided to follow it down the alley to a pastry shop. We ordered the “Quarkbällchen” and oh my gosh it was amazing. It was like a bigger, fluffier donut hole crossed with a beinget. It was unbelievably delicious and we had to leave before we ate all of them. 10/10, would recommend.
We boarded our boat to head down the Rhine River. We didn’t have time to eat in Boppard so we ate on the boat. I was finally able to get schnitzel which was exciting but it was boat food so… it was just okay. Victoria gets sea sick so she had taken some medicine which accidentally knocked her out so she slept most of the cruise while a few of us watched from the top deck. It had stopped raining and was actually very, very nice out which made for a good cruising experience.
The cruise lasted about an hour and a half and ended in Sankt Goar. We boarded the bus again and took off to Heidelberg. On our way to Heidelberg, Marlene gave us some more fun facts about Germany: it’s the 5th largest country in Europe in terms of size but the 1st largest in terms of population, it’s known for its bread, pretzels, bratwurst, beer, and Haribo gummy bears, and there are no speed limits. Heidelberg itself is known for philosophers and is a student town.
We were in Heidelberg by 5:15pm and because we didn’t have time to go to the Heidelberg castle as we had planned, we checked into the hotel to get some rest before dinner. It wasn’t much free time but enough time to be able to Skype with Jessica, Justin, Bailey, and Olivia! It was fun to see them and talk to them, even if the girls were in a weird mood.
We walked down the Neckar River to the old part of town where there were plenty of shops and people. It was a pretty crowded area. We stopped for dinner at Strohauer’s Cafe where I ordered schnitzel… again… and homemade potato salad. I was hoping non-boat food would be better and it definitely was. My schnitzel was a little tough but it tasted amazing. Marlene keeps saying the schnitzel is Austria is better so I’m excited to try it there too. Nothing has compared to Oma’s Haus yet though (a German restaurant near San Antonio that closed last year).
Heidi ordered tea and it came with these amazing sugar cubes. I ate almost all of them and I’m not proud of it. I definitely need to be eating more vegetables and fruit… I’ve had way too many carbs on this trip. I’ve walked enough so I don’t feel too terrible about it but I need to start being better about my intake! I can’t undo the last year of hard work and I still need to be ready for my half marathon in September.
Dinner was over around 9pm and after the long travel day today and another travel day tomorrow, I decided to go back to the hotel and try to get a decent night’s sleep. There was a fireworks show scheduled for 10:15pm nearby but I was okay missing that in favor of sleep. The constant starting/stopping all day with naps on the bus made me feel groggy so maybe the decent sleep will make me feel like a normal person again! Here’s hoping.
Tomorrow we’re visiting the Heidelberg Castle in the morning before heading to Munich with a pit stop for lunch in Rothenburg. I visited the castle with my family when we visited Germany in 2000 so I’m excited to see it again and see what I remember!