Thursday, May 8, 2008

"I can smell those weiners from here, and I want one SO bad!"

We decided to sleep in on Saturday after our night of conversation and fun. What we didn't realize is that we were sleeping through most of the river tours in Germany. Once we realized we were on a tight schedule, we hurried out the door and made our way to Bonn. Since we were making up time, it was VERY convenient that we were on the was not that great since our VW only got up to 190km or so (120 mph) but Jeremy still really enjoyed it (I think Lindsay might have wanted to throw up).

We arrived in Bonn and made our way to the River Tour companies. After we realized we wouldn't be getting on a boat (we were too late and they stopped running the later ones because of the firework show later that night), we decided to walk along the river, enjoying the scenery and people watching. We decided to stop at a little restaurant on the water and have a drink...and that's when Jeremy smelled the sausages. We decided we had to have one, I mean we're in Germany. We made our way to the sausage stand and each got one. We were so excited you would have thought that we had won the lottery. Jeremy didn't really speak, just ate. They were pretty darn good!

After our sausages, we decided that we had enough time to drive up and down the B9 (the scenic route along the Rhine) to see some castles. Once in the car, all we could talk about was how good the sausages were, and how we might need to get one for dinner. Very healthy. On our drive, we spotted some really pretty castles and some awesome views, and then we spotted something really cool! A chair lift going up the side of a mountain. We decide very quickly that we kind of need to check this out! After parking, we agreed that if it was more than 10 euro we wouldn't do it. I found a man driving a shuttle train and asked him how far away it was. He showed me the direction of the chair lift and said it was a thirty minute walk, and 6 euro. Although that seemed like a long walk, it was a beautiful day and the hillside was we decided to walk. We arrived at the ticket stand 3 minutes later, and laughed at how LONG our walk was.

The chair lift ride was awesome. We saw the river and the castles and villages from an aerial view, and it was truly breathtaking. Gracie would have preferred a closed gondola ride, but she got over it once we got up to the top. They had walking paths at the top leading to various scenic view spots, and we chose the one with a restaurant. I'm glad we did, not because of the chicken wing/nuggets made with real chicken that we snacked on (you think I'm crazy, but this is a feat...REAL chicken) but more so watching the Paraglider's take off and land 15 feet from us on the side of the mountain. It was really neat.

We decided it was time to head to the fireworks show. To save money we decided to pick up our own drinks beforehand and just eat snacks we brought and hopefully another sausage when we got there. Jeremy and I went inside a gas station and pretty quickly spotted a pony keg in the refrigerator section. That's right...already COLD. We agreed on a price we would not go over, and again it exceeded our expectations! It was 10 euro, and the funny thing was when the Jeremy handed the guy the PK and the money, he asked what I was going to be drinking. I laughed and said it was for four of us...he laughed and said, "That is for one person, no problem. We're German." We laughed about that for a long time!

After getting lost a few times we arrived at the "fireworks show" to find that it was in fact an entire FAIR. There were stands for food, beverages, sweets, clothes, jewelry, knick knacks, rides, ferris wheels, etc. It was packed, too. People had camped out, brought their own grills and made food, had tiki torches around their blankets...they were doing it right. We found our spot to sit, conveniently 20 feet from the sausage stand (do you see a trend here?) and Jeremy and I went to get our loot. We walked away with 5 sausages (no, not one for Gracie, although she would have dominated it...Jeremy wanted 2) without getting too fired up about the crowds. We had various instances where people would cut in line during their trip (really, every time any of us were in a line, someone cut--so Europe) and Lindsay and I had this happen to us when we went to get sweets. But, as true Kampen's do, we dominated the poor man and cut him off hard core. Nice! It's so frustrating. If I knew German I would have said something while giving him my shoulder in his gut...but instead I said "The line starts WAY down there," in my best Texan attitude-filled voice. :)

The fireworks were supposed to start at 10pm. It was nearing 10:45 and we were getting tired. We were full of sausage and goodness, and kind of wanted to go to bed. We decided that at 11 if they hadn't started we would head home (which was 2 hours away). Sure enough, at 11 nothing was happening so we got our stuff together with our heads down and walked away. Almost out of the park the fireworks starting shooting off. We stopped, turned around watched from the hillside. It was awesome! From where we were at the time, there weren't any lights or anyone around us. It was perfect. Halfway through the fireworks, though, in true European fashion, three people walked up and stood DIRECTLY behind us. There wasn't anyone within 50 feet of us, anywhere they could have stood, but no, they stood behind us. AND lit up a cigarette. So frustrating. I love that people were here to see the madness of personal space deficiencies we experience here. I now just laugh when it happens, but it made me chuckle hearing Lindsay say "of all the places to stand, RIGHT behind us." You feel my pain.

The fireworks were incredible though, set to music we couldn't really hear...but judging by the crowds where we were sitting, I'm not sure if we would have heard them there either. Shoot, who am I kidding...they would have been in German. I wouldn't have understood a thing anyways! We enjoyed the whole experience, and our day was truly amazing. I'm glad we got to see some fireworks in the end, it made our late night worth it.

Here are some of the fireworks:

Finally, on our drive home, we decided to stop in Cologne to show Jeremy and Lindsay the famed Cathedral. I wasn't sure how it would look in the dark...but it was gorgeous. They were really impressed...but also ready to get home. We took some pictures, then headed back to Liege. We got home at 2:30am or so...and I think I speak for all of us when I say we slept well!

Two videos that I think you will enjoy:

To see all of our pictures, use the link on the right~

1 comment:

  1. GREAT BLOG!!! You are such an entertaining writer, I love it.