Germany, 2009

It was the kick-off international travel trip that started all of this stuff you read about in here and part of the Germanic skiing trip with the oldest boy, a few days across southern Germany before heading to Austria.

The Arrival

We flew in from Chicago on American Airlines in business class; it was a good ride but I didn't document it because in 2009 FOMO wasn't a thing to get people all amped up about.

Landing in Frankfurt, I rented a car from the cheapest company, which was... 15 miles off site and somewhat of a mistake, but I got a quality Mercedes 220D wagon. Great mileage, GPS, and room for all the ski equipment.

Huge Lufthansa hub, we had to park away from the terminal and walk down a staircase to a bus


Ancient city on the Rhine, home to Gutenburg and some crazy old churches. Nice little medieval city.
Mainz cathedral from the 900s The Rhine is very busy Town center, being restructured it seems
This plus a bottle of wine is the Diamond welcome gift at the Mainz Hilton

Schweinfurt, Coburg

After waking up that morning and getting going in the car, we drove a couple hours east on the A3 and A7 autobahns. This area is where I served in the Army.
The Rathskeller of Schweinfurt The headquarters on my old army base, now a park and refugee  center Town center, Schweinfurt is pretty old, but bombed into rubble during WW2
And the medieval city of Coburg (More details of a later trip are here)
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, husband to Queen Victoria Veste Coburg, the awesome castle Center of town, connected to all the major streets
Ah yes, the armor and knights gear all over the castle Ghosts live in here according to the sign

Driving South

After overnighting in Nuremburg, it was down to Munich for BMW World then to Fussen for some castles (you might recognize them).
BMW World, get your car please BMW Museum, the ages of the company and its products
The boy being a tourist for the obligatory shot Hohenschwangau  castle, where the rest of the royal family actually lived Looking down from the Marienbrueke  bridge

Return to Germany

After a few days in Austria, we drove back up the A8 to Munich for the last evening in country. It's one of the best unrestricted stretches of road in Germany to go fast.
This little sign means all restrictions ended, including speed limits
We went into Munich and spent an afternoon and overnight there before returning to Frankfurt to fly out. Details on Munich are in this other post on the city.
Reconstructed west entrance, the original ended up bomb rubble There be beer here - and possibly Colonel Hogan meeting the underground Marienplatz, center of Munich, and a visually stunning sight


Southern Germany is rife with endless fairytale settings and rolling hills turning into the extreme peaks of the Alps. The home of German culture (yes, good and bad), it's everything you think of when you imagine Germany.

Driving places is easy, but gas is very expensive. Trains cost as much as planes, so it might be easier to fly if you are major city-hopping. The food is pretty good, but diets are not going to be compatible with it. Beer, lots of it if you like that stuff (I'm not a beer fan. I know... weird, right?).

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