Germany, Austria and Slovakia with Dree
In March of 2011, I wanted to do a ‘milestone’ adventure trip somewhere. My sister in law Sandy was going to Slovakia to do some work with the charity she worked for about the same time. So, Dree and I decided to join her, but arrive earlier in the week and visit Germany, then meet up with Sandy in Vienna, Austria for a few days. Then we would all travel to Slovakia together. We stayed in Trnva and Bratislava and got to visit several other areas while we were there.
1st Stop in Germany was the town of Bamberg. This is where I went to High school, got married and had Dree. This was her first time seeing is as an adult so we had a great time hitting all the places we went when she was a child. We landed in Frankfurt on Lufthansa airlines, and took a train to Bamberg. We waited until we arrived to have our first meal be a Brotchen mit Bratwurst und Senf. We ate dinner at the Delphi which was a Greek restaurant we used to go to when we lived there, we had to have the ouzo and heifeweisen. We even visited the house we lived in at 11 Stauffenberg Str.
We stayed at a really cozy hotel called Hotel National with a fabulous German style breakfast on the top floor an easy walk from the train station which was about a block away.
Next Stop Munich and Castles!
We took the train to Munich and stayed at the Motel One München Sendlinger Tor. This hotel was really pretty and hi-tech, though the rooms were small. It was one of the first hotels we went to that required you to put the room key in a slot, and this would power on the room lights. The TV would come on automatically with a screensaver of a fire place.
We got in late so walked around to find something near our hotel that was open and found a Thai food/tea cafe and had a great meal there. This trip to Munich was just sleeping for the most part as we were going to see the Castles the next day.
The day after checking into the hotel, we traveled from Munich Hauptbahnhof (trainstation) to the Füssen train station. Here you can either jump on a bus that takes you a few miles away to the Neuschwanstein castle or you can take a cab and the entire trip takes about 2.5 hours. You should pre-purchase your tickets especially in busy tourist seasons. I would also suggest you pre-order your train tickets on Bahn.de website and reserve a seat. In the busy times of the year, you may have to stand if no seats are available.
When we got back to Munich, it was rainy and dark, but we wanted to find the HofBrau Haus. For some reason our directions were not getting us there and it took a while, but we were not going to give up! We finally found the building, and went to the top floor and it was full on party mode. You sat down next to others at the over-sized tables and ordered your food, watched the Oompa bands, the dancers, and the guys snapping rope. It was a good time and we visited with the people seated on either side of us. It was a good end to our short trip to Munich as we filled out stomachs with pig knuckles and tall steins of beer.
Next Stop Vienna!
We arrived in Vienna and it was pouring down rain, and my big suitcase had a broken wheel. It was a bit nerve-wracking. We took a bus to where we were going to find Sandy and our hotel. We were so happy when we finally arrived. We went to some cafe’s that Sandy wanted to try, and a crepe restaurant, the Belvedere Musuem of Art where we saw the famous painting of Gustav Klimt, “The Kiss”. We also spent a good part of the day visiting Schönbrunn Palace , which is the large palace that Marie Antoinette and her family (the Hapsburgs) lived in during her childhood.
We also went with Sandy to a catholic church for Mass. It was an interesting experience! After the weekend we took the train to Slovakia where we would meet up with our host family.