And lastly, Frankfurt, Family and Fun
On the 31st, we arrived at our final destination for this trip, namely Frankfurt. Mitch and I spent one day in the city centre to get to know Frankfurt better and also to finally do a bit of shopping. Since we’d been running around with our packs up until that day, we never bought much – it just would have meant more dragging around for us. It was fun to just meander in the streets at a much slower pace than we had up until that day. On the 2nd, we packed up our stuff, left our hotel and headed for the neighbouring train station to grab a suburban commuter train for the outskirts where my aunt and uncle live. Onkel Bernhard picked us up and off we drove to Kelkheim, a town in its own right but could also be considered sort of a satellite town of Frankfurt’s. We were warmly welcomed, chatted for a bit (got caught up), met up with another member of the family and his son and then later on drove to a cousin’s place for coffee and cake. The suggestion was made to head out for a little drive to a beautiful little town called Idstein and so off we went. What a gorgeous little town! You probably won’t find it in any tour guide but it’s a real gem. Lots of colourful timber frame houses, a little castle and a very welcoming town centre make it a very attractive place to visit. We also ate fantastic Italian food there which was very reasonably priced. We then all drove home to our respective houses for the night. Next day, a wonderful breakfast was served and my cousin Andrea came to visit with her little guy, Simon. We chatted and ate lunch together and patiently (sort of) awaited my son’s arrival from southern Germany. My aunt invited Mitch and I to go to a neighbouring spa town, Bad Soden, to check out the fabulous Hundertwassserhaus there. More amazing Friedrich Hundertwasser architecture. Mitch and I ended up unanimously voting that house as the nicest one we’ve seen to date from that particular architect/artist. We then drove back to Kelkheim and to our delight, Colin had already arrived. It was a wonderful reunion 🙂 We then all chatted into the night, packed for next day’s flight and went to bed. Monday: up early, showers and breakfast, last minute check if we had everything and off to Frankfurt airport, the second busiest airport in all of Europe (after Heathrow). We took the opportunity to snap up a couple of more souvenirs for the friends back home, ate a wonderful lunch with my aunt and uncle and then off through the gate and into the plane. It was a good flight but we were more than happy to touch down in Ottawa, greet Heidi and Fred (my parents) and then let ourselves be whisked home. There was agreement all around that it’s great to go on vacation but also amazing to come home again 🙂 Thanks Europe, as well as all to friends and family, for a fantastic trip!