Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baden-Baden to Schaffhausen

Okay, the trip continues.  My head is swimming with everything I’ve been seeing but it’s very exciting to drive through places I’ve only heard about.

When I was growing up, I listened to Danny Kaye; one song he sang was about triplets.  Nearly everything he said was in triplicate.  So he sang “Every summer we go away to Baden-Baden-Baden; Every winter we come back home to Walla-Walla-Walla.”  So when I heard we were going to Baden-Baden, I was pretty excited.

I will have to admit (sorry, Dad) that this little part of the trip was pretty disappointing.  I wanted to go to a spa (“Baden” means “Bath” and this town is the prime spa town in Europe) but found it was difficult to find one unless we were staying at one of the special hotels and the prices were outrageous (to me) for going.  Oh, well (sigh).  So we stayed on the outside of Baden-Baden, in a sweet little town called Steinbach in Linde, run by the Fiala family.  This is the family house and they have made it into a Guest House (Gasthaust); I met most of the family the day we checked in. Momma gave us our key, younger son told me the password for the wireless, older son helped me connect (a little bit of confusion) and Poppa told us how to get to Baden-Baden and also the best place to eat that evening.

We drove through the Black Forest, but it wasn’t very thrilling - the road was very much like a road in the Black Hills of South Dakota but the trees were a little bit different.  I think to get a taste of the Forest, we’d have to find some country roads.  The city was confusing and we never did find the center of town that was supposed to be tourist-driven.

But we enjoyed the ride through the little bit of Black Forest we saw.  Then went to a lovely restaurant.  The food, as usual, was good.  Even picky-eater (you wouldn’t know it by my size) liked everything!  Fish, pork, potatoes, dumplings, ham, cheese (and cheese and cheese).  I WILL have a blog on just foods, eventually (have PATIENCE, Glenda, I’m getting there!).

The next morning we got up, had a wonderful (as usual) breakfast and headed to Switzerland.  Our goal was to see the Rheinfall waterfall.  This is the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe and is a busy tourist place.  At LAST I found tourist goods to purchase for home!  Dad had worried that we needed Swiss Francs to buy things with but everyone accepted Euros (but gave change in Francs).  Our Hotel Edelwiess was to be paid for in cash and Dad asked the owner where to get Francs, but he said he’d take Euros!  Relief!!!  We couldn’t find an exchange anywhere along the way! 

Speaking of the owner, he was a cutie ... not little, sweet, cute - he was pretty tall, but good looking.  But his personality was cute!  I would normally take Sammy and turn to the “wireless” page and ask someone if this was their wireless and then what the “passport” (password) was.  As it was being told to me, I would type it in, to make sure that I connected.    Mr. Mladen Basaric (didn’t get his picture - sigh) started to tell me the passport and I repeated each number after him.  He started to giggle (yes, giggle) as we went through the process.  “One one (I said after him - one one), two two (two two) three three (three three).” I can tell you the “passport” since I doubt any of you will be staying there anytime in the future.  When I asked him how to get to the Rheinfall, he was telling me and I made him draw a map.  As we got back for dinner, I asked him to draw a map to the restaurant.  He did, but said it was “very simple.”  I said “Don’t SAY that!”  But this was easy to find, just two turns in the street.  So when we got back, I had to tell him “very simple!”  I liked him!  But I liked everyone over there – they were all so nice and helpful!

Okay, the Rheinfall ... hard to talk about as there aren’t many words to describe.  I have a small video of it to show you the awesome-ness of it!  We parked in the third level parking lot - there were a LOT of people there - and walked down.  We had lunch and enjoyed the view, then did a little bit of shopping at the small gift shop, then slogged our way back UP the hill to the third parking lot.  It was great!  I could have stayed there for hours and hours, just watching the water. 

When we were getting ready for bed, I took a video (for the sound) of the bells.  The church bells rang every fifteen minutes just outside the hotel.  They were so beautiful!  However, the video didn’t turn out well, so I won’t share it - sorry - the sound didn’t come through as I had hoped.  But I can hear the bells in my head!

Tomorrow - the trip from Switzerland to Innsbruck, Austria.  Tired of the pictures and story yet?  There’s still four more days to come on this life-time adventure!



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