Monday, June 13, 2011

Vroom, Vroom!

After a long train ride, we arrived in Frankfurt's train station. We grabbed some street food, and walked to the AVIS rental car desk where I was told that they had given our automatic car away because we were late. Just as I was about to burst into tears, the very nice representative said she had a bigger car that was an automatic that she would give me for the same price. Relief washed over me, since I haven't driven a stick shift in over 12 years, and definitely didn't want a refresher in Germany! We opted to pay extra for the GPS, and followed a man who worked for AVIS to our car, where he humored us with asking us questions about America such as, "Is America really different than here, or is really the same?" "Everything is bigger in American, no?" "You can be like a GI Joe Texas cowboy, right?" "Houston, we have a problem." Eva and I probably would have laughed, but we were both a little anxious about the car and driving. We reached our car, where he luckily changed the GPS language to English for us. It is a Laguna, very sleek. We put our bags in and then it was time to put the car into drive. I think Eva was saying a few prayers.

We drove out of the train station, and had about a 30 minute drive to Hanau, the beginning of the Fairy Tale Road. That part of the drive wasn't too bad, and I tried to stay out of all the race car driver's way. We found the castle where the Fairy Tale Festival was being held, parked the car, and walked the 20 minutes to the castle. The grounds were beautiful, filled with fountains and flowers everywhere. We took a tour of the castle hoping to see some artifacts from the Brothers Grimm, but were disappointed that most of it was artwork, with just a small room holding a few Brothers Grimm items. At the end of the tour, there is a lovely cafe that opens onto a terrace on the second floor that overlooks the gates and front of the castle. We enjoyed a coke and shared a slice of apple pie. But still did not see a festival anywhere in sight. We walked back towards the car and heard the music and clapping, but as soon as we got to the pavillion, hundreds of people were pouring out of it. Apparently we got there just in time for it to be over. The festival really just consisted of a performance (in German) of the Princess Frog and some food stands. We were disappointed that we missed it, but headed off in search of the next landmark to see in Hanau--the Brothers Grimm statue. After getting lost for about 30 minutes, we finally found someone who could help us, and we walked our exhausted selves over to the statue, which was really quite enormous. We took some pictures, then headed out, deciding to go to the hotel which was located in Fulda, only 45 minutes away or so.

The drive was spectacular, very green, lots of trees. When we arrived in Fulda, we were reenergized by what we saw. The town had a very medieval feel, with cute little cafes and churches, and yes--a castle. :) Our hotel was gorgeous, but we wasted no time walking back to town for a nice dinner at a Cuban cafe that played Salsa music and served pina coladas. In Germany. We ate a tortadillo, a wrap filled with all sorts of things, followed with a nighttime stroll through town. We ended the night watching a movie in German.

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