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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Part 12 of my cross Canada series takes us to the smallest province in Canada, Prince Edward Island. However, don't let the name confuse you: PEI is actually 232 islands!
PEI also happens to have smallest population of any province in Canada, with only 146,300 people as of 2014. This means this province has less people than my hometown Regina!
Being so small, however, it was difficult to find images on Instagram. That isn't to say there's nothing there worth seeing! Quiet the quandary, actually. PEI has a few very unique locations that drive their tourism. One of them is the gorgeous themed village of Avonlea, named after the village in the hit novel "Anne of Green Gables" published in 1908. This story, and the subsequent stories, follows Anne, a red-haired "fiery" orphan who grows up on PEI. The story is an international bestseller, and is strangely very popular in Japan (or so I've been told)!
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.
For many of us in Saskatchewan, summer means it's time for an Alberta road trip. Although the endless stretches of prairie have their appeal, there is nothing quite like seeing the mountains rising over the horizon.
One challenge that comes with taking a summer road trip is the heat. Much like on this side of the border, it isn't uncommon for summer temperatures to get to the extreme. I know a few people who have had car problems in the heat, and my family is one of them. Nothing ruins a trip more than an unexpected visit to the mechanic.
Thankfully, Alberta has a myriad of places to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or fishing. This not only gives your vehicle time to cool off, but also gives you a chance to escape the heat as well.