Wednesday, October 31, 2012

European road trip finale.

Second time writing this post. Accidentally wiped out the first writings with a single key. Not even sure which key it was.
The second last day of our European road trip took us to four countries namely, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium. It was what it was because of the scheduling conflict from the day before. Were supposed to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle before arriving in Zurich but due to a miscommunication, we had to drive back to Neuschwanstein after staying 2 days in Zurich. That took away half a day from our original schedule. What to do but pack up the schedule on the second last day.
Having over-nighted in Triberg (Germany), we started the day with tobogganing in Todtnau (Germany). It was crowded that day but definitely worth the wait. Took us 90 minutes to queue up to buy the tickets, board the chair lifts to go up the mountain and queue again to be strapped into the toboggans. Then, off we go down the world's longest toboggan tracks. It was the most exhilarating 6 minutes of our trip.
Lunch stop was at a cafe in Strasbourg (France), the European capital, before heading to Trier (Germany) to see Karl Marx's residence and his political ideologies. Dinner time took us to Luxembourg City and by 11pm that night, we're in Brussels (Belgium) for our flight back home the next day. All in all, we had a good time and I was thankful  it went on smoothly without much glitch.

The name Black Forest had always intrigued me. Named so as the area was so densely populated by pine and fir trees. Hearing the name gave me a sense of mystery. Thus, it was a must-visit for me and it didn't disappoint. The mountain ranges, the small towns and villages just took my breath away. Very story-book like.

The most famous waterfall in Germany- Triberg Waterfalls

Working cuckoo clock in Triberg- should  have bought one since this area is famous for hand crafted wood clocks.
View from our hotel room- very tranquil and homey with smoke coming from the chimneys, laundry hanging on the lines to dry and dogs barking in the distance.

The one night we didn't reserve a hotel room for this roadtrip, we ended up at the Hotel Ketterer in Triberg- walk in rate at 85 euros per night per room with breakfast. Very basic but clean, large rooms. Each room had a queen sized bed, 2 chairs with a table, a small TV, very thin bath towels, hot shower, but no bathroom toiletries whatsoever. Our kids had the room with the window next to the entrance while we had a room in the back which was alright.

Dolmades- minced meat with rice in grape leaves. The best dish of the night at Poseidon Greek Restaurant in Triberg.

Cute little sheds

                                     Loved the homes dotting the hills of the Black Forest.

Black forest cake from Cafe Adler to go. Cake was a mess by the time we got around to it in the car. Very delicious chocolate cake with lots of liquor infused between the layers and cherries on top.

Todtnau's Hasenhorn Coasters. Chair lifts transporting the toboggans and thrill seekers up the mountain. Beautiful view of Todtnau town and the toboggan tracks in the background. A must try! Inexpensive too- 9 euros per person per trip.

Strasbourg- beautiful in some parts of town but abundant graffiti on the buildings spoiled the aesthetics.

Braised pork knuckle from a cafe near Petite France in Strasbourg- pretty good knuckles but the fries and broccoli were less desirable.

Dinner in Luxembourg City- complimentary baked mussels- great flavors. Thanks to rude employees at 2 prior restaurants, we're glad we found this restaurant serving rustic French cuisine. Can't remember the name, though. Tucked away from the crowds of the Place d'Armes square with much nicer waiters and good food. (We walked out of the previous 2 restaurants- never did this before. The first one seated us and left us hanging for 20 minutes. When we got up and left, the waiter would have none of it and started throwing things around. My husband left him some tips and he broke a smile! The second one after seated us, told us we'd not be served if we drank the bottled water that we had bought from somewhere else. Fine, it's understandable. The same snobbish waitress proceeded to tell us unless we order only appetizers from their menu, the food would take over an hour to arrive. My husband was peeved off, left some tips and out the door we went.)

                                     Local pizza with bacon and shrimp croquettes for appetizers.

Enjoyed this roasted duck in cranberry sauce very much- tender and juicy. Just perfectly cooked. Salad was fresh and nicely dressed.

Luxembourg City- small, pedestrian friendly world heritage city but having tasted its local snobbish attitude made it a never again place in our travelling book. Too bad!  
Adolphe Bridge- Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City 

Last leg of the roadtrip- on the way to Brussels at 10 o'clock at night. Memorable trip!

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