Wednesday, September 28, 2005

To and About Assmannshausen

The rest of the trip to Assmannshausen went pretty well. Both Mrs. K and I slept better than we expected on the train and awoke refreshed and ready for the rest of the trip. We had to change trains in Basel, Switzerland, but that didn’t even require a change of platform. We just waited for the train to arrive and we got on.

This train took us to Frankfurt where we had a long (3 hour 20 minute) layover. That time was pretty easy to pass. It was lunch time and it was nice to be on a seat that wasn’t moving.

Catching the train to Assmannshausen was a bit of an adventure. The train showed up about 20 minutes before it was to leave. Many times, these local trains will only stay in the station for 2 or 3 minutes before they head out again, so we needed to be sure this was the right train before we boarded. Remember that we are hauling around two huge bags and assorted back packs, fanny packs and small bags, so boarding the train is a big production.

I decide to ask the conductor / ticket checker person who is coming up the platform passed us about the train. She understands my question, but speaks very little English and does not know the answer, but says she will find out. I don’t really trust her to come back with the answer so I follow her leaving Mrs. K behind with the bags. The ticket checker lady quickly finds a group of fellow German speaking employees. Well they begin talking among themselves. I can’t even be sure that they are talking about my question. This goes on for 5 or 10 minutes with me standing there with a smile that says “I’m being polite and you don’t know how much of what you are saying I do or do not understand, so be careful.” I pretty sure they are saying things like “his mother is a hamster” just to see if I understand any German.

In any case, eventually the one who speaks some English says to me, “you are in the right place on a normal day.”

“Oh, CRAP” I think to myself. We been traveling for the last 16 hours and we are nearing or destination and this is not a ‘normal’ day. He explains that the overhead electrical line that powers the train is out on one part of the track. They don’t know if this train is going to go through or not. They suggest that we get on and see what happens.

Well, it turns out that the train did go through with some delay and we got to Assmannshausen about 30 minutes late. No problem.

We found the beautiful hotel and checked in. They must have given us the wrong room because this room would hold all three of the previous rooms we have had in Europe, combined. The bed is up in a loft. The bathroom is as big as our whole room in Rome and the sitting room is very nice with couch, dresser, and TV with satellite. The hotel was built in 1408, but is very modern inside.
Our day in Assmannshausen was nice and relaxing prior to our trip back to the states. We walked along the Rhine River, saw some real German castles and just saw the sights. We rode a skylift up to a huge statue called the “Rund um den Niederwald” on the top of the mountain. It commemorates the founding the united Germany back in the 1800s. Very Impressive. Then we rode the lift down the other side of the mountain to Rudesheim for lunch.

On the walk back to Assmannshausen we passed through some of the most beautiful wine country that I have ever seen. We also walked through some castle ruins and got some great views of the surrounds towns and fields. We were both surprised how good our legs felt after a day’s rest.

We just finished our dinner. They make a great pan of Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. Add a beer to that and I’m in heaven, Germany style. It has been a great vacation, but I am ready to get back to the English speaking world. We just have 2 trains, 2 planes and a car ride to get back home. I know Mrs. K is looking forward to seeing how her car is. We have not heard anything further from our neighbor or from her dad which I think is a bit suspicious, but it could mean that nothing is wrong. We’ll find out tomorrow. We both miss our dogs. I’ll also catch up on posting these notes and many pictures.

No comments: