Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part seven

Ah Sunday… our last full day at the luxurious Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn. Once again, I wondered if we might be able to venture to the waterfalls. Once again, I was disappointed by wind, rain, and the occasional teasing from the sun. Oh well. Now we have a reason to come back to Baiersbronn, or some other fancy resort in the area.

So what did we do on our last day? That was another pool day for us, and since I’ve already posted my pool photos in part four, I don’t have much to write about that, other than we discovered that the Bareiss has a really cool swimsuit dryer that wrings the water out of your bathing suit in eight seconds flat. I hadn’t noticed it during our first visit. Also, this was the day that I saw the nude lady in the jacuzzi, informing me that the sauna and steam room area at Hotel Bareiss is obviously clothing optional. I didn’t see any signs about that, although it’s well known in Germany that you don’t sit in a sauna or steam room while wearing a swimsuit. You will be properly bitched out for it, if you do!

Bill and I weren’t really interested in the saunas or steam rooms, anyway. After a few more turns in the indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, we just enjoyed the awesome outdoor hot tub in the sauna area, which we had all to ourselves. The sauna world also had a Kneipp walk pool, an icy cold plunge pool, foot baths, and an exit to the outside, where I assume one could walk around au naturale if they wanted to. I’ve heard being nude in public isn’t necessarily illegal in Germany, although it certainly would be noticed and frowned upon. But I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. 😉

After we came back from the pool area, we decided to walk into town and have lunch at a restaurant at Hotel Lamm, another lodging facility located across the street from Hotel Bareiss. Hotel Lamm isn’t as fancy as Hotel Bareiss is, but it does have a pretty nice restaurant. As we were walking in, we noticed a large group of young folks in Trachten– traditional German clothing– and they were obviously headed to the Volksfest in Stuttgart. Or maybe they were going somewhere else, but they sure looked like they were going to party, and they could get the train and enjoy themselves safely.

The restaurant at Hotel Lamm is called Wipfel (Treetop), and it is staffed by young folks dressed in traditional Trachten. Our waitress switched to English as soon as she heard us speak, then apologized for not having a menu in English. It was okay, as we both speak German restaurant lingo pretty well.

I was still perturbed about the unpleasant reactions to my trout dish on Saturday, so I ordered another one! That one didn’t attract as much attention. Bill had beef with horseradish sauce. We shared a bottle of locally produced Riesling, a bottle of mineral water, and more farmer’s bread. I was impressed by the Wipfel, and the hotel itself looked nice. I’m sure it is a hell of a lot less expensive to stay there, too!

We walked around Baiersbronn a bit after a late lunch, then walked back to the Bareiss, gawking at all the Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Teslas and Volvos… I never thought we’d stay in such a place. When we married 20 years ago, we never went anywhere for fun, because we were broke. It wasn’t until we were married 3 years before we finally went on a trip that didn’t involve staying with family. We’ve come a long way.

Dinner at Bareiss on Sunday night was a more casual affair. I didn’t visit the buffet, but I believe vegetables was the theme. As it was, I just had one course from the menu, a filet mignon with roasted potatoes, and dessert. I wanted to try another steak, and was pleased that this time, the temperature was right. I also loved the dessert, which was a pistachio parfait.

Because it was our last night, and because I was thinking of Arran, who was named after a Scottish island in the Hebrides, Bill and I visited the bar one last time. I drank a couple of drams of whisky, while Bill had a cocktail and a wee dram of scotch. I was glad to see they had Glen Scotia from Campbeltown, but they didn’t have any Springbank!

The bartender, who had been a little aloof, was genuinely kind when we said we were going home. It was nice to hang out in her bar for a few days. But going home is better for the wallet! And, to be honest, as much as I enjoyed our visit, I was ready to come home. I think long trips are kind of hard for us, especially when things are structured, as they tend to be in resorts. I don’t know if or when we’ll be back to the Schwarzwald “on holiday”, but I would love to find a really nice self-catering house with great views of the mountains and the freedom to try different places for dinner.

On the other hand, of course I would also love to go to the Bareiss again. Stay tuned for part eight, which will close out this series.


Wiesbaden on business, followed by pleasure…

I have been needing a new contact lens prescription for ages. Now that I’ve reached 50 years of age, my eyes don’t work the way they used to. I need reading glasses, but I don’t wear them because I didn’t know what kind I needed. Besides, if I don’t wear my lenses, I can read just fine. But when I have them in, I have a very hard time reading small print. Likewise, Bill was in need of a new lens prescription, as it had been five years since our last exams. I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that one can buy contact lenses in Germany without an official or yearly updated prescription. If you know what you need, you can simply order from Amazon. So that’s what I’ve done… but it’s not been without its drawbacks, as I’ve gradually been self prescribing stronger lenses for myself.

The last time we saw an eyecare professional, Bill and I visited the Stuttgart health center on Patch Barracks, then filled our prescriptions at an optical shop in Nagold, a cute town near where we used to live in BW. Wiesbaden doesn’t have such a facility, and even if it did, using it would be on a space available basis for peons like us. So Bill decided to “bite the bullet”, and he made us appointments at Apollo Optik, an optometrist in downtown Wiesbaden. I should mention that Apollo is one of many eyecare outfits downtown. We passed two others on the way there today.

Bill made our appointments online, and we both got confirmations and reminders by email. Bill was in a hurry to get to the shop, but he needn’t have worried about being on time. Apollo wasn’t like the typical eye doctor’s office we’re used to, where there are places to sit. 😉 We arrived and waited for the painfully shy gentleman helping the people ahead of us to check in. He didn’t speak much English, and didn’t seem all that comfortable with German, either. He did not appear to be a local. My appointment was first, so I sat at a machine that did an automated exam that took about two minutes. But he neglected to tell me to remove my contacts first, so we had to do it again, once I’d taken them out. I was glad I brought my glasses and a fresh pair of lenses!

After a short delay, the technician came in and did my exam. He spoke English reasonably well, and was actually very thorough, as I explained that I need to upgrade from my regular astigmatism dailies to multifocal lenses. My prescription had changed a bit regardless, so it was good that we went in. He ordered new lenses for me to try, and when they come in, we’ll go pick them up and I’ll try them out. If they don’t work, he’ll order different ones. 😉 We are going away next week for a few days; then Bill has a business trip. We’re also dealing with Arran, who is newly diagnosed with lymphoma. But hopefully, we can get in and pick up the new lenses so I can at least see better.

Speaking of Arran… he’s a little slower than usual, especially in the morning, but he’s hanging in there. Yesterday, Noyzi got a dental, and Arran had more blood samples taken so that we might know what kind of lymphoma he’s got, and whether or not it will be worth it to treat him with chemotherapy. But again, he’s about 13 or 14 years old, so we’ll probably just make him comfortable until the sad day comes when we have to say goodbye.

Now, back to our day in Wiesbaden, which is a happier topic. Bill got his exam done. He just wanted new lenses for his glasses, as his frames from Nagold are made of titanium and he likes them. They were also expensive. The whole appointment took about 90 minutes, and when we were done, we both really had to pee and wanted some food. Our plan had been to eat at the City Fest, or the Fall Fest, both of which are going on right now. Unfortunately, for some reason, the toilets weren’t open, even though the fest was in full swing! So we decided to visit the Andechser Ratskeller, where we’d eaten once before, back in 2019. I’ve been wanting German food anyway, so it was perfect.

I had a Doppelbock beer, while Bill had a “special Hell” (hell is a German style of beer, not the fiery place down below). To eat, I had Schweinebraten with Rotkohl and a potato Knodel. Bill had a Wiener Schnitzel with fries. It was hearty fare served by a hardworking waiter, who was delighted when Bill tipped him American style. Our bill was 42,50 euros, and Bill gave him 50 and told him to keep the change. I could see the guy got a nice lift from that, since he was really busting his ass! I’m sure that might help him pay his energy bill this year. 😉 Or maybe pay for a few liters of gas… Ordinarily, we don’t tip like Americans when we’re in Germany, since people who work in restaurants actually get paid here. But I know firsthand how tough that job is, and we can afford to be generous sometimes.

After we ate, we made our way back toward the parking garage, stopping to explore the fall fest. I remember going to it in 2019, before COVID was a thing. It was great to see everything back in full swing again. People were having a lot of fun, and I saw some art I wanted to buy. Maybe we’ll go back tomorrow and get something, making sure to be armed with more cash. I heard several excellent musicians in the city fest, including an awesome brass band who were playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (yes, by Guns n’ Roses). I wanted to listen to them, since I love brass bands… but my bladder was screaming for relief. So maybe we’ll catch them another time. They were great! We also heard a British duo performing a lovely version of “Old Man” by Neil Young, and a beautiful classical guitar player, enchanting people on a soundstage.

We did need to get home, though… the boys needed to eat and pee, and they were happy to see us.

Here are some photos from today’s excursion!

I hadn’t wanted to go out today, but I’m glad I did. I was reminded of how lucky we are to live in Germany, especially at this time of year. Autumn is magical in Germany. It’s almost as amazing as Christmas is.


New neighbors clue me in to a German tradition I had never heard of…

Bill had to go out of town on business, so I’m spending most of the week alone. We got a bunch of Amazon deliveries yesterday– a new spool for the weed whacker, dog food for Noyzi, contact lenses for me, and two bottles of liqueurs that I was curious about trying. I thought I was finished answering the door when the bell rang again. I will admit, I was a little annoyed, mainly because I wasn’t wearing clothes that people outside of the household should see. But I answered the doorbell anyway…

It was our neighbors-to-be, whom we met on Friday night– mom, dad, and two young children. They were all dressed up, and the wife was holding a plate with what appeared to be a piece of bread on it. She said, in her heavily accented and somewhat broken English (which is still much better than my German any day), that yesterday was the first day of school, and it’s a tradition for sweet “Brezels” to be served for good luck. I think she also said that it was tradition to share the treat with a neighbor, and originally she had described what looked like a yeast bread as “cake”.

In ten years of living in Germany, this has never happened to me before, so I was unaware of the custom, but I was very moved by the gesture, nonetheless. Especially since they are going to be our neighbors as of next month! I did enjoy talking to them at our party the other day, mainly because she was born and raised in the Stuttgart area and had some rather candid opinions about her hometown that I found amusing. Let’s just say that she has the same impressions of the Swabian culture that a lot of people seem to have, and she prefers living in Hesse. Personally, I really like the Stuttgart area, but I have to agree that Hessians are stereotypically friendlier.

She presented the piece of “Brezel” to me on a lovely plate. I asked her what I should do with the plate when we were finished with it. She said I could return it when they move in next month. I am enjoying the Brezel bread for breakfast today, with my coffee. I thought it had raisins in it, too, but now that I’ve tasted it, I think they’re chocolate chips! Even better!

I posted about this surprise gift on Facebook, and my German friend– also hailing from Baden-Württemberg– was initially confused about the tradition herself. But then when I explained that the “cake” was actually Brezel, she wrote “alles klar”, and explained that it‘s customary for sweet pretzels (Brezels) to be made for the new school year, and passed out to the kids. Usually, one only sees them at New Year’s, when they are made fresh and passed out to family and friends for good luck and cohesion. However, in some areas, they also make them for St. Martin’s Day, or for the new school year, which starts in September in these parts.

Here’s a video about the New Year’s Pretzel, which I guess is the same as the pretzel handed out yesterday.

My friend asked if the bread was braided, and I wrote that I couldn’t tell, as it was only a generous sized piece of the Brezel, and not a whole one. But after a few minutes of research, she was able to find the answer for me. Now that I think about it, I believe our new neighbor’s husband’s family– who is also going to be our neighbor– is from a bit north of Wiesbaden. He brought some special beer to the party that can only be found in that area, and he and Bill bonded over it.

One of the things I like about living in Europe is that there are a lot of surprises. Most of the time, they’re pleasant surprises, like the time we lived in Jettingen and I got serenaded by three kids dressed up for Three Kings Day. They were collecting money for the Catholic church, and they were so adorable I couldn’t resist giving them some spare euros. There’s always something going on here, and so many traditions. We’re also heading into my favorite time of year, when the summer heat dissipates, and the weather gets cozy. I can stop wearing my t-shirts and Daisy Duke shorts (which I can’t pull off worth a damn), and wear pretty sweaters, scarves, and jewelry.

Hopefully, this new family will turn out to be actual friends. So far, so good. The wife even laughed at my jokes… especially when I was talking about having to leave Stuttgart early the first time and said, “I was PIIISSSED…” Come to think of it, I was probably also “pissed”, in the British sense of the word, when I was telling that story… But it’s a good sign that she wasn’t offended. 😉

Germany, restaurant reviews, Wiesbaden

Our first visit to Landhaus Diedert… I give it an A+!

Yesterday, as I was considering where we might visit in Italy later this month, I realized that it had been awhile since our last nice meal. I asked Bill what he thought about going to one of our favorite restaurants, Villa Im Tal. He was up for it, but Villa Im Tal was closed this weekend. Then Bill noticed Landhaus Diedert, a restaurant and hotel located in the Kloster Klarenthal, which dates back to the 13th century. While I was searching for places to stay during our upcoming trip, Bill was reading up about this restaurant, which is family run and has a mention in the Michelin Guide. After today’s lunch, I can see why. We had an absolutely FANTASTIC experience.

The restaurant is located on the outskirts of Wiesbaden, in an area not far from nature. There’s free parking, and in the warm months, they offer a very nice outdoor area, complete with a little playhouse for the kids. But the food here is anything but kid stuff. It was more what I would call a mix of comfort food and haute cuisine.

The mask requirements in Hesse were dropped yesterday, and our vaccine statuses weren’t checked, but I noticed everyone wore masks in the lovely dining room at Landhaus Diedert. I don’t know if that was required; they didn’t have a sign up. I suspect people are just used to masking, and as time passes, more people will relax. The staff all wore masks, and there were two hand sanitizing stations in the restaurant, which is very beautiful. I do know that the health minister wants people to keep masking. Personally, I look forward to being done with the fucking things… but I did wear a mask today, since everyone else was doing it.

When we first arrived, we were taken for Germans. That always pleases me. One waiter delivered the specials in German. I understood most of what he said, but when he was finished he heard me say in English, “It’s asparagus season.” And indeed, they did have a number of asparagus specials available. He was kind enough to give us the specials in English, and brought us menus in English, too. I was grateful for the English menus, although they weren’t necessary. We enjoyed a round of Sekt and some fresh breads with hummus and butter, then perused the extensive wine menu. Bill chose a lovely Shiraz from South Africa.

To start, I had a delicious wild garlic soup with a won ton filled with smoked trout, and served with a side of wasabi mayonnaise. Bill had a cannelloni filled with goat cheese and served with greens and a walnut dressing. I tried the walnut dressing, though I’m not a goat cheese fan. Bill liked his starter very much, but I LOVED the wild garlic soup. It made my tastebuds sing from the first taste. Although it was a bit rich, I had to finish the whole thing. I exclaimed how good it was as one of the servers cleared the first course. I have a feeling it’s a popular offering.

For our main courses, Bill had a perfectly tender U.S. flank steak with prosciutto wrapped asparagus and pureed sweet potatoes, topped with chimchuree. I had a braised beef short rib with smoked roasted and mashed potatoes, leeks, roasted corn, and a sweet gravy with blueberries. It was very rich, but absolutely delicious and comforting. We had to take our time with the main courses, because they were substantial. I did end up bringing home some of the mashed potatoes.

Then, for dessert we decided to go with something different. Bill decided to have a flambeed pineapple slices, with ice cream. This was prepared at the table for us, and the gentleman who served us was kind enough to let me take a video, which I have posted at the bottom of this post. I had a rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream that was very extreme. I mean, I’ve had vanilla ice cream, but this was something very special.

Service was kind, competent, and expedient. The pacing of the meal was perfect, and we noticed that everyone seemed very jovial. It must have been the food and the friendly service. I wouldn’t say this restaurant is particularly kid friendly, but I did see some children there, and they seemed happy to be there. And, again, in the summer, they can play while the adults enjoy the food, which is really something to behold. Total bill was about 185 euros, before the tip, and we paid with a credit card.

Landhaus Diedert makes a great place to celebrate a special occasion, or just celebrate great, seasonal food. We really enjoyed ourselves today. This is one place I’m glad we didn’t miss.

I’m sure we will be back again… Below are some photos from today’s fabulous lunch!

Bill’s dessert. The waiter was kind enough to let me video. I’m sure I’m not the first.

And just to close out this post. I want to add a couple more photos… things I noticed on the drive to and from the restaurant.

What a great Sunday! I hope we can do this a lot more often now.

day trips

From Wiesbaden to wine, women, and Worms…

We had nice weather today. It was the first nice, warm, sunny day in about a week. Or, at least the day started out nice, anyway. We have clouds right now. At about 11:30am, I asked Bill if he’d like to go do something. He said he would. I’d been wanting to visit Worms, a well touristed city in Rheinland-Palatinate, maybe an hour’s drive from Wiesbaden. So we beagle proofed the house, got in the trusty Volvo, and headed to the city of slimy critters.

Crossing the Rhein River into Worms… this is the  Nibelungenturm, built by architect Karl Hoffman’s, whose handiwork can be spotted all over the city. It’s pretty cool!

By the time we got to Worms, I was hungry. It was about 12:45pm when we parked, and then because Bill parked in an outdoor parking spot at Das Wormser, he only got an hour. It was long enough for me to take this photo of yet another one of Germany’s provocative ads. Well, it would be provocative in the United States, for sure…

Netto is a discount market… I guess the wardrobe budget was cut for this ad. 😉

So we made a quick trip to the Wormser Dom, the big Catholic church where Martin Luther was condemned as a heretic. More went on there, of course, but since I am neither a Catholic nor a student of history, I can’t write authoritatively on the cathedral, except to mention that it had a lofty history before it was reduced in status to a parish church. When you come to Worms, you’ll see it easily on the horizon, and it begs a visit. I got a few photos, which I noticed made Bill tear up.

And a few shots of the other side, which is where the main entrance is.

After we took a walk around the cathedral, Bill moved the car into the inside of the garage at Das Wormser, and we headed back into the city in search of lunch. By that time, I was pretty hungry and getting a bit grouchy. But I still managed to take a few more pictures, which because of Apple’s latest update, Catalina, are a bit of a pain in the ass to upload.

Finally, we ran across a restaurant that was still open, even though it was about 2:00pm. Die Pfälzer stays open for lunch until 2:30pm and they were able to help us out with some tasty, high quality food. I was definitely feeling better after a healthy lunch of salmon, spinach, and boiled potatoes washed down with wheat beer, although this restaurant is known for its wines. Bill had grilled wurst with sauerkraut and fried potatoes. There was a table full of Americans in there and I was reminded of how loud my countrymen can be. But overall, it was a nice, economical experience…

After lunch, we headed back toward the Marktplatz and stopped into the Evangelische Kirche– that’s the protestant church in town. It was impressive on the outside, but looked a bit refurbished on the inside, circa 1960 something.

We walked out of the church to discover a wine bar set up outside. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a glass for the road. I drank most of Bill’s too, since he was driving. I love this about this part of Germany. You can go to any town and find neighbors socializing over wine. I don’t remember seeing this in the Stuttgart area. Down there, it’s more beer and less hanging out… but I like Stuttgart too, for many other reasons.

Last night, we went to our neighborhood wine stand. I got a few photos of that, too. We ended up chatting with our neighbor, Uli, who speaks English fluently and has a horse and a cool dog named Levi that she adopted from an American soldier who went to Iraq. I love Levi… and Uli says if we’re ready for another dog, she can help us get one. Something tells me we might not be a three member family for the rest of our time here.

Photos from last night’s fun… one of our neighbors who had seen us at earlier wine stands came over, welcomed us in German, and said it was wonderful we were hanging out with them. Americans could learn a few things from Hessians.

I really hope I get the hang of Catalina soon… or they do something to fix the many glitches in the new system. Otherwise, future posts might be lighter on photos. But so far, our holiday weekend has been good. It’s hard to believe a year ago, we came to Wiesbaden for the first time to look for a place to live. Time flies when you’re still having fun!


The Eagles sure didn’t stink in Cologne… part 3

On thing Cologne, Germany is known for is its Kölsch (or Koelsch) beer.  This beer is very light, crisp, dry, and refreshing, and it’s usually served in a tall, cylindrical, 20 cL glass called a rod or a spike.  The server, called a Köbes, carries twelve of the “rods” in a caddy known as a Kranz.  It looks kind of like a crown or a wreath.

Kölsch bars are plentiful in Cologne, but there’s one that is right in the thick of things.  The Gaffel am Dom restaurant is next to the Excelsior Hotel Ernst and across from the train station.  When we visited Cologne in 2012, we ate there, so we decided to do it again in 2019.  As we walked into the large building, we were invited to sit wherever we wanted.

There are two entrances… one across from the train station and the other around the corner.


The inside of the restaurant.  It’s actually pretty huge.

Neither Bill nor I were very hungry, thanks to a filling lunch at the airport.  We just wanted to drink some beer and maybe have something a little light.  Well, I’m here to tell you that finding something light isn’t so easy at this restaurant, but I did manage to go vegetarian.

Our waiter carries a Kranz full of beer.

The waiters will keep bringing you beer and mark how many you have on a coaster.  


When you’ve had enough, do this.


Prost!  It’s definitely not like a Weizen.  Kölsch beer is different, because it’s warm fermented with ale yeast, then cold conditioned like a lager.


Bill used his beer to wash down beef goulash, which came with a little potato dumpling.  He had this the first time we visited and wanted to try it again.


I was happy with my three fried potato fritters with black bread, butter, and apple sauce garnished with cranberry sauce.  This was surprisingly hearty and filling.  They also had meat versions of this dish with the potatoes, which sounded good, but I honestly wasn’t hungry enough for them.  I had been eyeing a chicken salad, but noticed another woman got what I’d been looking at.  It was HUGE!  She actually cried out in surprise when she got it.


The waiters at this restaurant are very professional.  The one who took care of us had a great sense of humor and looked dismayed when we stopped at ten beers (five a piece).  Remember, they’re small glasses.

I meant to call attention to Cologne’s love locks.  I’ve seen this “fad” all around Europe and it’s really popular on Cologne.  You get a lock with your name and your lover’s name engraved on it, then lock it to the fence by the train station near the Rhein River.

The love locks were everywhere!

I’ve read they had to cut off the locks in Paris because they were so heavy they were ruining fences.

I’m sure this refers to a politician…

You can buy these locks at souvenir shops.  There is one right across from the train station that sells and engraves them.

Aw… what a charming fad…

Lots and lots of people have hooked their love locks in Cologne.  Bill and I didn’t.

We weren’t quite ready for bed when we finished wandering around the train station, so we decided to try the hotel’s piano bar.  Every night, from 7:00 until midnight, a pianist plays in the hotel’s wood paneled bar.  There, you can listen to music while you sip pricey cocktails, beer, wine, or something non-alcoholic.  Bill loves to try new cocktails, especially since he usually has to drive when we go places.

I started with an expertly prepared Sazerac, served in a lead crystal glass…

Bill’s cocktail… I am hard pressed to remember what it was.  I guess drinking cocktails will do that to a person.

The bartender was great.  He made excellent recommendations in English and made some fantastic drinks for us.

The little baby grand…. Smallest one I’ve ever seen.

White Lady.

A fridge dedicated to Dom Perignon!

While we were sitting in the bar, another couple came in.  The wife was American and her husband was Swedish.  It turned out they had come to Cologne from Malmo, Sweden to see the Eagles, too.  We ended up talking about other concerts we’ve seen.  We have similar tastes in music.  In July, we are going to see Mark Knopfler.  She said they’d wanted to go to that show, but won’t be there.  We ran into those people everywhere except at the concert hall.

Her husband didn’t say anything, while his wife did the talking.  I got the sense that maybe she missed talking to fellow Americans or something.  She was a bit forward, but friendly enough, I guess.

After a few drinks in the piano bar, we headed up to bed.  It was expertly turned down and the air conditioning was cranked, even though it’s not been hot here.  I am no longer used to air conditioning, so I was a bit chilly.

Each night, the turn down person leaves you a little card with a quote on it…

concerts, entertainment, Germany, restaurant reviews, Scotland

Dinner with friends and the Scottish Music Parade!

Bill and I have had a busy week so far.  Monday night, we drove to Schwetzingen, a nice town next to Heidelberg, to visit old friends.  One of Bill’s former co-workers came to Germany and Austria with his wife, to celebrate their wedding anniversary and visit the Christmas markets.  They used to live in Heidelberg when Army troops were still posted there.  Back in the mid 2000s, Bill was a branch chief at the Army National Guard Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  That’s where he met the male half of the couple we met on Monday night.

We had dinner at the Brauhaus zum Ritter, a nice restaurant just across the street from the Schloss in Schwetzingen.  We visited the Schloss in 2008, when we spent a weekend in Heidelberg.  That was the first and last time we were in the area, though I had been trying to get back there when we were in Stuttgart.  Now that we’re in Wiesbaden, Heidelberg and its environs are even closer.  We could conceivably spend an afternoon there.

Because it was a visit with old friends, I kept the picture taking to a minimum.  I did get a few shots of the excellent beer and food, though.  Have a look.

We got to the restaurant before our friends did, so we had a round of beer in their bar area.

I had a very tasty and surprisingly flavorful Schwarz Bier…

And Bill had a Weiss Bier… again, surprisingly flavorful compared to other Weizens I’ve had.

I liked the decorations.

The Brauhaus zum Ritter offers a lot of the usual German fare.  I had a cordon bleu Schnitzel, stuffed with mountain cheese and ham and served with potato salad.  It was very good and not too huge.

I’m going to have to ask Bill what he had.  It appears to be a Rinderfilet with mushroom sauce and spaetzle.

Instructions on toilet use… Apparently, they had trouble with women building “nests” of toilet paper.


It was really great to see Tim and Melody, especially since it had been over ten years since we last saw them in person.  They have gone back to Munich and will be flying back to the States today.  We got home late Monday night, had a rather calm Tuesday, then went out again last night to see the Scottish Music Parade at the RheinMain Congress Center in Wiesbaden.

I found out about this event when we were visiting Wiesbaden for the first time, back in October.  There was a billboard advertising the show near our hotel.  Since I’ve been on a roll with concerts lately, I decided it might be fun to go see this event, which apparently happens regularly.  One thing I’ve learned during this Germany stint is that Germans seem to love the Scots and other Celtic folks.  On Halloween of this year, we went to the Stuttgart version of the Irish Folk Music Festival, another annual tour.  I thought maybe the Scottish Music Parade would be like the Irish Folk Music Festival, but it turned out to be decidedly different.  Still, we had a good time.  Below are some pictures.

We got to the surprisingly large concert hall a bit early.  I think Bill’s original plan was to find somewhere to have dinner, but we got caught in some traffic and I really needed to pee.  So instead of looking for a restaurant, we entered the concert hall early…  I noticed one guy wore a kilt.  I wish Bill had worn his, but then the weather was a little chilly…

We enjoyed a little wine at the wine bar after checking our jackets.  Light snacks and wraps were available.  We drank wine and ate pretzels.  We also bought three CDs from the dancers who were selling them, as well as programs and t-shirts.

A view of the stage before the show began.  My heart was done good as I heard Bruce Hornsby playing on the sound system.  I grew up near Williamsburg, Virginia, which is where Mr. Hornsby was born and raised. 


A kilted man who spoke German came out to introd