View of downtown Bad Munstereifel
So I would later find out that the train ride I had from Mainz to Darmstadt was the most beautiful and scenic train routes in Germany (I could definitely believe it)! It was right along the Rhein River with cliffs, mountains and villages bordering the river. It was breathtaking! I wish I could have stopped at one of the many villages nestled next to the river to walk around and take in the view. The cliffside castles were so cool and so many! This train ride is known for it's castle viewing. :) If only I could go inside all of them. The villages were full of colorfully painted buildings from mute yellows and pinks to baby blues and greens. The villages encompassed Germany's history and one could imagine a civilization a few hundred years old. I could see the character of each village from my train seat.
One of the many castles I saw. How cool!?
This castle reminded me of my friend Michele. She wants to own a castle one day. I thought this one was appropriate for her. Not too big, not too small.
After being spoiled by a beautiful, scenic train ride I arrive to Darmstadt in even higher spirits. I hadn't seen Claudia in almost 10 years, since she lived in Florida with my family.
It was so great to see her! We immediately started catching up and talking about family and what was happening in our lives. She is studying to get her PdD in mathematics at the technical university in Darmstadt. She is also in a triathletes club and is training for her first one in June. Triathlons are really big in Darmstadt because a resident from there won the Iron Man, twice, with the fastest record time.
She looked great and I was so happy to hear this. It isn't a big city so we walked around for the afternoon with no destination in mind and chit chatted. She was a great host for the evening. I ended up going to her tri-club swim practice. It was so great to be in the water, as I have not been in a pool since I've been to Germany. The practice was in meters and full of endurance sets. I really enjoyed it. Afterwards, we sat in her living room and drank non-alcoholic beer (there's a first time for everything :P), as we had to get up early.
All in all, I LOVED seeing her It was so nice of her to let me stay. But as I put it, "I am in your country of COURSE I am going to visit!"
Here are some pictures from our day:
University library. An old castle (Michele would LOVE to work here)! But I could imagine me and my fellow librarian ladies working here! I'm not gonna lie, I was a little jealous of the students and their awesome library. BUT I still LOVE Thomas G. Carpenter.. represent, DUH!
A forest of 'womping willows' (from Harry Potter) as I like to call them. I have no idea of the actual name.
Sunset view of Darmstadt.
A sign of something that I need...
Thanks again Claudia! You are awesome.