Saturday, February 26, 2011

Germany Trip Report

Germany was a great trip! :). One of the reasons we chose Germany is that there is a direct flight from Detroit to Frankfurt. After booking the flights (and getting one flight free with miles, one for $300.00 off in price), we realized that there was limited things to do in Frankfurt, and decided to fly to Berlin as well. We were going to take the train, just because we have never taken a train before, but it actually cost MORE than the flight, so we went with the flight via AirBerlin. Speaking of which, AirBerlin was an awesome airline, with really nice, new planes that were very ontime.

So, we left after work on Wednesday, the 16th (also my Momma's bday, Happy Birthday, Mom!). Flight was overnight, arriving in Frankfurt at around 900 AM on the morning of the 17th. Flight was good, I pretty much slept the entire thing. We arrived and were greeted by a driver from the hotel we were staying at, the Flemings Hotel Frankfurt-Messe, which I chose because it was in central Frankfurt. Took about 20 minutes to get there. Checked right in and explored the hotel a little bit. The gym was pretty lame, with equipment that was not even up to par with what I have in my basement at home, but, since we were pretty jet lagged, we had no desire to work out anyway. :). Decided to make it a relaxing day and head to a local spa to use the saunas, pool, hot tubs. We went to Taunus Therme in Bad Homburg. Found it pretty easily, took the subway train, then walked to the Spa. The spa was very relaxing and nice. We used all the different saunas, went in the hot tub, went in the pool, had a drink and pretzel, and relaxed in the meditation room. Love European spas! Had dinner after that at a place called Maredo. I had salmon with wild rice and lobster bisque soup. Went back to the hotel after this and had a lemon white chocolate muffin from the hotel bakery that was aMAZing. The bakeries in Germany were all simply incredible and there were SOOO many of them. Off to bed......

Got up fairly early for a quick flight to Berlin. Same driver picked us up and gave us a little bit of history of the country on our way to the airport. Flight was quick and uneventful and we grabbed a cab to our hotel, the Radisson Blu in the Mitte District of Berlin. Hotel was great--nice room, kewl aquarium in the lobby that went to the ceiling and had tons of pretty fish, nice spa/sauna area with massage and other treatments. Went first to the JFK Museum. Interesting that there is a museum dedicated to JFK in Berlin. On the way there, we saw the Brandenburg Gate. The museum was really well done and classy, with some amazing photos on the history of the Kennedys. Really enjoyed it. Headed to lunch next at Casa Italia, where I had spinach gorgonzola pizza, that was pretty much awesome. Kurt had an onion tuna pizza. We then went to the Judisches Museum, which was a really interesting museum on Jewish history in Germany. Had dinner at Olivia International Kitchen, and stopped to buy an eclair for dessert at a bakery. Yum. You can see my normal diet when out the window while there, but I was on vacation and was not going to miss out on German food! Went to bed.....

Next day, we went to find the concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, which is located just outside of Berlin. After some figuring out of the subway system, which was slightly more confusing with the changing of trains that other places we have been, we found it! :). The concentration camp was one of the most eerie places i have ever been to. It was pretty much in the same form as it was back when it was a camp, with some added musesum like elements and descriptions on signs. We walked around the entire thing, both inside and out. I would highly recommend going here if you are in the area. It was a really educational experience. Had lunch at Antica Roma, and then headed to the Erotik Museum (total opposite end of the spectrum than the camp). The musesum was slightly shocking, but amusing. Some of the signs were only in German, so we did not totally "get" everything, but mostly there were artifacts, pictures and videos, so we could figure out most of it. Def NOT a place to take kids, LOL, and you have to be 18 to get in. Went to another spa that night called Thermen Europa, which was our favorite one we went to on the trip. After that, had dinner at a place called Alex near our hotel where we split appetizers and drinks.

Next day, we did two museums, the Topography of Terror, and the Deutsches Historiches Museum. Botht museums were really educational and I learned a lot about World War II and Hitler. Went to another spa called Liquidrom. Had lunch at an Italian place near the Topography of Terror and dinner again at Alex.

Last day, we went to a museum called The Story of Berlin, and the Neues Museum. We thought Story of Berlin was somewhat elementary, better for school aged kids. The Neues Museum was beautiful though, with really old artifacts from the Egyptian people, Roman people, etc. Really great place. There is normally a wait to get in, but we lucked out and walked right in. Had lunch at Capone Cucina and walked around some stores shopping in the area as well. Had a massage before we left at Mangmi Thai Massage, which was an awesome massage.

Somewhere in there, we also spent some time at the hotel gym, sauna, and got a massage at the hotel.

Back to the airport and off to Frankfurt again, where we stayed at the Carat hotel, which was near the airport. Ate dinner at the Mexican place in the hotel, which was super yummy. Had a tuna nacho. Germans seem to like tuna, it was on every menu, which rocks for me since it helps with protein intake for me. Went to bed, then the hotel took us to the airport in the morning and off to the States we came!

Sadly, when we returned, we had to go into the office for a few hours for appointments and catch up, and we are still kinda jet lagged!

We really, really liked Germany though and would like to go back and explore some other areas, like Munich. The people there were super friendly and polite, very respectful of everyone.

You can see the pics by clicking here.


Rebecca said...

I think you got more massages this trip then I've had in the last 6 months, haha.

Sounds like a great time!

Lori H said...

haha, I only had two, Rebecca.......

Nancy V. said...

So envious!

Ina said...

Awesome that you enjoyed Germany that much - and I'm glad you got to try out the bakeries :) I don't live far away from Munich, so let me know whenever you decide to explore Bavaria OR Austria :) Viele liebe Grüße!

Anonymous said...

Last year EuropeCar offered free drop off at any location in the same country. A drive from Frankfurt to Berlin could then include lunch in Dresden (bring a GPS). Cars were about $50/day & use about $14/hour in fuel.

Pergamon Museum in Berlin has Greek & Roman temples as well as an actual gate of Babylon.

The Fat Tire bike tour of Berlin (meet under the TV tower) is fun on a sunny day.