This year I traveled to Europe for the first time ever. It was for a brief business trip in Germany. It was definitely an adventure and for that reason I enjoyed myself. But it was not the type of business trip I would want to repeat. Ever. Here’s the whole story.
Sunday Oct 9, I departed from SFO to Frankfurt, Germany for a 4 day business trip.
I flew Lufthansa, which had GREAT accommodations for my gluten free diet.
Twelve hours later, about 9:30 am Germany time, I landed. I felt really excited to be in Europe for the first time!
Look! My own airline!
I got on the train, which I found to be very comfortable. I was so grateful that everyone there speaks English. Getting my ticket was easy breezy.
At the airport I met up with 3 colleagues, and together we made our way to the train station together. Here are some pics I took from the train. Destination: Gottingen. By the way, I don’t think the sun came out for more than 15 minutes my entire trip. The weather was in the 50s, and it was really rainy.
I really loved seeing all of the farms and little villages. Finally we arrived at the hotel. It was about 3:30 pm by then, and we were all exhausted. BUT, it was not the time for rest, as we had dinner plans at 8:00 pm. Yes, that is how the Europeans have dinner – LATE.
Here’s my room. Its no Hilton Garden Inn, but apparently this is standard in Europe. Sheesh, minimalists. If you’re going to travel for business you should at least get a decent hotel room!
Ew, someone left behind some candy and housekeeping didn’t catch it!
My first bidet! No, I didn’t use it but I was curious.
I didn’t get any pictures of dinner that night but the hotel was really nice about recommending a gluten free meal. I was so tired that after dinner I completely zonked out. Little did I know it would be some of the only sleep I would get on the entire trip!
We got up early the next morning and I worked out at the weird hotel gym. They had the most space age treadmills I’ve ever seen. It made reading really tough.
Later, I went to the buffet breakfast and feasted. Lots of eggs and sausage and cheese. What can I say, I wasn’t sure where my next gluten free meal would come from. We hopped on a bus with a couple dozen colleagues and headed to Hannover. Very cute hotel.
Here is a picture of my hotel room. I liked the modern style. Just because a hotel room needs to be functional and utilitarian doesn’t mean it has to be to be without a bit of class.
Wait – there’s those candies again! Hm, maybe its the German equivalent to the American hotels putting chocolates on your bed…..?
After the first day of meetings, we went on a little trip to an old brewery. I wish I had the name but I don’t. I took a few pics on the LONG busride over.
We arrived cold and hungry. We were ready to eat. But did we get to eat? No. We had activities planned. It would be over 2 hours in the pouring rain before we got to go inside. By then I was soaked to the bone and freezing. The restaurant had crappy wine (yes, I know I have a Napa Valley palette) but the food was good and they accommodated my request for gluten free food. Despite being cold and wet I really enjoyed myself. Drinking the wine helped me warm up a lot!!
I’m not sure what I was taking a picture of here, but it demonstrates how well bricks hold up in a building that is nearly 1000 years old. No joke.
The next day there was another breakfast buffet with cheese and other naughty foods. And of course there were more meetings. I was running on very little sleep and my insides were a wreck from all of the unusual food. By the time the meetings ended I didn’t even want to say goodbye to anyone, I just wanted to get out of there. So my colleagues and I grabbed the train back to Frankfurt to settle in for one last night. I needed some time alone so I got a 1st class ticket. The peace and quiet was awesome.
We checked in to the 3rd and final hotel of the trip. Here we could all just wake up and go home via our respective flights. I have to admit, again I was disappointed. Its a business traveler hotel and it was so drab and blah. And the evening we checked in, we went to dinner and I almost got glutened at their fancy restaurant.
Was that a Kandinsky print on the wall?
This was the only hotel I did not use the gym at because they did not open until 6:30. Who ever heard of that bull shit?! I would be leaving at about 7:45 to catch my flight so I simply did not have time to wait.
Finally it came time to catch my plane home!
I only wish I had gotten a picture upon touching down at SFO. I have to say, the BEST part of any trip, and more so on an international trip, is coming home to good old California!!!