Day 11 - 06/07/2002 - Belgium, Germany [Day 2 of Contiki Tour]
When I was finally ready to go to sleep last night (just before 2am), I got into bed, only to realise that there was no sheets! (when I say this to American's they think I am saying "shits" because of my supposed Aussie accent). Anyhow, I rang reception to get some sheets, and he said he would bring them straight up. Half an hour later, I went past reception - only to find him listening to music. I asked about the sheets, and he said he was busy!! This is below my expectation for an almost 5 star hotel.
Got on the bus and travelled for a long time, 8am to 11am, before our first stop at Luxemburg. Beautiful view. None of us could read the menu at the restaurant for lunch, so we all had the safe option - hamburgers.
I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to spend much time at Luxemburg after being on the bus for so long. I was fearing that the whole trip was basically going to be sent sitting on a bus, but my fears were relieved once we arrived in Deutschland (Germany). We spent the afternoon and night in Heidelberg. It was a long time, because it does not get dark until about 10pm here.
Visited the Heidelberg castle. The trip up was on a steep train ride (35+ degrees). Greg and I did not go in the castle, because the exterior views were so fantastic (and Greg wanted to sleep on the grass) - I think it was money well saved, because the people who did go in told us "we went in, stood on top of the world's biggest wine barrel and thought 'why are we in here?'"
Went to dinner with a group of newfound Contiki friends to a traditional German restaurant, "Das Schaf Von Heidelberg". I had Schnitzel and Beef Stroganoff (shared the two dishes with Greg) - the servings were huge and I only just got through it - most people had left-overs, but even I was too hungry to take up the offers to finish their food. The waitress was fantastic - really looked after us (despite our annoyances) and allowed us all to pay separately! In Germany, there are some hilarious sounding words, that is, when you say them in English, they sound quite rude - an rude version of this was in the restaurant ... on the menu, there was a dish that one of the girls was thinking of ordering, so she asked the waitress "What is this?", the waitress replied "Fucking her" and everyone went red and then could not stop laughing (it was printed "Fachinger" in the menu)
MOVIE: Dinner [MPG 330KB]
Over dinner, I found out from some of the girls that there was some beautiful Belgium chocolate on our pillows at the first hotel. I definitely didn't remember this, so I questioned Greg about it - turns out he ate both the cholates (his and mine) without telling me ... and he thought he would get away with it, without me ever finding out - I will always be entering the hotel rooms first from now on.
After dinner, went for a boat paddle on the lake ... during daylight at 9pm, which was weird - we all thought it felt like a Sunday afternoon, but it was much later. We had a few races .. all of which our boat won (I think) - they kept swapping paddlers, and wanting to race again, but we remained undefeated (despite the knee injury inflicted on my paddling partner).
MOVIE: Boats [MPG 590KB]
Got some great ice-cream from the mall - only AU$3 for 3 scoops in a waffle cone!
Went and checked out some local pubs, then went looking for taxis - we had ten people, and wanted to try and find two taxis that could hold 5 people each (which I thought was going to be an major ordeal, but I was wrong). We saw a normal taxi and asked if he could organise any 5 people taxis for us ... within 30 seconds there were two taxis that could hold 6 people each! That is German efficiency for you.
MOVIE: Window [MPG 180KB]
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