Travelling is fun. I DO like it, although it does have particular demands on the household and the family. This time, quite peculiar was the fact I was picking up my parents at the airport over lunch, as they were returning from a 3-week holiday in ltaly. And I would visit the same airport hours later to leave for Europe myself – my parents dropped me off, actually…
The flight was without incident, not much to see for overnight flights, of course. Tried to sleep, without much success. After the final leg from Frankfurt to Dusseldorf, needless to say, I was beat. But getting a decent car to ride in made it all worthwhile – they only had a BMW 320 to offer me… I reluctantly accepted.
I’d been warned that driving in Germany was … different, for a North American (I’m Canadian). I got my first taste when I happened to use the fast lane to pass someone, and a car came out of nowhere in my rear-view mirror. I was going about 170km/h at that time (106mp/h) and felt like I was in the way. Big time. (ok, if my manager reads this, I was on the Autobahn – that speed is legal down here…)
Once you learn where you belong on the road, driving is much less stressful… I eventually found my hotel, was lucky enough that some folks spoke english, and ended up visiting the Koln Cathedral, which is beautiful. Impressive, old and massive. Visited the treasure room, and then headed for that 1st taste of a German beer. I was NOT disappointed! Gilden Kosh is excellent!
With great pleasure, I’ve found the German people to be proud people who are very friendly and happy to exchange a few words with a foreigner. My mastery of French and English is close to useless here – I wish I’d spend more time memorizing key sentences to help out. My bad.
At the end of this first day, I’m VERY happy to be here, and can’t wait for tomorrow, where I plan to take the BMW out for a spin and visit some other national monuments!