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.