Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Land of the Beer Keepers

Last blog post I was sitting in the departures section at YVR waiting to board the flight to Frankfurt. Well now it's 8 am (German time) and I am exhausted yet can't sleep. Might as well use this time to recap on some of the events in the lat 24 hours.

So I boarded the flight to Frankfurt. A note to anyone who decides to fly with Air Transat, the "Option plus" addition to your ticket is TOTALLY worth it. Included is seat selection, booze with your meals, champagne when you sit down, free to keep blanket, headphones, earplugs, eye covers and even a pair of socks. Not to mention the priority check in (the 100 or so people waiting in line looked less than impressed as I breezed right by) and the priority baggage unloading were pretty wicked too.

Anyways I boarded my flight and thanks to my seat selection option, I managed to score an extra seat next to me, just me and an older woman sharing the three seats, so I was able to stretch my legs and sprawl out. The flight was pretty uneventful but enjoyable.

Call me a big kid, but I still love looking out the window of the airplane. I am still amazed at the fact that we are traveling along at 850km/h with the smoothest of ease, flying over amazing landscapes, oceans and islands. I imagine a guy on horseback, crossing mountain ranges and prairies... then I think to how lucky I am to be able to cross entire continents and oceans without lifting a finger. Not to mention the fact that my flight only cost $99. It almost seems criminal.

Anyways we took off, flew over the rockies, the prairies and then over Greenland and Iceland. I would have waved to my friend Dani who is currently in Iceland as we flew over... but alas it was overcast. A morning sunrise over Scotland and then we were into mainland europe. I was greeted with a beautiful cloud front silhouette.

Landing and customs were a total breeze, and I was greeted with the familiar face of my friend Katja! She was most awesome and committed to waking up at 5 am to drive to Frankfurt and pick me up at the airport. It was awesome to get to hang out with somebody in their homeland/hometown and experience the real german life.

We trekked out to Hockenheim doing 180km/h on the autobahn to visit Katja's parents for breakfast. We sat and chatted about my trip, my future travels as I remedied my appetite with amazing german cheese and fresh bread. After breakfast and a quick facebox post to the parentals, we hopped on two electric bikes and decided to ride through the countryside. Katja's father Klaus has a really interesting electric bike that automatically adds power depending on how hard your pedal. Essentially it feels like you have a tailwind the entire time as you fly through the german countryside.

What I neglected to mention was the fact that it was 22C with plenty of residual humidity from the morning rainfall. Germany has been stuck in the middle of an early spring heatwave that has caught the country by surprise. As we biked through the countryside I couldn't help but notice that we were pedaling net to strawberry fields that were RIPE WITH STRAWBERRIES! it's MAY 11th! A pit stop was needed as we "borrowed" strawberries from the plants.

A short drive to Karlsruhe later, I was meeting Katja's roomies Ana and Ana. Kinda confusing when you want to call one of them from the other room. Anyways I changed out of my unnecessary pants and into shorts and flip flops then hit the town to check out what Karlsruhe had to offer. We made it to the roof top beach bar located on the top of a parkade in downtown karlsruhe, went to a bieregarten where I sampled an amazing fried ravioli salad, got ice cream and then crashed in the park after nearly 24 hours awake. I slept for an hour or so as I layed on my free air transat blanket and took in all the fine german weather. Not to mention the awesome german artwork. Who knew that two cats getting it on, was artwork?

Anyways today I am apparently signed up for a "Beer" diploma at a local brewery by Katja. I apparently have to try all the different types of beer they brew, then I get to leave with a diploma, so it should be interesting. Tomorrow morning I leave for a flight out of Frankfurt to Dubrovnik at 7 am, Should be interesting as I know it'll be even warmer down in Dubrovnik. Thank goodness I brought plenty of shorts!

Stay tuned.

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