For the love of drinking water-Travel Germany

Here’s a little tip to jot down on your  travel “to do” list, and this is a big deal.

You will not get complimentary drinking water in a restaurant and people do not offer you water from their kitchen sinks.  As a result you will have to buy it.  In a restaurant it is part of your order. They will ask you if you would like “sparkling” or “still”, or they may say with or without “gas”.  It may be pricier than beer and you can bet on the glass  being much smaller. If you would like “ice” you will have to ask for it, and they may say “no”.

To save a little on your outings or at your hotel you may want to buy the quart bottles at the grocery store or beverage mart.  Don’t be in a hurry because the selection is broad and not only do you have to decide on the gas, but also the mineral levels.  I bought the one with the picture of  a baby, I just figured I couldn’t go wrong.  If you are on a low sodium diet or have a sensitive stomach I would suggest taking some time to look into this before your trip. Also, bring a water bottle you can carry and add the cost of drinking water to your dining budget.  Happy travels !

Keeping it simple in Germany

 

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It’s been one full week in Germany, and my family here is settling back in to their daily routines. As for me I’m enjoying the quiet time. Last night my daughter asked if I would like to accompany her today and be a chaperone for my grandson’s kindergarten class field trip.  Ummmm…let me have a second to think about that, ok no thanks.

I decided to walk around the town, do some grocery shopping, be a tourist, and find a lunch café.  The custom of sharing your table with anyone that needs a seat is something to look forward to. I’m meeting some cool folks and the language difference doesn’t stop a conversation.

I did “goof up” and forgot to bring the  shopping bag I bought the other day.  Well I made the best of it by taking two of the plastic vegetable bags off the roll when I picked up the green peppers.  The customers in line and the check out lady were smiling so I had a good sense that I wasn’t in any trouble for sneaking an extra bag.

I also took note that  no one drives pick up trucks.  The cars are compact in  size and definitely  suitable for the narrow winding streets.

With this being said it was a relaxing day, and another one down.

Happy travels and I hope you enjoy the photos!!!

 

Girls day out -Weiden Germany

18581482_10211489579708699_1016589277343685173_nMy 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..

 

 

 

 

 

L👀k out…Information everywhere

signsGood 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! 💸

 

Fast Forward flying

flightThe 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  🙂

5 weitere Tage (5 more days)

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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  💐

 

 

My 1st trip to Europe

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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