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Because Bill and I have to move to Wiesbaden in a few weeks, we thought it would be a good idea to get oriented to the area.  Before Saturday, the 13th of October, neither of us had ever been to the actual city of Wiesbaden.  Bill had been to the post once– he and a colleague went to Clay Kaserne for an overnight meeting last year.  But neither of us had ever been in the city of Wiesbaden proper, nor had we ever seen nearby Mainz, although I was once in the train station back in 1997.

Our plans to visit our soon to be new home were formulated with a week’s notice, when we contacted a potential landlord about seeing his beautiful free standing house.  When the guy said we could visit, I started looking for dog friendly places to stay.  The landlord specified that he’s open to allowing dogs, but only if they’re “friendly”, which Zane and Arran definitely are.  I figured our usual Stuttgart area pet sitter would be booked anyway, so we decided to bring the dogs with us.  That way, the landlord could meet them and determine if they’re suitable.

I tried to book a supposedly pet accessible apartment in Mainz, but when the landlady found out we have beagles, she claimed her apartment was “too small” to accommodate two medium sized dogs.  This was despite comments on Booking.com by travelers who raved about about how spacious her apartment is.  Due to the supposed “size issue”, she asked me to cancel the reservation.  I was happy to do that, and I’m also happy to supply a link to her property so other would be travelers with dogs won’t waste their time trying to book there.

For some reason, pet friendly apartment rentals in Mainz and Wiesbaden are in notably short supply, so I was forced to book a hotel room, which I found via BringFido.com.  We stayed in the heart of Wiesbaden at Town Hotel in a “standard” room, which is just 18 square meters.  I would be very surprised if our hotel room was larger than the supposedly pet friendly apartment in Mainz I tried to book.  While the landlady is within her rights to discriminate, I would respect her more if she wasn’t utterly full of shit.  If she’d rather not rent to people with pets, she should simply make that her policy or state in her ad that she discriminates based on size, quantity, and/or breed.  I had to prepay for the apartment booking, so it was an inconvenience that she asked me to cancel.

Fortunately, Town Hotel Wiesbaden turned out to be a great choice, despite how small the room was. I had asked to upgrade to a superior room before we arrived, but I guess they didn’t pay attention to the request and we got a standard room.  It didn’t matter, though.  The room was very small; but for two nights, it suited our needs fine.  And Zane and Arran were surprisingly well-behaved, too.

What we discovered on our trip to Hesse is that while it might be only about 100 miles from the Stuttgart area, the vibe is different there.  We definitely felt like we were in a different, more international part of Germany.  We noticed there were a lot of people from other countries living there and they brought their food with them.  I saw so many different kinds of restaurants and international cuisines being offered.  Every meal we had on our short trip was excellent.

Wiesbaden is a very beautiful city, too.  It kind of makes Stuttgart look hideous by comparison.  Both Mainz and Wiesbaden have a lot of beautiful architecture that wow the senses.  I’m also looking forward to trying lots of new wines.  A friend who has lived in Wiesbaden and Stuttgart alerted me to a special thing they do up there… the Federweisser, which is basically new wine one can pick up at a stand.  We saw quite a few of them yesterday as we were driving around the area, trying to find towns where we might want to live.

This was a whirlwind trip, so we only managed to see two houses.  One was a definite “no” and the other is a “maybe”.  We’ll probably have to go back up there again before we make our permanent move, not that I’d mind it.  Wiesbaden is truly gorgeous, and has a very different kind of spirit than Stuttgart does.  I’ll miss this area a lot, but I think there’s a lot to love about Wiesbaden.  I came home with some pictures and new stories, which I’ll share in the posts that follow this one.

A lovely tree in fall colors… This was at a park in downtown Wiesbaden.

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