We have arrived in Germany and St. Goar! Flip told us that German's have the lowest cultural pride in the world -- and I believe this. However, in my opinion, Germany is kind of like that weird kid at school that gets picked on for doing nothing (World War I and the Treaty of Versailles) and finally snaps (World War II), but is still found responsible for his actions.
Flip also told us how and why Hitler came to power, what happened to Berlin after the war, why the wall was built and why it fell in 1989. I learned all about this in history class and I know the majority of people lived through the falling of the Berlin Wall, so I don't think another history lesson is needed. After yesterday's rant, I don't think you'll want another lesson for a while.
Flip went over what we were doing the next few days in St. Goar, Munich and Innsbruck, Austria. We also got a copy of all he optional tours. The website didn't say anything about the group photo in Venice, nor the Venetian dinner we can have. We can also get our own t-shirts!
We arrived late into St. Goar but we were welcomed by a delicious meal of a spicy rice and chicken soup, two slices of tender roast beef, a scrumptious potato-cheese side-dish and optional boiled peas and carrots. And for vegetarians, there was a boring platter of cooked veggies that I heard it was very good. For desert we had a small piece of chocolate cake with alcohol-jelly inside.
Our hotel, Hotel Montag (sorry the link isn't the best), has an Internet Cafe in it. However, to use the computers, you have to pay. It costs €1 for 10 minutes, €2 for 20 minutes and €5 for an hour. The hotel also has a bar and smoking is allowed inside (Hitler outlawed smoking indoors, and since the Germans want to be completely different from him, it's legal).
The hotel is old but nice, just like the town. St. Goar has two castles in it and is surrounded by a massive stone wall, with a huge river cutting the two in half. It isn't beautiful like Amsterdam, but it has a very quaint charm to it.
Some of the tour members went for the optional wine-tasting excursion after dinner, but I and a few others went for a walk around town. We climbed the steep roads to the top of the mountains surrounding the town and took pictures of the distant lights. On our way, we found lots of old stone "doors" and "windows" in the old city walls. If someone had told me the town or the surrounding walls were haunted, I would have believed them.
Once we got back into town, another group of people from my tour were standing near the Rhine. I decided to join them right when they were daring each other to roll up their pant legs and go into the ice-cold water. I didn't, but I joined in with the laughter when they ran out of the water shivering.
The only downside about this place is the that the Rail Europe goes right through this town, so every 10 to 15 minutes there's a loud *whoosh!* outside for about 10 seconds or so. Besides that, the town is quiet, peaceful and nice.
Tonight is a night where we can go to bed early and wake-up semi-late (pre-7 instead of pre-6). I'm taking this advantage and I'm going to sleep soon too. My roommate is once again Ralph and has already fallen asleep, so I shall follow suit soon too.
Tomorrow should be exciting. I've always wanted to go to Munich!
See you then!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
A few weeks ago Jessica and I decided to go on a shopping trip to Moose Jaw. Now that the snow is gone and the roads aren't so messy, I plan to get back on the road more often. I also took this opportunity to try out some video creation. After seeing some of the awesome content people like The Saskatchewanderer are putting out, I decided to try it out for myself.
Moose Jaw is about 45 minutes west of Regina, and is famous in Saskatchewan for its old brick architecture, small-town vibe and myriad of underground tunnels. Two tunnels tours exist in Moose Jaw. One is based around the famous gangster Al Caopne (whose cell I visited while in Eastern State Penitentiary) and the other is about Chinese immigrants who were forced underground by the Canadian government's "head-tax". Both tours are fascinating and I've done both several times. While we visited them on this trip, we didn't actually go on any the tours.
Although Regina is a larger city that Moose Jaw, downtown Regina lacks the quirky mom-and-pop shops you'll find in Moose Jaw. For the past few decades, much of downtown Regina has been transformed into either banks or big box stores, all which pushed the smaller boutique shops away. The past few years have seen a resurgence of them, but there isn't nearly as many as there used to be. Moose Jaw, on the other hand, has very few big box stores in its downtown area and still has scores of quirky boutique shops and restaurants.
Last year I put together 50 Images That Showcase Regina, and it was very successful. However, I did that article early into the year and missed out on some pictures I would take later, so I decided to do it again this year. These pictures were all taken either in late 2015 or in 2016.
If you guys enjoy this article as much as you liked the last one, I might start making this an annual thing.
Some of you may recognize a few of these pictures from earlier in the year, but there should be a few here that none of you have ever seen before.
If you've ever passed through Medicine Hat, or you're spending a few days in the area, you've probably wondered what to do there. To most people outside the city, Medicine Hat might seem like a sleepy little prairie town in the Canadian Badlands; but for those who live in Hell's Basement, they'll tell you that this city is one of the most exciting places you can explore in all of Alberta.
I've gone to Medicine Hat three times in the past two years, and while I'm no expert on this thriving city, I know where the hidden gems are. If someone I know is passing through the area, I tell them they need to visit Medicine Hat. To help explain why, I put an article together for anyone else interested in visiting the Hat.
If you're spending 24 hours in Medicine Hat, you'll need somewhere to sleep. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a little under an hour away and a great place to camp. Camping in Cypress gives you the choice to explore the park, the city, and everywhere in between.