LONDON, HEIDELBERG, & STUTTGART

Hello readers!

It has been a hectic but exciting week since I last blogged, so here is my attempt at the beginning of a somewhat concise yet detailed overview of my past 9 days! Morgan (my sister) and I have successfully managed–but not quite mastered– the transportation and culture differences (I think?!) in England, Germany, and Austria! Unfortunately our internet situation has been off and on (though you think wifi  availability in Europe would be similar to the US, it’s much less common!), I’ve finally got some time to touch base on our Abenteueren (adventures)!

LONDON, ENGLAND: Reiseziel 1 (travel destination 1)

Our first two days were spent in the charming metropolitan of London! After surviving customs (and literally the only person in all of London who wasn't polite or friendly) we somehow figured out how to buy a ticket and get on the Tube (the underground subway) to our hotel! We had somewhat of a surprise when every stop along our 1 hour ride packed more and more people on the Tube…apparently we were in the middle of the work hour, so the squeeze with our luggage was a little packed, to say the least.

Since we had an overnight flight, we arrived just before 6 am London time.  By the time we reached our hotel (which was luckily right next to an underground stop…we didn't have to drag our luggage far!) it was still before 11am! Therefore, after dropping our luggage off, we decided to explore the proximity.  Of course, being American, our first stop was breakfast and a coffee shop (Nerro Caffe–meaning black coffee in Italian) with wifi. It wasn't too far and we updated our parents on our safe arrival and checked out some landmarks to visit later.  During our long day out, we eventually needed a restroom, which seem pretty sparse if you aren't at a hotel or restaurant.  By chance we were walking by a pretty big tourist-looking building and decide to check it out. Turns out it was the British Museum! To our luck, this was a free museum, which only accepted donations in pounds for entry and information brochures. Of course we decided to
check it out, and were able to see the real Rosetta Stone (a stone with a repeated passage in Hieroglyphics, Ancient Egyptian, and Greek, the key to deciphering Hieroglyphics) in addition to some other interesting exhibits.

On our second day in London, we took full advantage of the nice weather and jam packed our day. After taking the Tube a little closer to the heart of London, we were able to see pretty much everything possible: Big Ben, the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the River Thames, the London Eye (ferris wheel), Shakespeare's Globe, St. Paul's Cathedral, the London Bridge (like the song!), Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar's Square (where we took advantage of the free National Gallery and saw some paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, and Michaelangelo), the Chinatown of London, and downtown Oxford Street…talk about a busy day!

Since we were visiting in the week before the Oympics, the city was jam-packed with tourists, something we discovered bright and early on our second day, when we were more in the downtown London area. Of course we took the time to check out the guards at the palace and go inside a red telephone booth. We also were able to experience driving on the left side of the road (it threw me off a little), as we left on a Sunday (the 22nd) and had to be at the airport earlier than the Tube could get us there. Besides a lot of double decker buses and taxis, there wasn't much private road traffic.  London was definitely a great first location, and the English language was a plus to our first stay in Europe…I would return here in a heartbeat!

HEIDELBERG, DEUTSCHLAND und STUTTGART, DEUTSCHLAND (Reiseziel 2)

After our two-day stay in London, we flew into the Frankfurt airport and shuffled our luggage to the Flughafen (train station at the airport), trying our best to decipher the transportation as fast as we could. This was a little stressful, because our connecting train, an ICE (Inter-City Express, a high-speed rail with few stops) didn't leave us with much time to spare (and we overpacked, leaving us with some heavy luggage haha) but we made it on!

Our travel left us with a two hour overlay in Heidelberg, a beautiful city! Unfortunately we didn't have too much time to spare here, but made it out to the Nectar River, which was in the foothills of the mountains.

Back on the train, we traveled to Weil der Stadt, where my old German teacher and her husband picked us up.  Now living just outside that small town, we had a free stay for two nights!

Stuttgart set Morgan and I up with some delicious German food…pretzels, Nürnberger Wurst, tomatoes with cheese, potato salad, and Flammkuchen (a thin bread crust with cheese, bacon, and onions)to name a few.   Our travels around Stuttgart led us to the Marktplatz, Schillerplatz (as in Friedrich Schiller–a German poet, playwright, and philosopher), and the Schlossplatz, a beautiful square with gardens and fountains surrounded by the New Castle.  It was more of a modern German city, and this you could see in the culture and fashion.  From here we traveled further south, which I will write about later!

I will catch up soon with the rest of my travels–bis dann!

1 thought on “LONDON, HEIDELBERG, & STUTTGART”

  1. Hi Gabrielle!
    It sounds like your travels have been amazing! Thanks for posting these pictures–I can’t wait to see more photos of the sights you’ve seen and visited. Thanks for describing some of the German food you’ve been trying. The flammkuchen sounds good (I think I would like the thin crust). And of course German pretzels! Perhaps we can try to prepare some of the German dishes you’ve been enjoying when you get back home.

    It sounds like you’re mastering the German public transportation system. And patience is always a good quality to have. I’m glad you had this opportunity to travel around before you settle into Bonn, and I’m looking forward to reading about your next adventure!

    Enjoy your studies!

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