From Luzern we drove to see the Rhine falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. We then drove through the black forest, famous for ham, cake, fairy tales, houses made of candy, and coo-coo clocks.
We made our way to Heidelberg, which is a lovely city. Again, a repeat visit is in order. I am sure we barely scratched the surface here, but did get to see Heidelberg castle, and the largest wine barrel in the world. It can hold 58,100 U.S. gallons, and let me tell you, that is a lot of gallons.
The next day we visited the adorable Rudesheim, Germany. Here we started our cruise up (or down) the Rhine river. Along the way we found ourselves in the heart of German wine country. Insane vineyards were all along the river, growing grapes on the most steep and silly places I've ever seen. We must have seen ten different castles, none of which I can name now.
We stopped about 30 km later in St. Goar. Yet another charming German town. Here we had a wine tasting, where for the first time I had ice wine. This is wine made from grapes left on the vine into the winter. They are piked, smashed, and made into wine while frozen. This particular vintner hasn't been able to make it for the last three winters because it never got cold enough. This climate change is reflected in the price.
In St. Goar I bought a pair of Birkenstocks. I'm not even sure why; I was overtaken by a cute design, the smell of leather, Euro sizes (I'm a 39), and German small towns. I do not regret them.
Later, in Koblenz, we visited the Deutsche Eck, a huge memorial to Emperor Wilhelm I where the Rhine and Mozel rivers converge.
Our last day we visited Köln (Cologne), and saw the immense cathedral there, where allegedly, the relics of the magi are housed. Mom and Dad and I went to the Roman-German museum, that houses a ton of Roman items found in this area of Germany. It was pretty cool and mostly in English. I also had a Kölsch beer, which is a beer you can only get in Köln.
We then drove to Bonn, and visited the house where Beethoven was born. We saw instruments he played, and more interestingly, the horns he used to improve his hearing.
The Haus der Geschichte is a pretty cool museum of German history from 1945 on. It was all in German, sadly, but it had a lot of cool stuff in it anyway. We got a look into the rebuilding of the country after the war, and they had interesting items including a roll of yellow fabric with stars of David printed on it.
And that's pretty much it. We happily got time at some German grocery stores where I stocked up on Haribo gummies, and on the way home, I got a free massage at Heathrow airport...after I set off their metal detector.