Brussels>Frankfurt>Munich>Frankfurt>Brussels. Oh yes this happened in one weekend.
This was our mission if so chose to accept it..which we did.
Sept. 26, 27, 28 Brussels>Frankfrurt>Munich>Frankfurt>Brussels
Mike and I decided to take the short ones to Oktoberfest to enjoy the fair. Since Munich was about a 7 hour train ride we decided to break up the trip with a stop over in Frankfurt. This also was the cheaper route as the hotels that were available in Munich were at least $500 euro a night. We took the train into Frankfurt on Friday, checked in to our hotel, and then walked down to the old towne which is right by the river. We found a little spot outside of the old towne and grabbed some lunch at Franz and Hanz. Typical sausage, bread, and fries with a beer. We moved on to the city center where the old buildings were and the kids got to dance to a flutist playing in the square. We crossed over the old historical bridge from WWII and then crossed back over so the kids could play in this awesome park, complete with viking ship, slides, see saws, and an abundance of “coconuts” or chetsnuts which fall from the tree every few minutes. The kids and I spent some time looking for the coconuts that were still in the seed pod so we could crack them open and get them out. After the park we headed back and had dinner at an Irish Pub right around the corner from our hotel.
Oktoberfest: Sept. 27.
We woke up at zero five hundred and prepared ourselves for one of the biggest fairs ever. OKTOBERFEST!!!! It is a great place with rides, shows, lots of good food, music, keg horses, etc. We arrived with tons of other people who had the same plan as us except they were professionally decked out in lederhosen and beer maiden outfits. Clearly, we need to step it up next time and get some outfits appropriate for this occasion. We ascended from the subway to the entrance of Theresienwiese Park and then entered….DAS BEER FEST! The kids had an automatic sensory overload with all the treats, colorful rides, balloons, huge beer tents, music, and tons of people. We found a great ride for the kids in which they got to drive their own little cars around a mini autobahn. They loved it so much they ended up doing this about 4 times. We also took them to ride a merry go round and attempted to ride the gigantic carousel but the lines were too long. Note to self-even though we left at 6:55am and arrived at 10:30am to Oktoberfest, this apparently is not early enough to secure a place in a beer tent. I am chalking it up to the fact that it was a nice warm day AND that it was on a Saturday. We didn’t have these issues before. So, moving forward, when attending Oktoberfest try to get there as early as possible. Next time we will shoot for 8am! We managed to find a table with a family who let us sit with them to get some lunch, enjoy a beer, and watch the band play in a smaller beer tent. Mike had his half a hindel ( chicken ) and potato salad and I had a pork sausage with sauerkraut that was AMAZING! After singing SWEET CAROLINE, Take me Home, and a few other classic American songs we also got to listen to some classic German songs. We snapped a few pictures of the huge meat and cheese boards they were creating for tables and let the kids dance near the stage. After that we walked around and bought the highly prized nussen ( nuts ) which are candied nuts. They are SOOOO good! We grabbed a bag of those, let the kids try on a few hats, bought a stein, let the kids ride a few more rides and then headed back. We got back in time for dinner. On our way back we met a young man from Germany who is living and working in Ghana and is here visiting family until Friday. He is opening the hostel in Ghana called Somewhere Nice and told us all about it and shared some great stories. He will be sending us information for us for future travel references. We also met another young man who lives in Paris but who’s father lives in Germany. He made us feel good that we were not the typical stereotypical over indulging, consuming, Americans. Um, Thanks? He appreciated that we took the effort to speak the languages of the countries we were in. He also was telling us how different Germany and France was and even used an example of the French never eating meat in the morning but the Germans do…Hmmmm. I kept thinking, well if you think eating cold cuts is bad what do you think of the IHOP breakfast grand slam specials of bacon, sausage, eggs, and Canadian bacon lol. I decided to keep that thought to myself. He also was saying how the Germans drink more beer and the French drink more wine….but I kind of already knew that already.
TIP: Train Travel: Look for the seats that say Freigeben. This means the seat is free and not reserved. Otherwise you will be kicked out of your seat at the reserved destination stop.
Tip: Train Travel: Make sure you write in the train departure and arrival times on the days you travel on your rail pass or you can be charged for a ticket at full price. Mike found this out as an angry ticket checker said this to him in a harsh voice and then chucked a pen at him, narrowly missing his head, when he asked to borrow a pen so that he could fill it in. The man spat out ” I could have charged you for another ticket since you didn’t fill that out”. My thoughts, he hates his job and is a total train diva.
None the less we met a cool travel host for our dreamed about round the world trip in five years which now may include Ghana! Thanks Max for all the information! We look forward to it!
We made it back to Frankfurt, grabbed dinner at the Irish Pub again ( only because it was close ) and headed to bed.
Sunday morning we woke up and decided to take the kids to the park where the Viking ship was. The kids had fun except that Sienna hit her face on a pole and bruised the side of her cheek. On the way back to our hotel that morning I experienced a first for me. I experienced absolute fear. As we were walking to our hotel, only a few blocks from the hotel and might I add this was about 9 in the morning, a guy approached Mike and I and said something. Mike had Sienna and was ahead of Mylan and I and instead of him trailing off he pursued to follow Mike aggressively. Mike crossed the street and when the guy shot over right after him my heart jumped into my throat and I could barely breathe. Who is this guy? A junkie from the night before? Is he trying to rob us? Is he going to hurt us? Mike quickened his pace and so did I but I was on the other side of the street. I started to panic. I started calling over to Mike asking him to come over but in Spanish. The guy crossed over and then said something to me but he was not speaking German. I was scared and decided to speak another language ( Chinese-Angie you would appreciate this-but with a different accent as to confuse him ). He then went into a pub and then came right back out to follow us aggressively. “Is this guy messing with us? Should I look for something to use against him to defend us?” These are the thoughts that crossed my mind. Since Mike had crossed the street and back on our side I said to him that we need to run as soon as we turn the corner. I knew our hotel was there and we would be safe. And so it happened and as soon as we got into the elevator I started to cry. Mike wasn’t as worried but this played out like a bad horror story plot right in front of me. I am well traveled and have not been this shaken up before. Two nice mimosa’s helped on the train on the ride back. Always be aware of your surroundings. Always.