Sunday, August 30, 2015

Belfast, Frankfurt, and Koblenz

I really wish we had had more time at Belfast.  I would have liked to tour C.S. Lewis' home and gone on a walking tour, visiting his haunts.  Unfortunately we only had an hour before returning to Dublin.

Me eating dinner in the park in front of  city hall.  That is not a sign above me but a giant flat screen t.v. providing around the clock news.  Our tour bus, the Paddy Wagon is directly behind.

Scene outside our hostel.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at five am.  Electrical storms canceled all the flights in Frankfort which also canceled our plans to squeeze in a trip to Bitburg, a small town where I spent almost half my childhood.  Wah.  It would have been the first time I had visited since I left when I was twelve.  While waiting for another flight, we canceled our hotel, car rental and reserved a hotel in Frankfurt.  

A mind numbing eight hours later we were able to make our destination via a side trip to London where we waited a few more hours until they were finally able to put us onto another plane.

Scene outside our hotel in Frankfurt.  We had no idea how to get there and finally begged a taxi driver at midnight to drive us there even though he was waiting for someone else.  The next morning showed me that we could have walked to the hotel from the airport.

And what a plane it was.  While the Germans were friendly (we struck up a temporary friendship with a young couple returning from camping around the entire island of Ireland and the man in the seat next to me was from Bitburg which produced some friendly conversation) there was a group of teenage Americans that showed just what kind of donkey's behinds Americans could be.  

Their loud, obnoxious chatter heavily laced with the f-word made an already tiring trip even less bearable.  I don't know who was in charge of these kids but finally a woman turned around and timidly addressed the loudest of the group and said, "April, you might want to remember you're not the only person on the plane."  

That bold admonition had predictable results.  They also seemed oblivious to the fact that the other passengers were turning around and staring at them.  Naturally April was seated right behind me.

Even so, we finally got to our new hotel and had a decent night's sleep before taking the train to Koblenz.

The following photos are of Koblenz.  This is where we were to embark on our boat that would take us down the Rhine.

The naughty boy of Koblenz.  The town's mascot.  At unpredictable times he spews water onto unwary observers.

We took a cable car up to Fort Ehrenbreitstein.  It has a wonderful museum that takes the visitor back to the original settlers in Roman times and traces each time era with rooms filled with contemporary memorabilia, costumes, and furniture.  It also had a gift shop filled with beautiful books about Koblenz and even illustrated Grimm Fairy Tales.

View from the fort

Our boat
After walking around the city and the fort, and eating more than a few bratwursts and currywursts (something not offered back when I lived in Germany-obviously a development since the influx of middle eastern immigrants) we arrived at our boat.  

Our boat and bike trip was about to begin!  Stay tuned...


  1. Sharon, thanks for this lovely travel piece. Little else broadens the mind than travel and reading.

    1. Hi Prashant. I could not agree with you more. In fact I think my reading habits are what motivated me to travel.

  2. Omg I was just there a week ago!!! I have the same picture with the horse statue in Koblenz where both rivers meet! My sister lives like an hour away from there and we were riding bikes in the mountains! Looks like you had a great trip! :)

    1. Hi Baiba! I bet you've got some wonderful photos yourself. It was just a wonderful trip.

  3. Beautiful photos. I don't know why, but I am drawn to the stones in the street. They are so attractive.

    Sorry about your experience w/ the plane and all of that. My husband travels internationally for business, and he has stories about out of control children and the like. It's everywhere.

    1. HI Ruth! Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the kids, but I secretly hope one of them or someone like them would read my blog and feel shame. A pipe dream, no doubt but worth a shot.

  4. More great pictures Sharon.

    Too bad that you could not visit all the sites that you wanted to. Such is the way of travelers sometimes.

    The naughty boy of Koblenz made my day :)

    1. Hi Brian. I was disappointed as well, but we can always go again. We want to take an even longer trip that is not along a river but we would bike through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.
      Glad you enjoyed the naughty boy although that makes me wonder what kind of boy you were. :)


I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.