Köln and Baden-Baden, and other personal thoughts

Baden-Baden Travel Blog

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Koeln Cathedral, Night Fever

Day 8: Köln and Baden-Baden

 

            So in the morning I slept in.  I didn’t get up and around until 10, so I decided I would just pack up, and instead of concelebrating a mass I just went to the 12:00pm Mass at the Cathedral.

  It was celebrated by Bishop JungAfter Mass I had a quick lunch with some friends that I met on my first trip, Christoph and Anika Veelan.  Then I set out in the afternoon for Baden-Baden.  It took about 2:30 hours and the trains were full, I guess it being Sunday afternoon it would be expected.  Now the one thing about just going to a place you need to first then find a place to land.  That is why if you are going to be spontaneous you should at least have an idea of where you might want to go and an option or two of a hotel.  When I arrived, I wandered around for just a little bit because I did not have the hotel printed off it was in my e-mail a place that I asked a quote from but did not make a reservation.  As a side note I wouldn’t do this in high season, they might be booked, one of the great reasons for travelling in off season.
Baden-Baden
 

            What do you do in this town?  Well, first it is a lot smaller than any of the other towns I have been to, it is also a place to come to relax.  This place is a small town but is very wealthy by its looks and the people that inhabit it.   I struck gold on this hotel, Hotel am Markt, it is in a beautiful hill, right next to a local Catholic Church and close to the baths and all the other items to do.  Getting there in the evening I went straight to the baths and you can’t beat 33€ per night.  I did a shorter one but it came with about an hour and a half of sauna, pools, and all relaxation.  After this I was ready for some supper, I went to a place not far from my hotel and had a great meal.  I first started with a good Tomato Cream Soup afterwards my main course was Wild Boar, with a light brown gravy, red cabbage, a little cranberry jelly and some kind of different potato that is in crusted over baked shell.

Baden-Baden
  It was all marvelous!  Boar is just a little gamy but so tender that it cuts so easily with your knife.  This is something that should be tried by as many people as possible as it can change their attitudes about strange food.  Just because we don’t eat it often, doesn’t mean it can’t taste very good.  To wash it down with  I had a Karlsburg Dunkel (1878).  Afterwards, feeling very satisfied I wandered around a little bit to just enjoy the beauty of this town at night.  I found a place called Amadeus where I stuck up a conversation with a local in German then met a couple travelling from Davenport Iowa.  Nice people.  We shared a Weiβ Bier and conversation then I turned in for the evening relaxed and content.  I slept well!

           

Day 9:  Baden-Baden

 

            After getting up at about 10am, I took a shower and then took off to see the city but also to buy a new cord for my computer, if left it at my last hotel in Köln.

Baden-Baden
  That cost me about 35 Euro, oh well; I want to use this thing until I get back home.  After seeing this nice city in the daylight seeing the Black Forest beauty from the city, I went for a three hour bath.  Yes, a three hour bath.  I went to Freidrichsbad, wow this is incredible.  If you want to make all aches, pains and stress go away, head to this kind of bath.  You go through 17 different stages of relaxation and care for your body.  Now this is not something Americans would be used to, why?  You do all of this nude and mixed with both men and women, yet there is nothing sexual here just a different attitude that does not have our history of Puritanism.  Once you start this you go through a shower, steam bath, followed by a hotter steam bath, then a quick shower, a massage, that at the end they smack your thigh, then another thermal bath, followed by a hotter thermal steam bath.  Then a dip in a mineral pool, then in a higher concentrated mineral pool, a colder pool that you take a swim in, then a shower, a very cold dip, then you apply some skin creams, followed by a wonderful 30 minute nap where they snuggle you up like a baby is swaddled, the final part is some nice cold water where you can take some time to read.
Baden-Baden
  When you leave this place you really feel like a new person and you could take on the world, all for 29€.  Then I was hungry as I didn’t really eat much today so I went to the Löwenbräu for dinner.  Here I had a soup that is something like a French Onion Soup, but made from beer but does not taste like beer, followed by Schweinbraten, which is pork, cooked very well, with some cabbage, broccoli and spätzle.  After dinner I went for an evening Mass at the Church just across from my hotel the Stiftskirche Liebfrau or the
Church of Our Lady.  I concelebrated Mass with Fr. Lott, who was in a POW camp in Belgium in WWII, very pleasant man.  So I think I might head out for a little night cap and then some more sleep, hoping tomorrow to rent a car and see some of the rest of the Schwarzwald or Black Forest, it was a lovely day by the way.
Hotel an Markt, where I stayed and the Stifts Kirche
 

 

Other Musings while in Baden-Baden:

 

            If one could sit and share a drink, and if one’s preference a smoke, would we not be a little nicer, more loving…more peaceful?  Instead we believe in the omnipotence of ourselves, our shells, our comfort zones.

            That is not the make-up that stirs man’s blood.

Baden-Baden
  Now it would seem that way if we turn on the news, listen to the Glen Beck’s, or Chris Matthew’s, and all the other righties and lefties that seem so sure, so right so confident.  Yet they are the torment, the blah of our world.  We can watch and scream and say to their words, yes, no, or maybe so!  Yet the longer we sit and listen to their words, their food becomes bland, their words become faded, and it all becomes something we just want to spit out! 

            While in this land of Deutschland, of Goethe, Schiller, Marx, Beethoven, Nietzsche, Kant, Luther, Möhler, Ratzinger and countless others can’t we find a reawakening of the struggle between?  Angst and joy, freedom and repression, personalism and isolation?

            Nietszsche said we need to wake from our Dogmatic slumber, yet that is what we need more than ever now.

Baden-Baden
 

            We have a Dogma that only sees to the end of our nose, this is not life, this is not freedom, and freedom is something that must be sought, must be felt, and must be encountered.  You don’t encounter freedom on your couch watching television.  That is enslavement, listening to the blathering of those who seem to know it all, when in the silence of their own lives and at home…they are broken too!

            If we see that we are broken then we know that all of us need to be fixed.  That is how IT starts, we see pieces, we see shards of glass taken in the right sunlight become every beautiful color of the rainbow.  The rainbow, that symbol of peace, love and God who arches around us, wraps around us and into himself, broken little pieces and all.

Trinkhalle

            When we see the symbol of broken glass we know it goes beyond the labels we use in our own lives, for if we pick up broken glass with reckless abandon, we too will feel that cut in our hands and see the blood; and for a moment we will look upon and feel the pulse of our own heart.  It is then that we know for sure that we are alive.  Labels go away, and we are one with each other if only for a moment.  When we are one with others when we understand the joy of a mother at the sound of her first child’s cry, or the anguish when the heart goes silent at a love ones last breath, it is then that we are weak, vulnerable, emotion filled!  Yet it is in these moments that we are full of the knowledge that we are one with each other and for that moment we are no longer red or blue, left or right, black or white, we are…broken, yet proud because we are broken together and yet proud because we are gifted with our humanity and proud.  Proud to try and pick up the pieces, proud to have labored through the sweat and tears, proud to have known the person or persons who make us who we are.

Baden-Baden

            It is in us all not to just accept that life can be dull, we have BREATH and so we have hope, in our selves, in others, most of all in that thing that we all seek and search and strive for…love.  No matter whom we are and what state of life we are in, we all long for and strive for and need…love.
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Koeln Cathedral, Night Fever
Koeln Cathedral, Night Fever
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Hotel an Markt, where I stayed and…
Hotel an Markt, where I stayed an…
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Trinkhalle
Trinkhalle
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Schwarzwald or Black Forrest
Schwarzwald or Black Forrest
Friedrichbad, ah the place of the …
Friedrichbad, ah the place of the…
Back of Friedrichsbad
Back of Friedrichsbad
Stiftskirche
Stiftskirche
yummy food and drink
yummy food and drink
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Kurhaus, or Casino
Kurhaus, or Casino
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
photo by: missandrea81