Thursday, April 7, 2011


Wednesday in Ludwigshafen
"I haven't felt 100% for the past few days, so I laid low today in Ludwigshafen. I started late eating breakfast at 9:30 just before the restaurant closed at 10:00. I spent the day visiting the BASF welcome center and walking around town."
Thursday in Koln (Cologne)
thursday's travel to Koln was trying. I journeyed from "Lu" to Mannheim main station, where I purchased a ticket to Koln. I then made my way to the platform to wait for departure at 10:35 am. when the train arrived, I boarded, found a seat and started knitting...all too soon I'm afraid. I was sitting in the reserved seat of a German man unable to understand my apologetic english.
the German businessman sitting next to me asked, "you did not buy a seat? you have to have a seat!" totally flustered and embarrassed I exited the train and returned to the ticket office, where I learned: "1. having a ticket to a destination does not equal a seat on the train you choose; 2. you can travel without a seat assignment on the ice train, just find one without a reservation; 3. want a guaranteed seat? pay 4,50 euro extra for one!" I paid the 4,50 euro to have a guaranteed seat on the next train...departing 11:35 am!

"Koln is definitely a large city. It lives up to it's fourth largest in Germany status. It reminds me of the streets of Chicago- lots of people and lots of cameras. Finding the Cathedral was no problem. As soon as you walk outside the main station, it's there!"

"The Cathedral was worth the ninety minute train ride. It is amazing!! I spent a good while walking through the Cathedral taking photos and watching visitors."

Interesting Cathedral facts:
:: the beginnings of the Cathedral reach back into the fourth century.
:: the cornerstone was set in 1248.
:: the construction of the entire Cathedral was completed in 1880.
:: the spires are 157m high.

"After an hour in the Cathedral, I made my way over to the Information Center. After hearing the descriptions of the bus tours, I chose the ninety minute "Open Air" bus...and sat on top! The narration was in German and English."
"After the bus tour, I spent some time shopping downtown. Farina cologne for me, 4711 cologne for Kathy, and an Edelweiss Pandora bead for my bracelet." then I realized in all the train confusion this morning, I had missed lunch! I was hungry and in the mood for something from home. lucky for me this was just around my next corner:
today was really hard for me. I felt like crying most of the day.

this was my final journal entry for the day: "I really miss home. I want to talk to someone in English! I want to drive my own car and know where I am going. I want to know what the street signs mean. I want to not worry about where I will go to the bathroom, and if I'll have the money for it when I arrive! I want to eat and not be sick after. I want to take care of my boys! I want to go home!"

I feel better tomorrow. Check back to see my adventure in Speyer.


Meg said...

You did all this traveling alone? You are a brave soul! I can't wait to read how it gets better!

stringsofpurls said...

Strangers in a strange land. Sounds like a day to remind you of pilgrim status! What a beautiful place and you captured it well.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful cathedral, definitely worth the confusing train ride! Glad it all worked out for you and that you still got to enjoy the day, even if it ended in tears, and remember you'll always have a good story to tell ;)

Gloria said...

I love going on your journey with you. Amazing cathedral!! You are such a brave lady...:)

mark said...

how amazingly genuine, to open your true feelings to anyone who reads. it would be so tempting to make it all seem like it was the best trip ever. and so easy to feel the pressure of someone being turned away by even a hint of frustration or sadness. but after reading, one is left with a profound sense that this is the story of a real person. one who doesn't miss the grandeur of a soaring and ancient cathedral, after being forced into a place of extreme discomfort as a stranger in a strange land. and one who chose an open air bus, rather than walk out to see the cathedral, snap a few pictures and get back on the train. one who was so thoughtful in selecting intention items for her sister and herself that would sweeten their days with the authentic scent of a treasured trip. and one who was wise enough to listen to her heart, and bless her fatigue with a sweet treat that tasted like home.

i am so proud of you, and am so enjoying the format you have chosen to share our trip. and again today, my favorite parts are the italics. they transport me back to walking side by side with you down the streets of ludwigshafen, the cobblestone of heidelberg, and the courtyards of worms. love you, sweet!

Gigi said...

Awww, I'm sorry you had bad days on your trip. You look very pretty and happy in you photo though. And nothing like finding a Dunkin Donut shop to cheer the heart (and tummy) up a little. I still miss ours! Beautiful cathedral and wonderful photos.

Larissa said...

Wow, what an exciting and emotional day for you! So much to do and see and experience yet overwhelming - especially because you are on your own. Good for you for being brave and eager and having the desire to learn! What beautiful photos you took of your day - looks like you were seeking beauty.

stitching under oaks said...

amazing...I love hearing about your trip in your words and with the emotions that you felt. I love that picture with the bridge in the foreground and the cathedral in the background.

a friend to knit with said...

oh! i can see how this day must have been hard for you. :( or anyone for that matter! i don't like that.
but what i do like is that you DID do it. and that you saw some pretty amazing things. and the days experiences made you a stronger person. xx

a friend to knit with said...

that mark.
i just read his comment.
he couldn't have said it more perfectly!