When A Trip Plans Itself, It’s Best To Just Play Along

Since I had to cancel the apartment in Nuremberg, we needed a place to stay for three nights. The hotel in Frankfurt let us extend our stay another night, but my dad really wanted to go to Augsburg where he spent some time in the army in 1950ish. Unbeknownst to me, our trip coincided with Oktoberfest in Munich. So, just about every hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast, and park bench for 50 square miles was booked. The super awesome staff at the Best Western in Frankfurt called several other BW in the Augsburg area and found us two rooms in Heidenheim. It looked reasonably close to Augsburg and was on the train route, but looks can be deceiving. It’s an hour-and-a-half train ride, unless of course there is an accident that leaves you stranded for an hour at a little bitty station halfway to your destination. Then, it’s quite a bit longer. On the up side we met a nice lady with three super duper cute boys who translated what all the fuss was about. In the end, it all worked out.

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Heidenheim is a beautiful town set in a hilly area. Not quite mountains; bigger than hills. Our hotel is atop a hill overlooking the town. When we arrived, we thought we’d take a stroll into the town center. We took a pretty path through the woods that ended up being something out of a Rocky movie. I’d estimate a few hundred steps. On a fairly steep incline. Such a walk is not what our knees were accustomed to. I thought my dad was going to have to sit on the steps and scoot down. Mine started twinging. We both made it, though. My dad sat out the downtown stroll, but I was out of shirts, and due to extenuating circumstances, I couldn’t get my laundry done. In Frankfurt, a bank holiday shut down all the businesses. That’s hardly heard of in the States where holidays are just pseudonyms for extravagant shopping binges. We arrived in Heidenheim on a Friday, and they don’t do laundry on the weekends. I bought two T-shirts in town, but I couldn’t really buy enough of everything to finish the trip. So, desperate times call for desperate measures. I washed clothes in the sink and hung them up to dry. Ya do what ya gotta do.

The next day we got up early and headed for Augsburg with every other beer-drinking, lederhosen-wearing German in the area. Not. Kidding. Standing room only on the train. To add insult to injury, it was raining and cold. We quickly found a store selling umbrellas but not before we were fairly damp. My dad was aghast that he couldn’t recognize where anything was. I wanted to head-thump him. I mean, it’s only been 60 years. They were still rebuilding after a major war. Don’t you think a few things might have changed? In fact, they had a number of streets torn up doing some kind of construction. Didn’t phase me a bit because don’t all cities randomly tear out streets smack dab in the highest traffic areas for fun (Austin)?

We stumbled across a farmers market, and we both thought we’d found heaven. I LOVE farmers markets in Europe. Awesome to the 10th degree. Their climate and growing conditions are so different than the area we live in, and I am amazed at the quality of their fruits and vegetables. Plus, there’s all kinds of things we don’t even see in the States. The flowers are spectacular, though the ones I saw in Paris were even better. They really looked like silk plants because they were so perfect. So, we bought several things to eat and take with us. Can’t take any of the fresh stuff home, unfortunately, but we’ll enjoy it here.

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Even with the umbrellas we were wet and cold. My knee started locking, which it often does in cold, damp weather. The previous day’s climb didn’t help, either. We decided to head back to the hotel. My dad was disappointed he didn’t find any landmarks, like the USO (?!?), but I’m not a miracle worker. And sometimes a trip just plans itself. Overall, I thought it was a good day considering the weather conditions and delays.

We push on tomorrow for the last stop on our trip.

Georganne

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