In my last post about our European road trip, I mentioned our first hotel in Baden Württemberg – the Hotel Zum fröhlichen Landmann – a family restaurant hotel. When we arrived, a bus load of tourists were leaving having had a yummy meal. James played in the playground while we unpacked the car.
We were a little wowed by our location, deep in the seemingly middle of nowhere, but we were sad to find that the hotel doesn’t have a bar. We’d have loved to have sat out in the evening sunshine while James played on the slide and little house.
We had a very comfortable bed, and a spacious room, but the best part was that the windows had shutters – total blackout!
As we walked up to the castle from the car park, I spotted some acorns, fallen from a nearby tree. I told James how they grow in these cups, and when they fall from the tree squirrels eat the nut, and fairies use the cup as a hat.
As we turned the corner to go through the gateway, James excitedly shouted, “look! A fairy house! And next door their fairy friends live, too!”
We drove into Switzerland, intending to eat lunch there – really, just to say we’d been to another country! But then we realised we didn’t have any Swiss francs, nor a parking permit, which we seemed to need in all the spaces we found.
Our hotel for the next two nights was the Radisson Blu in Ettlingen- completely out of the way and not an ideal location if you like to walk into town from the hotel, as we do. A mistake, and hastily booked, but a fine hotel in all other regards.
Karlsruhe town is celebrating its 300th birthday, and this weekend is the end of the celebrations. We witnessed a wonderful light show on the palace in the evening.
(Check out that #ka300 hashtag for more highlights of the celebrations – some brilliant videos and images on Instagram)
Today we have enjoyed seeing friends. We started the day with a Bavarian breakfast of weißwurst and pretzel, washed down with beer in the town of Durlach. We wandered around the flea market and resisted some brilliant bargains (Rob doesn’t agree we need another pushchair!), and picked up others, including a toy digger made in West Germany for €,50.
Then we walked up to the mountain train station.
Back to Karlsruhe to the palace and the botanical gardens.
Our lunch was very, very late. James was ‘fractious’ to put it politely, and the first place we went to had given us a menu of food they weren’t serving. So after we’d made our choices and were told they weren’t available, we drank up our beers and left. Actually, I’m glad we didn’t, because Cafe Emaille was a great find. Tucked away in an alley off the shopping street, you’d imagine drunken bums and a dirty dive you’d want to avoid. Instead, this was a relaxed, family friendly place, with schnitzel as a top menu choice. Rob and Sven chose the beer of the day – Apfel bier – which was sort of shandy made with apple juice instead of lemonade. We all ordered a variation of schnitzel with chips, and they were served very quickly; hot and tasty.