It has been an interesting few days here in Germany to say the least. First of all, we had been greatly anticipating our youngest daughter’s arrival here in Frankfurt as she and a friend were going to Rome and Naples before coming to spend the “holiday” weekend with us in Germany. First of all, obviously Thanksgiving doesn’t exist here in Germany, but we had taken time off of work, partially because it is a holiday in the US, but mostly because of the arrival of our daughter and friend. The day before they were supposed to fly from Naples to Frankfurt, we received a phone call letting us know that her friend had fallen and they were on the way to the hospital. Obviously not the phone call any parent wants to receive when you have children traveling abroad, but she is an adult, so all we could do was support her the best way that we could.
After a few hours, we received another phone call letting us know that her friend had broken her ankle and that they needed to get home to Chicago to receive further treatment. Immediately we began the search for flights that would get them home, forgoing them coming to Frankfurt, but instead just trying to get them from Naples back to Chicago. To make matters worse, Lufthansa pilots had chosen to strike, so finding flights was just about impossible and those that could be found had several stops and prices that were outrageous. After several conversations, they decided to take their previously scheduled flight from Naples to Frankfurt where they would have more options available, but obviously it would delay their return by a day. Perhaps because it was a holiday in the US, they were able to find a non-stop United flight that got them back to Chicago on Thanksgiving day.
That gave us about a half a day to spend with them, albeit not going anyplace other than our apartment, but we did at least get to see our daughter. Sometimes you just have to make the most of what life offers you and take it with a smile. We had a nice time visiting, but certainly not the experience that we had hoped for. One of the things that we had planned was a visit to Würzburg, a smaller city that has a wonderful palace called the Residenz as well as a fortress that looms over the town across the old bridge. We specifically chose this town because it was smaller and we wanted them to see something other than a larger city like Frankfurt or Cologne. With somewhat sad hearts, we went ahead and visited Würzburg over the weekend even though they weren’t with us. It was everything that we had hoped that it would be. The town was festive and busy, but not the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds that we have seen in other cities with Christmas markets.
We toured the Residenz, which was truly magnificent and spent most of our time just walking the tiny side streets. We found a restaurant called Stachel that was over 600 years old and served incredible food. There was a wonderful Dom (Cathedral), which was, of course, surrounded by Christmas markets. We truly did enjoy our time in Würzburg, but we were definitely a little sad that we didn’t get to share it with our daughter as we had hoped. After a few stressful and eventful days, followed by a couple of days of relaxation, we are back to our normal routines and should be posting again on a regular basis. We have shared a few photos from Würzburg, but will talk more about this wonderful town in a future post (although it seems like we are way behind on fully sharing our experiences 😀).