Matt and his parents were still here but today is the day we needed to leave on our two week trip to northern Germany. Tate & Lyle has a company they own in Luebeck Germany. It is close to the Baltic Sea (or Ostsee). More about that later.
So Monday, yes, we got up and since we were leaving we had to pack. I was going to start the day before, but, of course, we got home too late for that. So we got up and started packing for our trip. Everything, of course, took much longer than expected, and Gordon and Mary Ann came over and were weren’t ready, and we weren’t ready for a while after that, finally we ate breakfast and we were ready to go. It isn’t easy packing for 2 weeks and different kinds of weather even when you don’t have very much stuff. I don’t know why it took so long. After breakfast, we took the bus to the tube and then tube to San Pancras station where the Eurostar would take us at 6 pm. It was around 11 when we got there. My great idea was to leave the luggage there so we didn’t have to go out to the apartment after we did things downtown. Most train stations in Europe have some sort of luggage lockers. We were packed rather… inefficiently, with lots of extra bags, because it didn’t matter, and we were in a hurry, but soon that came to be a problem. I figured we would have to rent a couple lockers and typically they can cost 8 euros, we were traveling with Matt, me, the three kids, and my Mom and Dad for 2 weeks, we had a suitcase each. Well, turns out, for all of you who think it is a good idea in the future… San Pancras station does not have luggage lockers, they have a luggage check, and for each bag, you have to pay a fee, and the fee is pretty ridiculous. I wont tell you how much because I am still disturbed about it. I am pretty sure we could have fed a family for a long time with that money, but ok, we didn’t have much choice at that point, we couldn’t lug the luggage all over London. So we left it.
After that we went to Greenich. The plan was to take a tour boat down the river, it isn’t too costly and more interesting. We had a great tour guide and finally landed. We hiked up to the observatory. Matt made a point with his GPS at the prime meridian. He was 9 seconds off, it was so sad for him. We took pictures with our feet on both sides. We then hiked back down the hill and had some ice cream before we had to rush back to get the train to get the tube to get to the Eurostar. It was a fast trip. The Eurostar is the train that connects London to Paris or Brussels. We went to Brussels, so that night we had a hotel close to the train station.
The next morning we had a few hours before our train so we walked toward downtown Brussels and as I say, we ate our way across Brussels. First we had Belgium Waffles, you could have them with chocolate sauce (my choice), or fruit and whipped cream or both. They smelled so good as you walk down the street. They are sold at little places along the street, you go to the window to order and eat there in front of the shop. They have a “shell” which is almost like crystallized sugar on the surface, they are soo good, I love the texture. I have to figure it out. We walked around saw the cathedral, the main sites (there is a special statue you can ask Paul and Jacob about), and went to a chocolate shop. They had free demonstrations and samples…. MMM… it worked for us, we bought stuff there. After the chocolate and more walking and seeing we ate Pomme Frits (French fries) did you know french fries were invented in Belgium? They like to put mayonnaise on them. I think I am getting used to it.
After that we decided we better get back for our train. We had to go fast, but we made it to pick up our luggage and to the train station in the nick of time. We took trains the rest of the way to Lubeck and got there in time to go to bed. I was really upset, because I had gone to the money machine in the train station and it ate my card. I was pretty sick about it actually, but it turned out ok. I cancelled mine right away that night and matt had another one we could use. No loss, just frustrating.
The next day I had to go to work. Matt stayed with the kids and mom and dad. They were so nice and went and got the kids breakfast before they got up. They swam mostly that day and had a lazy day. After so much business, that was nice, besides, we were finally in a hotel with a pool. After work that night we went to a restaurant recommended by the hotel which they called “flintstones” in English. It didn’t have the characters, but it did have dinosaurs. German food was yummy.
Thursday my parents decided to go to Poland for a few days. Maybe I should ask them to blog about it and post it here, because I don’t know too many of the details. They left Thursday morning and came back on Sunday. They got all the way across the country and found out their passes didn’t work in Poland, which I think is kinda funny. They liked it, and it gave them a different experience from the rest of our trip. They rode on a very scenic train along the low mountains and streams there in Poland. They went to Krakow. I guess that is pretty much what I know.
Matt and the kids walked around the town, did some geocaching, went to a park and waited for me to get home on Thursday. Unfortunately, I had to work late. We were going to go out with some friends from work for dinner at this resturaunt that I thought Jacob would love, it was called something like Karrtoffhoger. Kafftoff is potato I think. Anyway, Jacob got potato pancakes with mushroom sauce, libby got potato pancakes with applesauce. Paul got a plate of roasted potatoes with eggs, matt got sausages, sourkraut and potatoes. I usually can eat off everyones plate and get enough to eat so I didn’t order anything. Of course, what is most often left over? Salad, which is fine with me. I ate salad and some of most everything else.
Turns out, I found out over the weekend that this was a restaurant which was connected to the EHEC outbreak and one woman died after eating there. She ate there May 13-15. They thought it was the sprouts that made her sick, I ate radish sprouts, I remember because they were so good. That rather freaked me out for a while, but we are going on day 8 now and I still feel ok. The E Coli outbreak was going strong the whole time we were there. I didn’t pay attention at first, but it was concentrated in northern Germany (right where we were). After the weekend we were more careful.
Friday morning I worked for a while from the hotel. Thursday and Friday were holidays in Germany. Thursday was Fathers Day. In Germany, that means that the guys all get together and hang out. As it was explained to me, the guys get together, pull a wagon of beer and go to the woods. Matt walked in the woods with his kids. (close).
I will have to tell you about the weekend later. We are on the train now, after the weekend after this (i am a bit behind). We have internet on the train! LOVE IT! So I thought iIwould post what I have.
Post more soon.