It was checkout time at Im Malerwinkelbut our train didn’t come until 11. We decided to take a break and finally enjoy the outside coutryard of the hotel with a shandy from the honor bar.
Before we left I finally got my answer on how they maintain the steep vineyards. While they do walk up and down looking at the vines they also have this handy contraption.
After our morning shandy we grabbed our bags and walked down to the train station, saying goodbye to Bacharach and the Rhine. Since I waited too long to book our tickets the so the only seats left were first class. Our first long German train ride was going to be in style. We come to find out later that it is only slightly nicer in first class, but very quiet. Not sure if warrants the extra cost. I guess if you have money to burn then all means do so. I think I will continue to book 2nd class in the future – with a seat reservation. Our journey is to be 2.5 hours with a stop in Mainz. For this train trip we weren’t yet familiar with the ins and outs of the train cars (although that wouldn’t matter later). In Bacharach it was easy since it was a regional train and we simply took and seat in the small first class section on the train (no reserved seat). While waiting for our train in Mainz for the longer leg I was challenged in trying to figure out what edge of the platform to stand on. I searched online but could not figure it out. When the train arrived we discovered the numbers outside the cars and we were pretty far away from ours. Instead of running down the platform and risking missing the train, we chose to hop on where we were and walked through about 10 cars before we got to ours. Warning – this approach will not always work because some trains have engine trains in the middle of the train that you cannot walk through. See example below in the top right corner of the sign.
When we finally arrived in Baden-Baden we look for the bus to take us to the city center area. Again working off vague instructions and bad maps we found the bus and guessed what stop was appropriate to take. By the way, the bus was quite busy the couple times we took it. It didn’t make for easy travel with luggage. The hotel suggested a taxi, maybe?
We dropped off bags at the hotel and freshened up. Of course we were hungry. We didn’t do much research on places to eat and were suckered in by the “lively” looking Bavarian beer garden. We ended up eating there and it ended up being a tourist trap; and we should have known better. The waiters were not really caring if we were there or not and the garden was quiet and boring. And the food was just blah. But if you saw this guy below in a moment of weakness you might eat there on a whim.
|my blah meal|
After our crappy meal we wandered around town a bit. The tourist office was closed but the hall that housed it, Trinkhalle, had some nice art outside.
There was also some nice sightseeing around town.
At the end of the evening I decided I wanted to get a piece of black forest cake. All the “recommend” bakeries were closed for the day so I settled on an outside cafe where I received another round of bad service. The cake wasn’t terrible though. I am not loving Baden-Baden so far.