Thursday, March 18, 2010

True nomads at last

Finally back to the blog world... I know it has been long over due. BUT actually even I got caught up in everyday things like saving for mortgage, ensuring the MIL is set up and so on... The end of 2009 saw us through a few mile stones, finding a retirement home for MIL so that we could re-start our nomadic ways was high on agenda and did find one... That itself was an adventure and another story for a later blog. Now to the nomadic life

Early 2010 before I landed on another contract of work, the other half got offered a role that would involve a lot of travel in Europe, working at various sites for a few weeks at a time. This had happened back in 2005, when we were stationed in London, where he was off in the continent for 6 days a week and w had a weekend only relationship. The main reason for leaving London in that trip was I did not like it. So the question was what do we do now.. and I piped in Hey I have an idea... we will make it a working holiday 'you work and I will holiday, and we will both holiday in the weekends' Its good to have a loving hubby, he fell for it ;)

So here we are in a tiny little apartment in Frankfurt ( snowing the first three we
eks, of the 6 we are expected to be here) and enjoying true nomadic life... where I have temporarily retired from work. So what is this, living of a set of clothes that fits within a suitcase, shopping for the food one day at a time , and using pub;ic transport...

There have been some fun moments already. The first weekend was spent using the Shones-Wochenende
Ticket - This ticket allows up to 5 people to travel together anywhere in germany on non ICE (read it ultra fast trains) on a weekend day for
just 37 euros.
We decided to use this to visit Wurstberg ,unfortunately could not find three more like minded people :( .
Wurstberg was one of the typical german towns that has been completely re-built in exact copy of what it was before the english bombs destroyed it! It has its share of lovely Kirch's, Paved Streets, Alte Bruche and even the Merianberg Fort that was not quite as destroyed as the rest of it! It was wonderful to walk around this quaint little town on a cold but sunny winter day.

Of course being us, we need to catch up with friends, and one of those happen
to live in Basel, Switzerland. The train buff of my husband loves the FAST european trains, but the cost for each return trip is not that cheap.. Here is where the resea
rch works. I have booked a german rail pass, that is great. They have what's called a twin pass for people who will travel together, and is available to non EU residents. A 4 day pass in first class works out only 60 euros more than a second class return tickets for two to Basel. The 4 days need to be used up within a month, and two of the 4 days will need to be kept for basel trip that we will do end of this month.
So what do we do with the other two days...?
The first weekend that the ticket was valid turned out to be a weekend of snow and sleet. I had the brilliant idea of wandering in shopping centres here in Frankfurt on saturday and do the touristy bit on sunday... Took off on the sunday morning train to Tubingen via Stuttgart. The train was excellent

Well, however, forgot that in Germany, sabbath is still very well preserved... Everything was soooo quite that it felt like walking (or rather with all the ice and snow around, shuffling) around in a otherworldly town, where people sleep during day or some such thing!
The weather and the fact that most lovely cafes etc including the tourist office was shut on a sunday (being still winter) we had time on our hands.. So decide to do what a true 'desi' would do. Get value for our tickets :) So took off to karlsbrugh an industrial town that definitely is no tourist map, just because an ICE was going there... Walked for an hour there and then after a nice pide/falafel roll at the station there, got back to Frankfurt by 6 Pm. Not a bad way
to spend sunday... Think I am going to like this nomadic life!

Last weekend did not want a repeat of the sunday
debacle of previous week, so decided to head out to Munich on day trip on Saturday made an early start and took off by the 7.30 train. It was still quite cold, and the bavarian countryside was a picture post card...

Munich was as lovely as I
remembered it from last century (1994) and loved walking around there.

The ratkeller bar/restaurant in the basement of the rathuas was as atmospheric as can be imagined and had a lovely beer and a very tasty and extremely
small potato pancakes. The carrot and ginger soup in the market was absolutely great. Only thing we missed out was.. no 'Glu Wine' Thought the weather was perfect for it, but could not find it in the market :(

Here is a picture of the hall in the residence the home of the bavarian counts from 1300 to 1920 from which time it has been a museum...

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