My grand daughter and I ventured out today, without a guide, without big plans, just winging it.
We decided to take the rail and spend the day in Weiden. We arrived at the station 1/2 hour early thinking it would be a task to purchase the ticket on our own. I chose the “English” option on the ticket machine but could not get the credit card to process. Another passenger kindly tried and told me the machine is “kaputt”. It was no big deal because there is a ticket machine on the train and it worked just fine.
When we arrived at the station in Weiden we decided to walk to the city center , since it was a perfect 65* and sunny. My fit bit has been applauding and buzzing for the past five days.
Shopping was really neat because all the shops are small and carry different merchandise in each one. The sales people are friendly and give great service and they like my accent.
Now that I have the Euro figured out, picked up a few words and have my clothing size right, there’s no telling what I may end up packing for the trip home. Spending money is easy for me, the country doesn’t matter.
We decided to try Italian food in Germany for lunch. The big treat was having “Pepsi” no Coke, and they gave me ice as requested. My pizza was huge for $8 bucks and really good. I could not find the spot on my receipt for a tip, so I decided not to leave one. That has been bugging me all day, but they thanked me for dining so time to move on.
All in all it was a fun day out. We made it home with all of our goodies in the shopping bag we purchased. There is plenty of room in it when you only get new shoes and no shoebox with them. I never found much use for the box anyway.
This adventure so far has been easy breezy…happy travels..
Good news, the weather channel was inaccurate, the anticipated rain did not happen. My packing was not affected because the temperatures were on target but so far I have not needed the rain jacket.
The days are long, it is bright outside at 5:30 Am and stays that way until about 9Pm. I’m getting up early, and nodding out every afternoon about 2p for a short snooze.
My second language of “visual communication” has naturally kicked in and I’m getting along quite well. I have not used my translator app in the past 2 days.
Some of the things I have found to be different (not better or worse) are:
- The grocery stores are small
- The milk and eggs in the store are not refrigerated
- The Grocery cart is rented, you have to put a coin in the handle, and it is refunded when you return the cart
- Tea in restaurants is served only “hot”
- Coke is served just about everywhere and it could be with orange or lemonade in it
- Drinking age for beer is 16, and liquor is 18
- Toilet bowls have a small amount of water in them
- Public “pay for pottys” have spinning toilet seats that get sanitized with each flush
- Cigarette machines are in public places and smoking is allowed in restaurants
- The public rail system is easy to use and sparkling clean
- Tipping is not customary
- Many homes have solar panels on them
- Recycling is a big deal, paper, glass, plastic all gets sorted into separate containers
- Car’s are driven fast and so are bicycles
- Check out a Mercedes Benz, ride in a taxi
If I had to do one thing different on my planning “to do” list, it would have been to do more research on my cell phone data plane. Yikes, lots of money being clicked away! 💸
The checklist I prepared and followed worked out perfect. I’m also giving “Delta Airlines” a shout out for their polite service, good food, and on time flights.
I arrived earlier than scheduled to get my connecting flight to Munich at Atlanta Hartsfield airport. My arrival gate was “A” and the distance to the international terminal “E” is one mile. Thinking ahead of the 9 hour flight I decided against the plane train and people mover and decided to walk.
Arriving early gave me extra time for a quick lunch. I then moved on to Travelex to pick up the Euro’s I ordered online. By ordering online you save money and also can designate the date and airport location for pick up. There are several in Atlanta that make it very convenient. I showed my ID and they had them ready in an envelope waiting for me.
I really lucked out with my seat selection. I chose a window seat and just by chance the seat next to me was not booked. I purchased a neck pillow for $10 at TJ Maxx and that was so comfortable, I’ll never fly again without one.
We left Atlanta at 6pm and shortly after dinner was served. I watched a movie and turned my light off about 10Pm. I’m not sure if I slept or not, but I covered up with two blankets and tried to rest. Just a few hours went by when the sun started to peak through. That was more confusing for me than losing six hours flying forward.
We arrived in Munich about 9am local time, so that was 3 am my time and I felt reasonably good. The line for customs was lengthy and I would say to be prepared for any questions or searches. My passport was all I needed but I can’t say if this is procedure for all.
At the airport itself I found my way around without any problems, most of the signs were in German and English, and directions were clear. Restrooms were not difficult to use and they were free, so don’t panic if you decide to exchange your money when you arrive.
So….there you have it, the trip was enjoyable and easy, but the preparation took thought and effort to get it all done. Happy travels 🙂
I’ve been checking off the “to do” check list for my trip to Germany. Here is what I have so far:
- Measured my carry on bag to make sure it complies with domestic and foreign requirements
- I attached my luggage tracker, I never used it before so I’ll let you know how that works when I get underway
- I made a copy of my passport, drivers license and medical insurance card, to keep on the cloud in my photos
- Purchased travel insurance
- Notified my credit card company of my travel dates and set up alerts for purchases over $500 and purchases without having the card
- Refilled my needed medications and purchased travel packs of Advil and Alka Seltzer
- Ordered my Euro’s to be picked up at the airport
- Checked the long range weather so that I pack the right layers of clothing
- I have the information for the American embassy contacts, you never know they may not like my slow driving
- Made hotel reservations , checked the room details to make sure I have a private bath, and with booked with a flexible cancellation (just a few bucks more)
- Set up international calls on my cell phone for the dates of travel
- Got my hair done
- Put an app on my phone that is so easy , it translates by voice not text, so if you say “hello” it says “hallo”
- Put an app on my phone to show the exchange from Dollars to Euros
- Packed my Colgate “wisp” for the long overnight flight
- Paid my bills
- Notified my office and clients of my absence, and that’s about it
Any other tips would be greatly appreciated……thanks a bunch 💐
I’ve been saying this for years and I’m finally going to act on it, I’m going to Europe! My daughter and family moving there was just the push I needed and I can’t wait to see them at their home in Germany. With the trip being 2 weeks away I’m getting serious about packing and being prepared. My passport is ready, and tomorrow I am going buy the Euro’s online for pickup at the Atlanta airport. Just a few bucks because I plan to use a credit card whenever possible. Any tips are greatly appreciated…thanks a bunch
As I approached my big “60” I did experience some strange ideas. There were days that I almost questioned myself and recounted from my birthdate. Then there were the days that I woke thinking I was having a dream that I was going to be “60”. So, I came up with this idea of just staying “59”. I mean really I don’t feel “60” or how I visualize it, by thinking about my aunts and uncles. Yikes…… So I may not feel, I hope I don’t look, but I believe I have all the knowledge I need to get through the rest of my life’s journey and will start sharing it for everyone. I dusted myself off for the last time 3 years ago on my first day of staying “59”, and I didn’t worry about gaining a pound so I ate my cake.