…And we’re off! – 26/27 May 2019!

Our ten week adventure begins. Yes, 10 weeks. Countries to include, Netherlands 🇳🇱 (our favorite), France 🇫🇷, Austria 🇦🇹, and Germany 🇩🇪. One of us will be spending 6 weeks in an archive in Rouen France, the other will be nursing a broken proximal humerus 🤕 on the coast 🤗. Together we will be exploring, as able, different parts of these countries.

We tend to explore areas that may not be on the typical travelers journeys. Yes, we do hit the more familiar ‘tourist’ sites, but rather we like to see, and more so experience, that which we find along the way.

The following posts will mostly be photos and some random comments, thoughts and musings, and perhaps a bit of pontificating along the way.

Thank you for joining us! – the 2 Travel Guys, Michael and John.

p.s. from John: I know it’s July, And, I finally have the posting app able to talk with WordPress on my iPad. (Slow internet and xml/rpc errors.) Now, I have a lot of catching up to do!!

German Christmas Markets 2016

Christmas Markets in Germany – 2016

During the 4-5 weeks prior to Christmas, Christmas markets pop up in most German cities, both big and small. These markets are simultaneously individually unique and ubiquitously similar. Each market contains vendors whose goods can only be found at that particular market. Many of these goods are regional in nature, including local foodstuffs, toy makers, tree ornaments, and locally-made clothing. The individual nature of these markets, however, disappears after having visited more than a couple of them. In each market visitors can buy bratwursts, potato pancakes, gingerbread, mulled wine, and roasted nuts. But don’t let the markets’ similarities deter you from visiting them. Each market’s unique vendors emerge as the main attractions in each city.

During our recent 15-day trip to Germany and Austria, we visited the following markets: Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nuremberg, Bayreuth, Munich, and Salzburg. While the larger cities had multiple markets spread out in various parts of the city (Cologne had 6 different markets), the smaller cities’ markets were concentrated in the city square and the surrounding streets. On the opening night of each market, the city usually puts on some sort of holiday show, whether it be musical, historical, or religious in nature.

The most important tip we can offer regarding these markets, aside from wearing very comfortable shoes, is to go during the day if you want to purchase things because the market will rapidly become crowded as the city’s inhabitants get off work and make their way to the market every night. We also noticed that nighttime prices for food items were higher than their daytime counterparts. Vendors frequently raise their prices for roasted nuts, bratwursts, and beverages after nightfall. Thus, going earlier not only allows you the opportunity to browse the stalls without a large, chaotic crowd, but can save you some money in the process.

Browse and subscribe Playlist at German Christmas Markets -2TravelGuys

Frankfurt Hotel Review

Frankfurt Hotel Review – Adina

This is a very new hotel, having been open only 5 weeks when we stayed there. That being said, there were a few things that still need work.

First, the positives. The newness of the hotel is always a welcome thing when staying in hotels whose beds, pillows, and towels have certainly seen better days. We had a 1 bedroom “condo”, which included a separate sitting area, kitchenette with dishwasher and washing machine/dryer,, bathroom, and bedroom. The mattress was firm, and the duvet covers (1 per person) kept us warm. The bedroom has a safe, iron, ironing board, and ample closet space. The bedroom and living areas have separate air thermostats, so you can keep it at two different temperatures if you like.

The staff was quite accommodating and all spoke German (of course) and English. A few also spoke Turkish, which is expected in Germany. We only had one issue with a front desk hostess which I’ll cover later. While the hotel does serve breakfast each morning, it was not included in our room rate, so we did not partake.

The television offers over 100 channels in manifold languages, which is nice since many travelers don’t speak the language of the country to which they travel. The English channels were all from the UK, except for CNN International.

The hotel’s location was outstanding. It is right next to a mall and two blocks from either a tram stop or an U-Bahn station. Both means of transport get you into the middle of town within 15 minutes. While the hotel is not in the middle of town, the lower price we got more than made up for the travel into town. It is also adjacent to the convention center in Frankfurt, which makes it an ideal place to stay if you’re in town for a convention.

Next, the negatives. Being a new hotel, there are always things that still need working out. While walking down the hall, we could still smell the odor of carpet glue. While unpleasant, it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. The thermostats were somewhat confusing to operate until we figured out how to set the requisite temperature. Also, even though the room has a washing machine/dryer combo in the kitchenette area, the hotel charges for detergent tabs (1,50). This is strange since the room comes with two dishwasher tabs. In addition, since the washing machine is quite energy efficient, it takes almost 2 hours to do a load of laundry, even longer if you need to dry the clothes. So plan accordingly.

One day we noticed that housekeeping had put the dirty dished in the dishwasher and sink back into the cupboard without washing them. I’m not sure why the housekeeper would do this when they were clearly dirty from coffee and cake. Also, one day we came back to the room at 4:30pm and the room had yet to be serviced for the day. I went down to the front desk and informed the hostess about this. She offered neither an apology nor an explanation, but did offer to call housekeeping to let them know to clean our room. This could have happened for many reasons (low staffing, large number of check outs, etc.), but was frustrating after having been out all day. We went to dinner, and the room had been serviced by the time we returned 90 minutes later.

Would I recommend this hotel? Absolutely. It has the potential to offer guests a wonderful stay in Frankfurt, and if I were to return, I would certainly book here again. For what you get, the rate is quite reasonable, despite the smell of wurst coming from the breakfast bar as you walk out the front door.