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.
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In case you haven't heard, Super Tuesday was last Tuesday and everybody's most disliked presidential candidate, Donald Trump, did very well. He didn't do as well as predicted, but he did well enough that he is now officially taken the lead for the Republican nomination. While the Republicans struggle to find some way of stopping Mr. Trump, many Americans worry about the future of their country. As a result, many Americans have been thinking about moving to Canada.
While similar statements were made when marijuana and gay marriage was legalized, "How to move to Canada" spiked 1000% on Google after last Super Tuesday. In fact, the Nova Scotia tourism website got more traffic in a single day then it did all last year and the Canadian immigration website was having difficulties handling all the traffic, so it seems that a lot of people are wondering if they should move to Canada.
As a Canadian I feel it is my duty to highlight some of the reasons why somebody – particularly an American – should consider moving to Canada.
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
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.