Saturday June 29th, 2013
After a lovely flight of only about an hour of sleep followed by a long trek through the airport to the meeting spot, we took an hour long bus ride from Frankfurt International to the hotel in Koblenz. The wine school is actually in the hotel which is the most convenient part of it all. We checked into our own rooms in the hotel which have a full size bed and private bathroom. We did some exploring just within a few blocks. We recognized some familiar names like H&M, TK Maxx (TJ Maxx), Pizza Hut, T-Mobile, and Starbucks. That was really comforting know that if we needed something there is a name brand that we feel comfortable using.
We had dinner in the hotel as a group including some staff of the wine school and our tour guide for our “Grand Tour” in France next week.
Our first German Meal:
Salmon with a Riesling Kabinett
Beef/Pork Stew with a Pinot Noir
A Lemon Cream Cheese with Red Fruit and Sparkling Wine
This bottle was signed by the Johnson & Wales 2012 study abroad group. They picked the bottle out as a tradition of the program which has been going on for 13 years.
Everything was really delicious and plated very beautifully. Dinner took about two hours and we had two servers who served us the wine, water, all three courses, and cleared everything as well.
After dinner, everyone went out and explored Koblenz. There happened to be a festival in the city with music. The music consisted of traditional German songs as well as German versions of American songs such as “It’s Raining Men.” It was a lot of fun!
Sunday June 30th, 2013
This morning we all had breakfast and lunch at the hotel. Some of us chose to explore in small groups for a little. On Sundays everything is closed with the exception of cafes, restaurants, and bars. I was lucky enough to find a convenience store with shampoo, conditioner, and flat water (sparkling is more common than still).
At 2pm, we met for a group tour through Koblenz. We had a tour guide named Axel that lives in Koblenz. He’s been to Iowa before and was very excited to find someone from Iowa!
The tour was amazing! We went through Koblenz and learned about the history. Most of Koblenz had been bombed during one of the wars and it was rebuilt after. We did a lot of walking.
After the tour a bunch of us went to an Italian Cafe/Restaurant called Va Piano (they actually are a Deutschland-American corporation). It was awesome! They give you a card which is your own personal tab and you pay when you leave. They fortunately had an employee who spoke English pretty well and we were able to get an English menu and have a conversation about Koblenz. First you order your pasta or pizza at a station where they make it right in front of you. Then you take your tray and sit down. At the tables, they had fresh herbs. When you walked inside all you could think and smell was caprese salad. The mixture of basil and mozzarella was mesmerizing. It was delicious and we’re already planning on going back again. I got penne pasta with soaked sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, ricotta cheese, and basil.
After dinner, we did some more exploring and some people got delicious gelato! The local Germans must think we are nuts because not realizing we can be loud. Fortunately we have not had any rude encounters and they are very welcoming and try to help us as much as they can understand. We’ve realized that more young people can speak English compared to the older generations.
We made it an early night because class starts tomorrow at 9am. I’m still in between on my sleeping schedules. I’m not exactly tired at night but I definitely can go to sleep. It takes time. Tomorrow we have class all day followed by a night trip to a winery where we will have dinner.