Germany: Any reason to celebrate in Monheim am Rhein, Cologne, and Düsseldorf

Christian let me know that I had to order the right beer for the city I was in. In Düsseldorf, they brew Alt, so that’s what they drink. In Cologne, they brew and drink Kölsch. I would be frowned upon if I ordered a beer in the wrong city. Those fortunate enough to live in Monheim am Rhein could order either, when in Monheim, of course.

Frequently asked questions about our road trip in Europe

We’ve only been home a few days, but Kathryn and I have already heard a lot of questions about our trip. For the benefit of everyone else, I’ve decided to repeat some of them here, along with their answers.

Oktoberfest, BMW, Rothenburg, Baden-Baden, Eiffel Tower

Phew! It’s been about 72 hours since the last update, but we’ve managed to pack an awful lot in. We arrived safely in Munich on Saturday, about six hours later than anticipated, so the thought of doing Oktoberfest that evening was quickly dismissed. My friend in Munich met us at the airport and showed us … Continue reading Oktoberfest, BMW, Rothenburg, Baden-Baden, Eiffel Tower

Long overdue post

There’s a certain irony to writing a blog. During those times when you have the most to write about, you have the least time to write it. The year 2007 has been, and continues to be, almost unbelievably good to me, and for several months I’ve been maintaining a hand-written list of all the things I want to write about.

German women, French language, Chinese food

New day, new place. I’m once again passing time on a train, this time bound for Cologne via Hagen. I had a fun day in Kassel. My friend met me at the train station, and after we dropped my bags off at her place, we saw the city’s beautiful green spaces on foot, including a … Continue reading German women, French language, Chinese food

Weekend in Eisenstadt, Austria, and Bratislava, Slovakia

We saw the castle on the hill in Bratislava, Slovakia, walked around the old city, where we had a nice lunch in an outdoor restaurant. I had goulash, which I still hadn’t eaten on this trip, despite where I’ve traveled. We only spent a few hours in Slovakia and then went back to Austria.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Those of you who have been to Berlin before may remember that, unlike most German cities, it didn’t have a “Hauptbahnhof”, a main train station. Most tourists coming from the west arrived at the Berlin Zoologischer Garten station, often simply called “Berlin Zoo”, which was a small, crowded, overworked station in a very seedy part … Continue reading Berlin Hauptbahnhof

Berlin, Germany: Keeping properly hydrated

Earlier this morning, I bought a 1.5-liter bottle of mineral water while waiting for a train. I was a little surprised that I was able to drink it in about ten minutes. Mostly I’ve been drinking coffee and beer the past couple weeks, and I’ve been sweating a lot as I walk around cities or haul my pack around train stations, so I was probably poorly hydrated.

Berlin

I’m in Berlin for the night. I’ve been here before, so I’m not really visiting, but I got a great rail fare from Copenhagen to here. I plan to hole up for the night, watch a little CNN, and continue east in the morning. I found a reasonably cheap hotel room in a quiet part of the city, and I’m ready to chill.