The last stop on our European adventure was Germany. After spending the first week and a half of the trip by ourselves in places neither of us had been, we thought it would be good to end things in a place familiar to at least one of us and where we had some friends to visit.
As we left Bruges, we discovered that the rental car had navigation (which would have been EXTREMELY helpful in Ghent, but I digress). We decided to take full advantage of our new found technology and had it direct us to Aachen, Germany. It was a good spot to stop and get lunch and there's a huge cathedral there that I didn't take any photos of.
Our final destination was Darmstadt, which is about half an hour outside of Frankfurt. It had been raining most of the drive, and traffic on the autobahn was very slow (much to our surprise), so we were both tired and hungry when we got there, and thrilled to find a little turkish restaurant right down the street from the hotel. And finally we were in a country where I could drink something other than wine...apple wine!
Since we were staying in Darmstadt, we went to find Peter Behrens house, which was over near the Mathildenhohe, and wandered through the museum there which had bits and pieces from everyone that had lived in the artists colony that was there in the early 1900s. There was some work similar to the stuff we saw in Ghent, but some other work as well. The artists all dabbled in a little bit of everything, so there was furniture, artwork, flatware, dishware, and all sorts of other stuff. I found it all very inspiring.
We spent a lot of time in Frankfurt, too. The husband showed me around his old stomping grounds, we shopped for souvenirs, and we went on an apple wine tour at the Possman Brewery.
One of the days we were in Frankfurt, we took a detour through Wiesbaden to stop for coffee and to feed some pigeons.
We also went to Heidelberg to see an old castle. (This is also where we came across more American tourists than anywhere else we had been.)
I ate a lot of salads throughout the whole trip and was very impressed with how much stuff comes on a salad in Europe. It's not just a few grated carrots, a couple of cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes, they were full of STUFF. I also got my fill of currywurst at various places (it turned out to be one of the cheaper things on a lot of menus and was pretty safe gluten-wise).
One of the last things we did was track down a building built by Friedensreich Hundertwasser who is known for some pretty outrageous architecture. The building he designed in Darmstadt is called the Waldspirale and is a residential apartment building. It seemed unreal that we could just drive up and park and wander around and that people live in it...
I've never seen anything like it. I was completely fascinated (and also surprised that we were the only people wandering around taking photos).
On our final night in Germany, we went out with some friends to a little tavern in Frankfurt and ordered the appropriately named "Frankfurt Platter" and a bembel of apple wine...
It was the perfect way to end our trip.
I've got one more post I want to do about the trip to summarize what I learned (because I definitely learned a few things about myself and what kind of traveler I am) and how I prepared for this adventure. Until then, maybe you want to browse through all the Europe photos? I've got a set going over on Flickr.