My husband likes to live on the edge. Instead of spending 25 Euros on a taxi to take us to the Nuremberg rail station to catch our 6 a.m. ICE train to the Frankfurt airport, he’s put together a schedule which includes catching a bus at 5:20, to the underground system which, ultimately, gets us to the Hauptbahnof with 6 minutes to find Platform 7. If we miss the 6 a.m. train, we have to wait an hour for the next one which will put us in the airport barely an hour before our flight leaves…not a smart move with an international flight. So, the day before our departure we decide to have lunch in Nuremberg and practice a dry run of our bus/train combination. The first time we got to the rail station, we went the wrong way and would have missed the ICE by 5 minutes. Retracing our steps we found a more direct route to the platform and had 3 minutes to spare. Of course, the question is, how will this play out on the actual morning of departure? Well, I’m here on the ICE to tell you, yes it worked, even though the underground was on the opposite side of the platform when we arrived and it was just dumb luck we stepped on the train with 4 minutes to spare. Who needs a stress test to check out the status of your heart’s health? Just travel with Charlie.
So it’s goodbye Germany, time to go home. We’ll miss speeding across the countryside seeing fields of corn growing next to fields of solar panels with wind turbines in the distance. We’ll miss the bicycles and tiny cars on the roadways. We’ll miss the friendly people of Bavaria and their willingness to speak our language when we could not find the words in German to communicate. We’ll miss Ruediger and Andrea, Robin, Jason and Belana…our new friends. (Oh, and now we miss our luggage as it did not arrive in Orlando. After doing so much research and homework to make sure this trip would go without problems, we somehow missed the fact that, once in Dallas, we were supposed to pick up our baggage and re-check it in for the flight to Orlando. We were already running late as the flight out of Frankfurt was turned back on the runway due to a fuel pump problem…a bit disconcerting. So we just marched ourselves through customs and up to the gate, leaving our baggage behind. Of course, this was after being up 20 hours straight, so we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it. Happy ending, American Airlines is flying the luggage back to Orlando and delivering it to New Smyrna Beach.)
All in all this was a great trip and the memories will last forever. I’d like to return and visit the places we missed…and Ruediger sounds open to the idea of exchanging homes again.