After a seven hour flight from Baltimore to Frankfurt, Germany I was met by my husband at the early hour of 1020 (Germany time) which was six hours ahead of my normal time. Though I did manage to get a couple of winks in on the overnight flight, I was exhausted during the drive from Frankfurt to Landstuhl which is approximately an hour and a half drive south. Believe it or not, I slept on and off while my husband drove about 120mph on the Autobahn! ( And that was in the slow lane!)
We arrived at the wonderful Hotel Rosenhof in which he'd been staying in for a week already and I was greeted warmly by the owner, Sue, Andy and Oscar, the dog and general greeting and security presence. A lovely European style bed (close to the floor, memory foam-type mattress with a duvet cover nearly had me asleep again before dinner. But hubby had me unload my luggage, took me on the tour of the quaint town of Landstuhl, got me hooked up with a cell phone that I can use here in Europe, and then we returned for dinner at the hotel.
Now, here is my real issue lately, I was recently (as in three weeks ago) diagnosed with Celiac Disease which, though more and more common, I'm still getting used to. I have been instructed to go on a strict Gluten-Free diet for the rest of my life to heal and prevent more issues in the near future. This means no wheat, barley, rye or other wheat forms of foods. The one good thing, I was never really a bread and pasta person (I know--weird) but it's amazing how many foods are made with wheat gluten or prepared around wheat gluten. I have to be very careful in not cross contamination also.
But I've also noticed how many things I've eaten in the past ARE gluten-free all ready. (Cheese Curls!!!) So I'm not too worse for wear. Also, eating whole foods like, meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables is very satisfying and easy to do. Especially here. The menu and morning buffet is a wonderful variety of meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and creamy yogurts. I'm learning I can fill up just as much on them as I could eating waffles/pancakes and pastries. So, Friday night I had a wonderful steak cooked to perfection with garlic butter and pesto sauce and pan seared potatoes.
My hubby had a large beer--but since I couldn't have beer (hops/wheat) I opted for a drink (I'll have to get the name again) but it was a combination of wine/champagne fresh mint and a hint of lemon. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the night as it cooled down to a comfortable 83 degrees. I felt mellow by my second glass finished off with a wonderful sorbet and fresh fruit dessert. Ahhh, what a life!!
Went in to shower and get ready for bed but the brisk exfoliation of the free-flowing shower rejuvenated my senses enough to enjoy the evening with hubby's friends and co-workers, Todd and Mary. They had been kind enough to think of me on their trip to a chocolatier's to pick me up gluten-free dark, stone-ground chocolate which is delicious!! (Yes, I've been savoring it in pieces--but I did share.) They also introduced me to a wonderful appertif of fig vodka! I am not a vodka drinker in general but we toast the end of the night with a shot that you SIP--it's so smooth and refreshing.
Needless to say, I slept well my first night in Germany! :)
I awoke on Saturday morning refreshed and ready to go exploring! After an amazing breakfast of fried egg, sliced meats, creamy brie, fresh fruit and yogurt I was ready for anything! Hubby and I drove up to Burg Frankenstein (Castle Frankenstein) which was the inspiration for Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein. It was actually the 'ruins' but it was so beautiful and quite a way up in the hillside. From the top turret we could see all the way from Darmsted to Frankfurt. I could only imagine how the soldiers of old could see the enemy coming for miles before they even got close to the base of the hill. (The pictures above are from Burg Frankenstein.) We viewed a wedding there (which we were informed there are many) and enjoyed a light lunch at the restaurant over-looking the Hessan valley.
We also explored the countryside, the small villages which in this region are loaded with vineyards and wineries and Castle Starkenburg (see home page picture) which was a bit of a hike but so worth it (the view was spectacular). It was built in 1060's and is now partial ruins and part youth hostel.
So far, I'm really enjoying myself (I don't know how I couldn't) but when the hubby starts his work week again, so will I. Most of my day (while he is working) will be spent writing, catching up on my reading and blogging about my experience every few days.
I hope you join me in sharing the fun and excitement as I explore ancient cities, castles and lore. Make sure you stop in and view my photos page to see new photos as they are uploaded. I would love to hear from you all!
Until next time!