|In a shop window, who could resist taking a picture of this cutie!|
|That's a lot of garlic, in the Garlic Queen, Amsterdam|
|I see my lunch!|
Sitting at the kitchen table, as we do, Bruce spotted a heron on the fence, just looking down at the koi pond, musing about which one would make a nice lunch. In fact, I think the pond is too narrow for it to fly down grab a fish with it’s bill and get out again, but it was sure thinking about it!
This last week with the weather change so has our lifestyle. When we arrived and for almost three weeks after we ate lunch out and had dinner in the smoking area of mostly picnic foods. Charles was pleased that we were using that area to relax in because he said many guests don’t.
We went back to the Seafood Bar for king crab legs, full meal each this time, so good! The hostess, loves her job, is part owner of this family run restaurant we found out, one brother heads up the kitchen, another does the accounting and the father is Boss. They really run a tight ship and are continually busy, great food, service and ambiance, a real success story, as you know, I love to hear about success stories in any business.
On the train Amsterdam to Cologne and informed that we have to change trains before Dusseldorf, train people guide us but this adds about half hour to the trip. In Cologne our taxi driver is waiting at a different taxi stand across the station, another wait. I told him we had tried to map a walk from the station but he said it would have been difficult and certainly he seemed to take a lot longer to get from the station to the hotel than expected for the kilometres on the map, due to so many one way streets.
Hotel Engelbertz is old and elevator too small for Bruce’s chair so he parks it in the lobby in a corner. Rooms are non-smoking but they say limited okay. Biggest problem is that Lexi can get under the bed and with a foot rest between it will be very difficult to get her out, that’s tomorrow’s dilemma. Next day I had to take apart the beds, two mattresses on one frame, as they do in Germany. Haul the mattresses to the wall and remove the slatted frame, bit of a workout, darn cat!
It’s an old family run hotel and basic but comfortable, the people behind the counter did everything possible to make our stay okay. What I don’t understand is what happened with communication between booking.com and the hotel. Clearly they did not know anything about our special needs, but did their best to accommodate. Hotel is in the shopping District and quite noisy at 8:00 pm.
We go for dinner at Oma’s (Grandma’s) Cafe of schnitzel type meals which are really good and stay for an extra glass of wine to listen to an Irish piano player, really good on a piano with full keyboard and you should have seen how he folded the whole thing up, very efficient.
|Nice fellow, my bad, didn't get his name.|
He got shut down by the police but I did go talk to him and he said it was over taxes Germany was owed over CD sales. He said they were nice and he had documentation to back him up so he’ll be allowed to play on the street again and sell CD’s. He said people didn’t pay taxes on CD sales, would it be worth the expense to send three officers to crank down on that, don’t know, but they did. Next stop is at the cafe next door for mushroom soup, even though we were already full, this was really warm and soothing, a lot of cream used I think.
|Mural in a cafe, Cologne|
We’ve seen the cathedral here and it is magnificent on the outside, didn’t we’ll see the inside. A bit of a walk from the hotel and also from the train station.
Next morning and we train from Cologne to Karlsruhe, get off, are met by a wheelchair ramp equipped van, he drives us to Baden-Baden for re-boarding the train. (This stoppage of rail is due to a collapsed tunnel at Rastatt between, finally we found out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastatt_Tunnel ) They actually held the train for a couple of minutes to allow us to board, otherwise it would have been an hour wait for the next. Off in Freiburg and it is raining cats and dogs, teeming down, we hurry to get under shelter, not soon enough to avoid becoming drowned rats, even Lexi got wet, but not a peep out of her, probably atonement for her earlier antics. We have a glass of wine to wait it out, seems to be our modus operandi. Get to the hotel and call Dawna and Erwin to meet up with them for drinks, dinner and catch up. Hotel is Rheingold, close to the train station, in the centre, an area we are familiar with but had never stayed at this hotel before, it was great! The Central where we’ve stayed for about five years now, had a ramp but do not any more, so while we like the people there, it’s not convenient for Bruce’s chair. The rooms are slightly larger at the Rheingold and people friendly too, breakfast was good. Another thing I don’t get, they say breakfast is included but show an extra fee on the bill.
So the trip was as easy for us as it could be even with the interruptions in rail, staff were friendly and helpful.
Sunday Dawna and Erwin move out and we move in, nice to be home again! We didn’t bother with a special taxi coming home this time, just bought our monthly tram tickets and took it, not crowded, so easy trip home. Now for unpacking, mail, making appointments, shopping, etc etc. takes a bit of time to completely settle in as I’ve mentioned before, and probably every time we’ve done it…
Cheers, Bev, Bruce and hiding Lexi Cat