One night in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany

I had a hearty breakfast at my hotel in Rothenburg (where I spent one night) before walking 5 minutes to the bus stop where I took an 8:30 am bus to Dinkelsbuhl (since there’s no train station).

My friendly bus driver was from Chania, Greece. I arrived 20 minutes early and he was there with the bus, so we talked about travel. I switched buses once and the next driver was exceptionally mean. At one of the stops there was a passenger obviously distressed because she realized she had gotten on the wrong bus and was asking him in German where to go and he was shouting at her and wouldn’t help. Then when we arrived to what I was pretty certain was my stop I was trying to show him on my Google Maps but he started shouting at me and started to leave, then I said, no no no, I have to get my luggage. Luckily he opened the door for me.

Dinkelsbuhl was another cute town.

I walked to a park.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

One night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

After my one night in Wurzburg, I took a 70 minute train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It’s as quaint as everyone had said. I heard people speaking English since this is a well known tourist stop.

This area is known as Plönlein, featuring old, half-timbered houses, a small fountain, cobbled streets & shops.

I usually look for green spaces and water on Google Maps and walked downhill to the Doppelbrücke and found a path to the water. For the climb back up it looked like I was going through someone’s property but there is a path and I passed one backpacker.

I made my way to the Panaramaweg path, where you’ll find a gorgeous view of vineyards and green!

The gelato was good, but I think Italian gelato is a bit better.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

One night in Wurzburg, Germany

I was going to treat myself to a taxi from my Airbnb in Freiburg to the train station the morning I left for Wurzburg, but there wasn’t one available, so I walked the 10 minutes. I had a great conversation with a German guy with a bicycle on one of the trains. I offered to help him put his bike on the crowded rack and then we talked about all sorts of topics, including politics. The trains were packed with loud guys drinking beer (you’re allowed to take food and drinks on trains throughout much of Europe). Upon arrival in Wurzburg, I stopped for lunch since I had 40 minutes to kill before my check in time of 2:00pm. Once there I dropped my bags and went exploring. It was a cute town. I had four more towns to spend one night in each before reaching Fussen, where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located. It’s known as the Romantic Road or Romantische Straße.

Hi

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip by train from Freiburg, Germany thru the Black Forest

While researching where I could visit as a day trip by train during my five days in Freiburg, I came across an article about scenic trains in Germany, in particular one that went to Donaueschingen, Schluchsee, and Titisee, Germany (the Black Forest). I wasn’t in the mood for walking or biking (my tush hurt from my previous bike rides) and my favorite activity is to spend time in nature, so I took an early train and arrived in Donaueschingen at 9:09am (90 minute train ride). The scenery from the train was beautiful. I walked to the “Source of the Danube” and to a beautiful park called Schlosspark. Next, I took a 50 minute train ride to Titisee, situated on a beautiful lake and had lunch at a restaurant on the lake’s shore. The next train ride was only 20 minutes to Schluchsee which is also next to a beautiful lake, but I stayed only a short time and took the train back to Freiburg. It was a great way to spend the day!

Titisee Lake

Titisee Lake

Source of the Danube in Donaueschingen

Schlosspark

Donaueschingen

Donaueschingen

Schluchsee

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Five nights in Freiburg, Germany

I arrived in Freiburg, Germany after taking two trains (90 minutes total) from Colmar, France. I only had five minutes to change trains and had to take an escalator and an elevator to get to the correct platform and the doors literally shut less than 10 seconds after I pulled my luggage on board. I wasn’t able to store my luggage at the Airbnb I was staying at until check-in time (they were on vacation), so I paid 5 euros and stored it at the train station. I lived in Germany in the late 70’s for a few years while in the military and had visited Munich in 2014, so I was looking forward to being back.

I thought this was a cool building and unusual outdoor seating. It didn’t look comfortable though.

The McDonald’s sign looks out of place with the 13th Century architecture of Martin’s Gate.

While the Airbnb owners were on vacation they gave me permission to borrow their bicycle. I rode 13 km, exploring Seepark (photo below)

and Japanischer Garten

and a cycling path called F1.

Almost one-third of Freiburg has dedicated cycling lanes.

I stopped in the Cathedral in Freiburg

Researching online I found a Mineral Spa facility called Keidel Therme, located 40 minutes away via bicycle, so I left early one morning. The ride there had designated cycling lanes, but cyclists were whizzing by me on steroids and they weren’t saying “on your left” when passing.

What a wonderful place! I was going to take photos but an employee told me I wasn’t allowed to, but that I could take them from their website. It’s huge with indoor and outdoor facilities and lots of different pools, some that are hot and some lukewarm, cascading water that pounds on your shoulders, jets for your back, legs and feet. They have infrared lights that you can lay under. There’s also a sauna, but I didn’t pay for that. They offer massages and water therapies. Use of the pools is only 16.5 euros for all day.

I stayed in for an hour, swimming from area to area becoming a prune.

Then I purchased a pastry for breakfast and soaked up a little sun, before returning to the pools.

I decided to have lunch there and it was delicious! The experience reminded me of when a girlfriend and I went to a schwimmbad in Frankfurt. We were 19 years old and when we walked into the changing facility we were shocked because there were men and women walking around naked, sprawled out in the sauna. We kept our bathing suits on.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Colmar, France to Strasbourg

It was mid-May and a beautiful day when I was in Colmar for a week stay, so I decided last minute to take the train to Strasbourg (I had never visited). It was only a 30 minute ride and I had a 3 month Eurail pass.

I explored some before heading to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg. I paid €8 to climb 332 steps to the top for amazing views!

Back down on the ground

More friendly shop keepers

The train station in Strasbourg is very unique. At night it’s transparent, although I have only seen pictures of it at night.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Fairytale towns to visit on the Alsace Wine Route

While researching places to visit on my 11 week solo adventure through Europe, I discovered the quaint town of Colmar and the nearby Fairytale towns on the Alsace Wine Route. During my week-long stay in Colmar, I visited six of them utilizing the hop-on-hop-off shuttle called Kutzig. It’s only €17 for all day.

I visited Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kayserberg, Turckheim, Equisheim, and Munster in two days.

The Kutzig hop-on/hop-off van

Each village was magical, but my favorites were Kayserberg, Equisheim, Ribeauville, and Riquewihr.

People (and pet) watching is fun…

Flowers…

We passed lots of vineyards…

Sidewalk cafes were abundant…

I had a delicious burger in Turckheim. My first since leaving home six weeks earlier.

Back in Colmar, I purchased some wine and pastries. I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose any either.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Seven nights in Colmar, France

It was mid-May when I left my place in Tours, France at 10 am, walked 10 minutes to the train station and took the 10:44 am train from Tours. I changed trains twice and arrived in Colmar at 3:20 pm. It was a 10 minute walk to my Airbnb, but the owner came to pick me up, which was very nice. She had a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator for me and was just so warm and friendly. As you can see from the photos my Airbnb was cute and situated right in town but on a quiet street. (Plus she did my laundry for €10)

I fell in love with Colmar! There’s a photo op every 3 steps and filled with the half-timbered architecture I love.

My Airbnb host let me borrow her bicycle so one day I bicycled 15 miles round trip along a canal called the Canal de Colmar. It was peaceful being out in nature, listening to the bullfrogs croak, the birds chirp, and admiring the pretty yellow flowers (some would call them weeds) lining the trail. There were some cyclists out and I saw an occasional farmer in the fields and men fishing. It was flat and there were some concrete benches along the trail.

My little Airbnb

To save money, I like to occasionally cook so it’s nice to have a kitchen.

Dinner out one evening…Char Filet, Butter Sauce, Vegetables

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Gardens in Tours, France

On one of my five days in Tours I walked from my Airbnb to the Prébendes d’Oé and Jardin botanique de Tours Gardens. Prébendes d’Oé Garden was very small, but pretty and Jardin botanique de Tours Garden is a free Botanical Garden and mini Zoo.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Château de Chenonceau

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. These are photos of Chateau de Chenonceau.

To visit the Chateau, you walk on this beautiful tree lined path…

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Château de Cheverny and Château du Clos Lucé

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. The first five photos are of Cheverny (one of my favorites) and the remainder of Clos Lucé.

As you can see, the Chateau was decorated for Easter.

Clos Lucé wasn’t as spectacular as the others, but it was very interesting. It was Leonardo da Vinci’s last home. In 1516, the he accepted an invitation from King Francis I and settled in France. From Rome, he brought with him his notebooks and 3 of his major works (the Mona Lisa, St Anne and St John the Baptist), which are now kept in the Louvre. He passed away 3 years later.

The gardens are filled with his inventions and is very educational.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Chateau Royal d’Amboise and Chateau de Chambord

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. If you missed the first two listed you’ll find them here. These first five photos are of Amboise and the remainder of Chambord.

Unfortunately, Chateau de Chambord was being renovated and had scaffolding surrounding it.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Azay le Rideau and Villandry Chateaus

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. I had tried to make reservations with a different company called Acco Dispo Excursions (they have the best reviews), but they weren’t able to book me although I reached out months in advance. I think because I was only one person. Anyway, these are photos of Azay le Rideau and Villandry Chateaus.

The first four photos are Azay le Rideau.

We only toured the gardens at Villandry Chateau, but they were stunning!

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

5 nights in Tours, France

I decided to have a taxi pick me up through the FreeNow app (it’s not free) for the ride to the Montparnasse train station for my departure from Paris to Tours.

The train ride was only 70 mins. and reached speeds of 300 km per hr. I couldn’t check in or leave my bags at the Airbnb in Tours until 4pm, which I knew about ahead of time, and they didn’t have storage facilities at the train station, so I found an app called Nannybag, reserved a spot at a library which was a 10 min. walk from the train station in Tours and lugged it there so I could explore.

Then I stopped to have lunch and went to a hair salon for a new doo.

Tours also has half-timbered architecture.

After all of the walking I’d done in the past five weeks, I decided to have a massage (my masseur below) and it was wonderful…90 minutes of heaven!

I had to try some escargot. It had been at least 30 years since I’d had them.

I’m usually not one for sweets, but the french pastries were just as good as the Italian ones.

I explored the Les Halles de Tours (the foodie market) and purchased some Vouvray wine, Brandade de Morue (for lunch), and some pastries.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip from Paris to Versailles, France

My day trip from Paris to Versailles was difficult. I’ve had some traumatic life-altering events in the last few years and don’t do well with crowds. Trying to capture photos without people’s heads popping up in the bottom of the photo and dodging people in the garden, in the subways, and on the streets wore me out, not to mention it was another 8 mile walking day. I had been doing this for almost a month with a day break here and there and only averaging 5 hours of sleep a night with a nap every couple of days. But I was determined to capture some of the opulence and beauty.

The gardens were magnificent. I should’ve rented a golf cart.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.