Taking Our First Trip to Europe…Together – A Preview of a Life to Come

One of the best things about working for a global company is the travel outside the United States!  Amanda especially has to travel a lot to Europe, specifically Germany quite a bit.  Each time, my schedule would not allow me the opportunity to travel with her.  However, in May, our schedules worked out!!

She had a week-long conference in Geneva, Switzerland and left on a Saturday.  I had a work commitment, and had to fly out to meet her in Geneva the following Wednesday.  After getting over the jet lag, we toured Geneva on Thursday and took a beautiful boat tour of Lake Geneva, which is bordered by Switzerland on the north & France on the south.  The best thing about this trip was that we had mistakenly gotten on the wrong boat and took a 3 hour tour instead of the 1 hour one.  Also, I learned a very important lesson….even though it is not hot outside, wear sunscreen….I got SOOO sunburned on the boat tour!  OUCH!!!

A famous attraction of Geneva – a manmade geyser
Our tour boat for Lake Geneva
On Lake Geneva

       

Since she was already in Europe, she coordinated business meetings in Germany the following week.  So that weekend, we took a train from Geneva, through the Switzerland countryside to Frankfurt, Germany.  The neat thing I noticed was seeing how the house architecture changed from the French inspired in the southwestern part of Switzerland to the German inspired as we traveled east.  Once in Frankfurt, we drove our rental car and stayed the evening in Mannheim, Germany.  After a business meeting there and after stopping by our global corporate headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, we drove 2 hours southeast to the Bavarian city of Ulm, Germany where we stayed the rest of the week.

On the train between Geneva to Frankfurt, Germany
Too much sun….
Somewhere in Switzerland on the train…

     

Ulm is a beautiful city that sits on the banks of the Danube River.  In the city of Ulm is the tallest church spire in the world (530 feet) that started construction in the 14th Century, and its serenity is so peaceful and breath-taking.  Since Amanda worked during the day, I walked the streets with camera and map in hand doing my tourist duties.  At the church, I paid my 4 Euro to walk up the 750 steps to the top.  The steps were a spiral staircase that was just big enough for one person.  This was fine until someone (or a group) was coming down as I was going up.  After about a third of the way, I decided this was crazy so I walked back down.  Little disappointed I didn’t continue, but maybe next time 😉

Munster of Ulm, Germany – tallest church in the world
Inside the church
Ulm, Germany
Ulm, Germany (Old Town)
Ulm, Germany

       

Amanda was done with work on the Thursday, so this was our ‘vacation’ day.  We drove about 90 minutes to the south to the border of Austria & Germany to King Ludwig’s castle.  King Ludwig grew up in the Hohenschwangau Castle, and in the 19th cetnury built his very own castle on the neighboring mountain top:  Neuschwanstein Castle.  This castle is simply beautiful, so much so that it was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland.  The views of and from the castle are just amazing.  The sad part of the story is that King Ludwig only lived in his castle for a little over 100 days before his death.

Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany
View from the Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwantstein Castle, Germany
At Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
What the castle looks like in the winter

Our trip ended Saturday with our flight from Munich….well, technically, it ended Sunday because our Saturday flight was cancelled.  Feel free to checkout my Facebook album of the 100+ pictures taken on this trip.  As far as specifics about Europe and Germany and the differences between the US and there, I’ll save those details for later blog posts, as I’m sure between Amanda and me, we’ll have many more trips there 😉

Vielen Dank für das Lesen dieses Blog-Eintrag

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