Below is a story about a recent trip to Germany written by one of my student’s at my English school, Smith’s school of English Ohtsu.
My student’s name is Kimiko. She is a retired swimming coach and mother of 3 and a very determined English student, as English helps her with her travels all over the world, including Canada, Switzerland and Australia. To read about Kimiko & Masako’s trip to Gold Coast, Australia, click HERE. Kimiko has been studying with us at Smith’s School of English Ohtsu for many years now, and we are incredibly proud of her fantastic and fluent English ability. I want to thank Kimiko for allowing me to publish her story, and I hope you enjoy it. Note: We helped her by circling all the mistakes, but she did all the corrections herself.
Travel in Germany Blog
By Kimiko Ozawa
My husband and I went to Germany from May 8th to May 21th.
It was a long time desire of ours to travel to Germany when my husband retired from his company. At first we bought a 10 day German rail pass for 2 from the travel agent in Japan. If we bought it in Germany, we must pay the 15% tax there.
This time our travel style was backpacking, not suitcases, so could walk around easily. We booked the hotel for the first day and last day only.
The first day, we arrived at Frankfurt airport and took a train to Mainz for 30 minutes. Mainz is famous for Gutenburg who invented the printing press machine, so we visited the Gutenberg Museum, but regrettably it was already closed at 5 p.m. We were excited to wander in the unfamiliar city and feel the ethnic atmosphere.
The second day, we took a half day trip to Bacharach. It took for 1 hour by train. It was a small romantic town; there were many old timber-houses here and there. We climbed the hill; there was Shutereck castle on the hill top that is now used as a youth hostel. From this point, we could see the wonderful Rhein river flow. We went back to Mainz and moved to Wiesbaden.
Wiesbaden is the capital of the Hessen state and very popular for its spa. The guidebook says that there is famous spa called Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme, where celebrities like Goethe, Wagner and Dostoyevsky visited. We decided to go there although it was forbidden to wear swimsuits. I was very shocked to see all men and women were naked and not separated. Finally I rented a bathrobe and paid 8 Euros. After that I never took off my bathrobe and never relaxed at all. I found the Japanese spa system is still the best. That night we stayed at Baeren Hotel, which has the original spa pool. At that time it was not high season so we could find vacant rooms or guest houses easily.
The 3rd day, we enjoyed the Rheine river cruise from Wiesbaden to Braubach. Our first plan was to go to Koblenz, but the river boat dropped us off in Braubach. We wanted to get off because we could see a nice castle on the top of the hill called Markusburg castle. This castle in Rheine area was never attacked from the enemy, so remained as it was. We found a cozy timber-house pension that cost €60 including breakfast for two people. This Rheine river cruise charge was also included in the German rail pass so it was convenient for us.
The 4th day we moved to Koblenz by train, first of all we had to look for that day’s hotel. We walked around and found a 3 star hotel that looked nice and deposited our backpacks. Then we visited Deutsches Eck where the Mosel River and Rheine River join.
The 5th day, we went to Stuttgart because when we arrived at the station, we could take that train without waiting. We realized that Stuttgart flourished as a car industry. The Benz mark stands at the top of the central station. We visited the Mercedes-Benz-Museum and learned car history, saw various types of cars, impressed with the nice display. That night we stayed in a youth hostel for the first time in this trip. The room was simple and clean. Of course we had to do bed making by ourselves.
The 7th day, we stayed in Heidelberg, and that night we happened to go to a concert at the St. Peter’s church near our hotel.
The 8th day, we decided to go to Ulm where the famous physicist Einstein was born. There was his house, his fountain and a monument.
The 9th day we visited Nordlingen, this town has kept a medieval atmosphere! An old brick fort circles the town. It is said that a meteorite fell there in old times.
The 10th day we moved to Fussen because we wanted to visit Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles.
The 11th day we had visited Rothenberg.
The 12th day we went to Wurzburg which is the sister city of Otsu.
The 13th day we stayed in Frankfurt, visited the Goethe Museum. At last we left from Frankfurt the next day.
Thank you for reading,
To see Kimiko’s husband’s Travel In Germany Blog in Japanese, click HERE.
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