Con and Vicki were reviewing some of our travel options with us and had some wonderful suggestions. One of which was renting a car and driving through Germany. Some of our friends thought we were crazy and we certainly would have been if we would have rented a car in London like we planned (that place is scary enough in the streets to even be a pedestrian). Anyway, we rented a car in the Netherlands, did a quick one day drive-by through Belgium - to get some Belgium waffles and chocolates, of course.
On a side note, I bought a beautiful box of divine and delectable gourmet chocolates to take home to the girls. I carried the box around with me with utmost care and caution, wrapping them tenderly in the center of my suitcase. When we got back home, I opened the box and it was a big square box of melted together goo! I tried to figure out where we went wrong then I realized we kept our luggage in the car on our hiking day. The heat didn't seem too bad to us, but apparently it was too much for a delicate little pile of Belgium chocolates. We all ate them anyway - just sliced it like a loaf of bread. I was surprised how yummy it was with all the flavors mushed together.
After that quick afternoon drive through Brussels and Antwerp we drove on to Germany. After a couple of days in Berlin, we drove south through the most gorgeous country you can imagine. We drove down the Romantic Road which its name, for no other reason, made me want to travel through that area. It is a highway that winds through gorgeous countryside and through old walled medieval cities like Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuhl, then on to Fussen at the end of the day.
These are gorgeous little towns with a big city walls around them. Here's Kasia on the wall walk. We walked quite a ways around the town until we figured we'd better get off the wall, and get to the center of town and get some lunch and do some shopping. (Notice a strong 'food' theme to this vacation?)
There was also some trails that went around the town on the outside of the walls - I wish we would have had more time to explore, there were some fabulous views and scenery.
The little shops in Rothenburg were adorable. There simply wasn't enough time or money for the shopping I wanted to do. The one thing I did buy was a heavy iron door knocker. It is shaped like a great big key. When we went through airport security, my suitcase went through the machines and I was asked if I had a key in my suitcase. I thought he asked if I had a key to open my suitcase. I told him about 3 times, I don't have a key, it is not locked. Then he asked more clearly - do you have a very large key in your suitcase? Then I finally remembered and opened it up and showed him. He picked it up and laughed - "What, you live in a castle or something??"
By the way Lezlee, you warned me about the crazy security measures we should be prepared for in the international airports. I've got to say after we left America, we had no problems or delays. We went through airports in London, the Netherlands, Austria and Paris then again in London and never so much as had to take our shoes off. You must have more of a terrorist look about you than I do.