We arrived in Frankfurt the first week in May from Hong Kong and spent a week catching up on sleep, taking long walks along the Main river and searching for a car to tour Europe in.   We visited a few Mercedes dealers in the area looking for a Gelunde Wagon, however, the showrooms did not have a single new or used wagon on the floor.  We never did get to see one of these wagons the entire time we were in Germany.   Apparently, they are designed for the American market only. 

We considered purchasing a new "Smart Car" but decided against it because of Hugh's size and Chris' amount of luggage.  What do you think?  Is Hugh too big to fit inside a Smart Car?

During our stay in Frankfurt, we experienced our first taste of traditional apple wine, German sausages and white asparagus.  The asparagus was incredible.  It was tender and delicious and the stalks were the size of drumsticks and easy to eat.  On the other had, being served a 10 inch sausage was quite interesting for Chris.  Essentially, when you order a sausage, you get handed a big huge dog with a bread roll on the side.  You are expected to dip the dog in mustard and eat it with your fingers while taking bites of the bread roll.  Chris looked pretty funny eating one, especially because she was the only female in the shop.

Overall, there is not much to do in Frankfurt as it is the business/financial center of Germany.  The downtown shopping is decent as can be attested by Chris' six new pairs of shoes. 

After a week of bumming around, we took a train to Dusseldorf to pick up our car.  We opted for a used black Mercedes diesel SUV as resale is good.  We then drove south through the beautiful Swiss Alps and into Italy.  We hit an unbelievable traffic jam leading up to the Gottard tunnel in Switzerland that delayed us for many hours.  As it turns out, we were traveling on a European holiday weekend!  We finally reached Tuscany late into the night.

We will return to Germany later this year (hopefully for Octoberfest!) and plan to visit Munich, Berlin and Hamburg.

Road Scenes


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           copyright chris & hugh hempel 2004                                                      last modified on Monday, 12. January 2004