About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Friday, July 31, 2009


I've been having a hard time waking up lately. Getting out of bed is ok, but it just takes me a good half hour to actually wake up and be functional.

Katrina is home today. She plans to work from home this afternoon.

We decided to ride into downtown Monza this morning. Katrina wanted to get a few items at the art store. It didn't take too long, although we took a longer route to stay off of busy streets with Brandon. On the way home we did a short loop through Parco di Monza. The park is officially closed to all vehicle traffic starting today through the end of August...for the holidays of course. Its amazing how many businesses have signs up showing the dates they will be closed. I think its very cool. Its just a part of the culture to plan the business year around an August break.

I had to mail some things at the post office, so I decided to go visit a bike shop while I was out. I forgot about businesses closing for lunch and ended up just driving around scouting some of the neighborhoods and small towns around Vedano.

Katrina worked most of the afternoon and Brandon was a couch potato. Brandon and I watched Storm Chasers.

I remembered to take a picture of our newest rental car today:

Opal Altra 2009

This evening we met Mike at Aqua e Farina in Agrate for dinner. Good food!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Ho comprato un bel cappello di paglia - I bought a nice straw hat.

I went to bed not feeling great last night. Not sick, but just feeling a bit...hmmm...blah. They say that when you live in a foreign country there are many ups and down cycles you go through. Right now I am feeling a bit down. While life is good overall and we are doing so many incredible things, I am missing some things as well: our friends in Corvallis and just being able to hang with them, train club and they guys, going to movies and drinking beer with Errol, train shows with Andy, and just being able to converse in English whereever I go. I guess it can all be summed up in one word - homesick. I'm feeling a little homesick right now.

I was not feeling very motivated to go on my bike ride this morning, but Katrina nicely encouraged me and reminded me how it makes me feel good. While I was getting dressed I came up with the idea of doing an easy ride in Parco di Monza and getting Brandon to come along. He agreed and off we went. We rode through a new section of the park (thats how big the park is, we've been here three months and still have places to explore in the park!) and did a loop around our usual roads. After an hour I dropped Brandon off at home and went for a leisurely ride into downtown Monza, exploring side streets and finding new shops and interesting places. I found a another bike shop and a bakery.

Katrina left for work after her Italian lesson. She is very busy at work this week. Apparently there is some big 'issue' going on right now. I feel for her. She is working hard and doing a good job keeping a level head, but she seems tired. Neither of us has been sleeping well. I know she wants to spend more time painting and being creative with her photos, but work seems to be keeping her a little too busy right now.

Brandon and I both had pretty good Italian lessons with Rosella.

This evening we went out for Cinese with Rosella, then had some gelato in the park aftwards.

Nice evening. Time to go read Harry Potter with Brandon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Car

I didn't sleep well last night. Insomnia. For some reason I've never really called it that. Like its something that 'other' people deal with, but not me. It's only a lack of sleep. Nothing to be ashamed of.

Katey non mette mai gli infradito - Katey never wears flip-flops.

Katrina was painting when I woke up...at 8am again. Our 8am wakeups on our trip became more of a habit than I realized. Katrina seems to have finished her second painting. She is so talented. I know she paints for personal herself, but I truly enjoy it and love the creations that come from her brush. Hopefully her paintings will adorn our walls alongside her photographs already there. Hmmm, I don't think my creative model train skills are suited for wall hanging.

I picked up some plums and oranges yesterday and just ate one of the plums for breakfast. Wow, that was good. Its great, and frustrating, to have fruit in the stores that is actually picked when it is ripe. The downside is that you can't keep it more than a day or two before it starts spoiling.

Brandon and I drove Katrina to work this morning, then headed to Linate to exchange our hail damaged car for another one. Ugh! The Monza Hertz office did not contact the Linate office about an exchange. So, because its vacation time in Italy, they only had two cars to choose from: a small SUV or a station wagon. I picked the wagon - a Astra. Its actually pretty stylish and only has 660 km on it. Its basically brand new.

Windshield damage from hailstorm. The hood and roof of the car had multiple dents.

I had nice chats on FB with Julia and Katey this afternoon. I really enjoy keeping up with friends from home and from days gone by.

Brandon and I drove over to pickup Katrina at work then headed to IKEA for dinner and to pickup a few things.

Honestly, I don't like having a car for the day much anymore. All it does is tire me out. I thought I was going to lose some independence when we shifted down to one vehicle, but I don't feel that way anymore. Its funny how life sorts itself out sometimes...if we just let things happen.


Katrina mette sempre il due pezzi - Katrina always wears a bikini.

Its Tuesday and its going to be hot again. I think it was supposed to hit 92. I guess that is not as bad as the heat in Corvallis. Did I read a FB message correctly.....105? Wow! It must be time for the fair...lol.

I went for a ride this morning while Katrina had her Italian lesson. I left about 45 min earlier so that I could attempt to make it all the way to Como this time. I needed the extra time so that I could be back in time for Katrina to head to work....and because I just spent a week in Germany eating Schnitzel.

My legs were tired, but I felt pretty good overall. I made it to the city limits of Como! My goal is to make it down to the waterfront, but I ran out of time and that would probably add another 15 min down and 30 back up. The city limits are on top of the foothills which drop down pretty steeply into Como. I will ride again on Thursday morning, but plan to ride to the waterfront in Como on Saturday or Sunday. Once I do that, my next goal is to start climbing the mountain up to Brunate, where the funiculare goes.

Brandon and I spent most of the day inside again. Its just too hot outside. We did ride to the bank to 'buy' money (very bad exchange rate of 1.42), then to the supermarket for some groceries.

This afternoon I worked on my Germany blogs while Brandon had his Italian lesson. Then it was my turn. I asked Rosella to take some time doing some review. We reviewed some every day phrases, etc.

I made a meat dish for dinner tonight. I'm not sure what its called. Its basically chicken rolled around a piece of sausage and cooked on the stovetop. We also had risoto, salad and red wine...Barbaresco, Katrina's favorite.

This evening I finished my blogs from the trip! Now I can get back to daily life for two weeks before we leave on our next trip.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rest Day at Home - Right?!?!

Ho dimenticato di portare il costume da bagno! - I forgot to bring my bathing suit!

I guess my body is still on vacation time. I woke up at 8am, like we have for the last week. Katrina was already up, but Brandon was still sleeping.

First thing to do, hang the laundry from last night and start another load. A week of vacation laundry can take a couple of days to wash with our tiny washing machine.

Katrina left for work a little bit early today. She had to make a stop at the Hertz office to find out about exchanging our car. On the Friday before our trip, the car was pummeled with hail while Katrina was working. We had a big storm go through. Its the same storm that Brandon and I got caught in on our bikes while riding to the bank. We just got rain. The roof and the hood of the car were full of dents and our windshield is majorly cracked. I will need to get a photo. Too funny. This will be our second car we exchange with damage (remember that the first one had a broken mirror from backing out of the garage). At least we were not responsible this time. Anyway, Katrina set it up for me to return the car to the airport on Wednesday and get a new one.

Brandon and I spent most of the day in the apartment. He played while I unpacked, did laundry and sorted through the things we accumulated on the trip.

We ran to the bank on our bikes this afternoon, only to find out I hadn't put my credit cards back into my normal wallet from my travel wallet. I only had e20 on me, so we rode to the supermarket and just bought enough food for today. We also rode over to the post office.

It was supposed to be a hot day today, reaching the 90's. I think it only hit the high 80's. It wasn't too bad.

We received a wonderful package from my dear friend Rhonda. She sent us some Kool Aid and Crystal Lite packets. Thanks Rhonda!! By the way, for some reason it took 25 days to get here!!

That's about all there is to report from Vedano today. I spent a bit of time working on my blog and adding pictures. I hope to have it all posted in the next day or two.

Also, a special thanks for our Italian teacher and friend, Rosella, who watered our flowers while we were on vacation.

Thanks to everyone who is following our adventures. We miss all of you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four Trains to Milano

Once again we woke up at 8am. I slept on the cot again, but my back didn’t hurt this time. We finished packing our things up and went to breakfast. The breakfast was good as usual.

After breakfast we grabbed out belongings, checked out and caught a streetcar to Central Station. Our train wasn’t supposed to leave until later in the morning, but we were able to catch an earlier train to Mannheim. This allowed us to relax at the station rather than sprint to the next train. We bought several pretzels for Brandon and some drinks for us while waiting for our next train, an ICE.

The Swiss Alps come into view through the train window.

The ICE train took us 2 hours south to Basal, on the Swiss-French–German border. This was a very nice train. Very comfortable and clean. The trip was mostly through farmland then changed to rolling hills when we were near Basal. We had a 40 min layover in Basal, so we grabbed some sandwiches in the station and took them to the platform to eat. Our train was in the station, so we boarded it and ate our lunch.
This train took us from Basal to Brig Switzerland, another 2 hour journey. This train had older coach cars, but they were clean and comfortable. I was able to plug my laptop in and work on this blog. It was a very scenic journey, heading into the Swiss Alps and through quite a few tunnels, the longest one lasting almost 20 minutes.

We arrived in Brig at 4:40pm. Our next train didn’t leave until 5:20pm. We walked into the station to use the WC and get a drink, then headed up to platform 4 to wait for our train. At about 5:10pm our Trenitalia train pulled into the station. We boarded and found our seats. This train had us in a compartment with 3 other people.

Within a few kilometers of leaving Brig we entered into Italy and the Italian Alps – with many more tunnels and one very long one that lasted almost 25 minutes.

This last leg of our journey seemed like the longest. We were getting tired and the train was a little warm. We finally arrived in Milano Centrale Stazione around 7:30pm.

We gathered our bags and checked the schedules to see when the next train to Monza was scheduled. We could wait for 40min or take the Metro. We chose the Metro, hopping on the green line, then switching to the red line to Sesto San Giovanni. We caught the z221 bus to our street corner.

We were home, tired but not worn out, and ready to relax after a long day of travel.

We had a wonderful trip. Amsterdam is well worth a visit. It is probably not a place I would visit again, but it is definitely worth a one time visit. Bacharach and the Rhine River Valley were fantastic. I would go back to that area again if I had the chance. Heidelberg was interesting and full of history, once again a one time destination for me, but well worth it.

Time to start working on the details of our next adventure. We leave again in 2 1/2 weeks. This time we are doing a road trip through Switzerland, southern Germany, Austria and Slovenia.

14 Week Gelati Count: 93
14 Week Wine Bottle Count: 16

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anniversary, Walking and Shopping in Heidelberg

First off, I would like to wish my dear wife and best friend a happy 16th anniversary. I love you!

As usual, we woke up at 8am. I didn’t sleep all that comfortably on the cot. My back was killing me. We had breakfast provided at this hotel too, so we went downstairs. The hotel had a nice spread of cheeses, meats, cereal, yogurt, breads, juices and tea.

After breakfast we walked into the old town and shopped. For some reason we had an urge to shop. We stopped at a department store to get socks for Brandon. We found socks and then found more Siku. Brandon and I both bought some vehicles and went back to Woolworth for more 1/87th vehicles.

Woolworth...didn't they go out of business in the US?

Next stop was a tea shop for Katrina. She found a few things she needed/wanted and we had a good size bag now. We took it all back to the room and headed back out into the old town. We wanted to take the walking tour that was in the guidebook we bought.

The pretzel, Brandon's favorite German snack.

I think a tall non fat chai was Katrina's favorite treat of this trip. For some reason you don't find Starbucks in Italy?!

We stopped for lunch at an Indian restaurant. Wow, that was good. I had curry chicken with rice and naan. Katrina had ? with rice and naan. Brandon shared a bit of ours, but was holding out for more pretzels.

We’ve had a few pretzels since we entered Germany. They are tasty and cheap….only .60 cents.

BS...nead I say more!

Interior of the Jesuit Church - 1759. This is one of our favorites since we moved here. We liked that it was bright and inpiring and not dark like most of the others we have visited.

Interesting sculptures in the Old Town.

By late afternoon were tired of walking. I think we were tired in general. We headed back to the room for a break. Once in the room, I decided it was too warm and needed fresh air. Katrina and Brandon were busy, so I ventured out on my own.
I walked through some side streets of the old town for about 30 minutes before getting a text from Katrina that they wanted to go follow the “Philosophers Way” on the other side of the Neckar River. I agreed to meet them at the dam.

Empty ship moving into the lock at the dam.

We met up and followed the roads up to the path. What a steep climb!! We were tired already, and that climb finished us off. We were so happy to finally meet up with the path. The path offered a gradual walk along the hillside with views of the old city and the castle on the other side of the Neckar.

Views from Philosophers Way.

We took our time walking back down, taking pictures and enjoying the view. About halfway down, while enjoying the view from some park benches, we got caught in a rainstorm. Thankfully it didn’t last very long and we were able to walk the rest of the way down once it passed over.

Brandon asked me to take his picture, then he stood very still and very stiff.

Brandon pulled a trick on me using Katrina as his accomplice, without her even knowing it. Her umbrella was wet from the rain and she had it partially folded up. He told her she should open it up and shake it to get it dried out, knowing that she would do it towards me. She did and I got sprayed. He laughed and laughed and laughed.

Brandon was hungry for dinner. Katrina and I were a little hungry. He wanted Chinese again, so that he could have some egg drop soup. The first place we stopped in didn’t have what he wanted, so we kept on walking towards our hotel. We found another Chinese place, but no soup there either. Finally, at the third Chinese restaurant we told Brandon he had to try the soup they had, even if it wasn’t what he wanted. I ordered Bong Ho chicken, basically Kung Pau chicken. Katrina ordered some wantons and Brandon got soup. He didn’t like the soup, so he ate Katrina’s wantons, then we put in another order for more wantons, and he ate those too.

Back to the hotel to relax and go to bed. I watched the recap of the Tour. What a great stage and final climb. It looks like Alberto will win the Tour tomorrow and Lance will come in 3rd, barring any disasters.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trains to Heidelberg

We woke up at our usual vacation time of 8am. We finished packing and went upstairs for breakfast. The breakfasts are great here at the Rhein Haus. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting.

After breakfast I checked out, we gathered our bags and headed to the train platform. Since we had a prepaid ticket, but no reservation, we jumped on an earlier train to Bingen – a whopping 15 minute ride. We were going to spend some the extra time in Bingen looking around, but after we arrived we realized that the station was not really in town, but on the edge of town. After talking to a conductor on the platform (Katrina’s little bit of German has come in pretty handy several times), we found out we could catch the next train to Heidelberg instead of waiting for the one with our reserved seats. We jumped on the next train and found it pretty full, so we stood in the corridor with our luggage. After the first station stop a few seats opened up and we grabbed them, Katrina in a single seat and Brandon and I a few rows up. The ride was a little over an hour.

We arrived in Heidelberg just after lunch time and grabbed a truly American meal for lunch – McDonalds in the station. We are finding McDonalds in Europe to be mostly the same as in the US, with a few differences. All of them have a McCafe with espresso , croissants, and other European goodies. About half of the sandwiches are the same: Big Mac, Filet of Fish, hamburger and cheeseburger, as well as the fries. There are several other sandwiches as well: Mc Royal, and a few different chicken sandwiches, as well as a few ham sandwiches. Most of them serve mayonnaise with fries and charge extra for ketchup packets. Oh, and soft drinks are served cold, but without ice.

We also stopped at the tourist information office located outside the station. We found a guidebook for Heidelberg and I needed to find internet. In my planning of the trip I forgot to write down or print out the information for our Heidelberg hotel. I was pretty sure where it was located, but not 100% sure. It didn’t help that I could not remember the name. I was directed to an internet cafĂ© inside the station, where for e2 I was able to look up the info in my gmail account.

The Hotel Tannehauser was about a 20 minute walk from the train station. We walk so much on our travels that it wasn’t that big of a deal. We are pulling two small suitcases with wheels, one backpack, a camera bag and Brandon’s small daypack.
Katrina had been wanting a wallet small enough to fit in a pocket of her camera bag, but big enough to hold her credit cards, ID and passport. The passport is the big one. Well, we passed a shop on the way to the hotel that had wallets on display in the doorway. She found one she liked and it was just the right size. The funny thing is, the owners of the shop were a husband and wife. He was Italian and she was German. Katrina was able to speak some Italian in Heidelberg.

We finally made it to the hotel. It is located at the corner of the Bismarkplatz, the main transportation intersection on the edge of the old town. We were given our room key and told we were on the 2nd floor by an unfriendly desk attendant.
The hotel is in a very old building. Our room was pretty small. The bathroom was almost as big as the room. The planked floors were very creaky and the room smelled a bit musty when we entered. I was not that impressed, but it was clean and centrally located. The room attendant showed up at the door ready to setup Brandon’s cot, so we put our bags in the corner and headed out for the afternoon.
Our first stop was Woolworth, right next door. I thought Woolworth was out of business?! I guess not in Germany. We were looking for some new socks for Brandon. He’s been stopping every few steps to push up his socks because they are too big and stretched out. We didn’t find any suitable socks, but Brandon and I did find a nice selection of Siku diecast cars for great prices. Sorry Errol, but they are so much cheaper here in Germany. I know this is not interesting to many of you, but Errol, Andy and a few others will be interested. Single car packs were e2.49 or less. Some of the big 1/87th scale trucks that range in price for $28 - $38 in the US were only e9.99 – 14.99 at Woolworth. I also found some 1/87th Shuco cars. I know, this is not exciting , but I am a train geek and these 1/87th scale vehicles will fit great on my layout.

We crossed the transportation plaza and headed down into the old city and the pedestrian zone. The pedestrian zone in old Heidelberg is one of the largest and most frequented in all of Europe.

Heidelberg Castle.

Corn Madonna with castle in background.

We worked our way slowly down the street, stopping to look in shops a few times. Our destination for the afternoon was the castle above the old town. There are two ways to get up to the castle: 1) Via funiculare, or 2) walking. We’ve walked up to all the castles so far, and this one would be the shortest walk so far, but we had a funiculare to ride, and we couldn’t pass that up! There were two destinations and two funiculari. The first one takes you up to the castle. The second funiculare takes you all the way up to the top of the hill.

We rode the first one up to the castle then toured the castle. The world famous ruined castle on the Jettenbuhl, the narrow hillside terrace jutting out above the roofs of the old town, arouses the curiousity of all who visit Heidelberg. The imposing complex of buildings were constructed on the orders of the Prince Electors during a period of over three centuries. The palatial living quarters and utility buildings provide striking evidence of the life-style of the lords of the castle in the period of 1400 - 1600. It is readily understandable that, with the invention of firearms, the position of the castle became less strategically tenable, even with walls up to 7 meters thick. Its destruction was wrought firstly by the War of the Grand Alliance and then by a stroke of lightning in 1764. Today, the greatest threat to the remains of the castle comes from atmospheric pollution.

Funiculare up to castle.

Most of the interior of this castle can only be seen with a tour guide. We chose not to do this. With our guidebook we walked through the castle grounds, visited the castle pharmacy, the terrace over looking the city, the cellar and the small gardens.

Early Baroque Frederick Building completed in 1607.

View of the old town and Old Bridge.

View of the dam on the Neckar River.

Castle pharmacy.

Tower ruins.

The ornate Renaissance facade of the Otto Henry Building. The interior burned down from a lightning strike.

Fat Tower ruins.

A visit to the castle must include a look at the Great Tun. After all, it is claimed to be the biggest wooden barrel in the world ever to have been filled with wine. It was constructed under Carl Theodor in 1751 from 130 oak tree trunks; it can hold 221,725 liters (58,000 gallons) is is 8.5 meters wide and 7 meters high, with a dance floor on top.

The Great Tun. It was very difficult to get a photo. The room was dark and the barrel fills almost the entire room. Add tourists into the mix, and well, this is the best I could get.

A 'smaller' wine barrel.

After leaving the castle, we made our way back to the funiculare and rode it up to the middle point, where we had to switch over to the “Historic” funiculare for the ride to the top. This is the oldest part of the ride and takes you to the restaurant and hiking trails on top of the mountain.

At the top we walked around a little bit, taking in the panoramic views of Heidelberg and the valley in the distance. We also visited the power and cable room on the ground floor of the station. We only stayed at the top for a short while before taking the trams back to the old town.

Historic funiculare.

View from the top.

Brandon spending e1.05 for a smashed e.05 souvenier.

Funiculare power room.


We made our way over to the Heidelberg's Old Bridge crossing the Neckar River. This bridge was built in 1788.

View of Heidelberg Castle from the Old Bridge.

Bridge Gate, built as part of the medieval town fortifications.

Brandon on the Old Bridge.

This is a modern statue of a monkey next to the Old Bridge. He holds a mirror up to onlookers, inviting them to be photographed within his monkey mask.

After visiting the bridge, we were hungry for dinner. Asian food seems to be a major theme for us this trip. We found a Chinese restaurant near the bridge and had dinner. Very good. We have been lucky . Europe seems to have a lot of good Asian food.

We were tired and it was getting late, so we headed back through town and to our hotel.

Our hotel.

Our room is hot with little air flow, even with the window open. I was extremely hot and decided to sleep on the cot and let Brandon sleep with Katrina. I watched a recap of the Tour on TV, then we went to bed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marksburg Castle

Once again, the alarm woke us up at 8am, this time to the sound of heavy rainfall. We got ready for the day and went upstairs for breakfast. We ate breakfast at a window table and watched the rain come down, hard at times.

After breakfast we went back to our room to get our gear. The rain had stopped and the skies were beginning to clear. We walked up the street to catch a train going north to St. Goar. I think we have the automated ticket machines figured out.

While we waited of the train, we met a mother and daughter from Arkansas. We chatted for awhile about Germany and travelling while watching – and feeling – the very fast freight trains go past the platform.

We caught our train and 11 minutes later we were in St. Goar, where we exited and ran to catch the river ferry. We needed to cross the Rhine and catch a train on the opposite side. We arrived as the ferry was pulling in, paid our toll and rode it across the river to St Goarhausen. Finding the station, we caught another train to Braubach, about at 30 minute ride.

Enjoying the ferry ride across the river.

The Rhine River is very busy.

Train to Braubach.

Our plan in Braubach was to visit the Marksburg Castle. After exiting the train, we walked into town to figure out which direction it was to the castle. We were not interested in another hike up a steep hill, so we looked for the tourist ‘train’ (tractor and cars that look like a train). They typically charge about e3 per adult for the ride. We found the train but it appeared to not be operating today. Major bummer. Time for plan B, hiking up the hill. This was no big deal since we had already climbed up to castles earlier, but it was hot and humid and we just didn’t want to hike again. Oh well, we found the path and started hiking. It was hot and humid, but we made it in about 25min and saved about e8.

The Marksburg Castle is located on the right bank of the Rhine. It has an unusually slender keep towering above the surrounding courts and ramparts. The Marksburg was originally called Burg Brubach. Among the many hilltop castles which flank the Rhine on both banks it is the only one which has escaped ruin or romantic renewals and largely maintains its medieval character in spite of some 17th, 18th and 20th century additions.

Marksburg Castle from Braubach.

You must take a guided tour to visit the castle. We bought tickets and waited near the entrance and tried to take advantage the shade and light breeze to cool off. The tour guide only spoke German, so we had to read through an English guide book.
We walked up the through the main gates and up to the artillery arcades. We also visited the maiden’s chambers, the chapel tower, the kitchen, banquet hall, the tiny inner courtyard, herb garden, wine cellar, the armory, blacksmith shop and a few other areas.

View down the Rhine River.

View up the Rhine River.

Coat of Arms

The Great Battery, 16th and 17th century.

Castle outhouse...don't stand under this room.

A small section of a very large kitchen. They could roast an entire ox in the oversize oven.

Recesses in the outer wall were used to relaxing: playing music, knitting, etc.

Climbing up into the chapel tower.

The Knight's Hall on the upper floor of the Gothic Hall.

The outhouse off of the Knight's Hall. Notice how thick the walls are this high on the castle.

In the armory they had a display of the armor and how it changed over the centuries. As the weapons became more sophisticated, the armor became much heavier. We learned some information about two myths. One myth is that once a knight was knocked off of his horse, his armor was so heavy he wouldn’t be able to stand up on his own again. This was not true. What is true is that it was almost impossible to remount the horse. The second myth concerns chastity belts. The most common myth is that knights used them to protect their women while they were off crusading. There are no written accounts of this. There are, however, written accounts of prostitutes in Venice not paying their taxes and being fitted with chastity belts as punishment. There are also written accounts of women wearing them for protection against rape when travelling.

The armory display.

The blacksmith shop.

More views of Marksburg Castle.

After our tour we had some pretzels for a snack before trekking back down the hill to Braubach. We were hungry, so our plan was to find some lunch. Initially, all we could find were a few restaurants that served Italian food! We didn’t want Italian food. We could have that at home. We wandered some back streets, took more pictures of the castle on the hilltop then found a little pub that served German food.

Interesting architecture in Braubach.

This is for Andy...and anyone who has Playmobil toys.

Buying train tickets for our return to Bacharach.

A freight and a passenger train going the opposite direction that we want to go.

After lunch we made our way back to the train station for the trip back to St. Gorehausen. When we arrived the ferry was just pulling up…no waiting. Once we crossed the river, we had to jog to the train station to make the next train or we would have to wait an hour for the next one. We made it to the station, bought our tickets and arrived on the platform as the train pulled in. Perfect timing.
We rode the train back to Bacharach and headed straight to the grocery store for some cheese and crackers for dinner. Unlike yesterday, this time we made it. Brandon and I headed back to the room with our goods.

Katrina took a more leisurely pace while taking more pictures. We spent the evening in our room relaxing, packing our suitcases and watching the Tour. We ended up only eating a small portion of our cheese and crackers. I guess lunch really filled us up.