I only gained 3 pounds during my week abroad. My suitcase actually gained more weight than I did. The low weight gain is miraculous due to the foods, breads, wines and more breads I enjoyed during the week.
The trip begins heading to Frankfurt Germany. Leaving DFW airport around 3:00 in the afternoon arriving in Frankfurt, approx. 9:00. Drop off the luggage and head straight for the Messe Fairgrounds. This place is huge, 10 buildings... Oops 11 buildings, they added a new building this year. We had two days to cover the entire show. This involved some serious walking. I should have brought my pedometer to see how many steps we took. We had it all planned and knew if we were pressed on time we could skip a couple of buildings. Who needs to see an entire building of curtain rods, blinds, etc? Would you think there were that many different ways to hang curtains? First show day we had been up for 30 hours not counting the occasional nap on the plane.
Remember this show does not allow pictures so I don't have much to offer except a notebook full of sketches that only I could decipher.
This show is so different than the quilt shows or gift shows. Hiemtexel is the largest home dec show in the world. The vendors exhibiting here build small countries. Bedding companies suspend beds from the high ceilings as if they were swings on a playground. Rainbow of towels, rugs, robes and slippers displayed along antique led tubs with claw feet and a babbling brook flowing through the booth.
I was enamored with a rug company that made rugs from the leather labels of blue jeans. There were patched denim rugs, rugs from silk ties, felted wool rocks rugs, and even rugs made from zippers. Rugs, cushions, footstools, loved it all. Reminded me of stuff I tried to patch together in high school. The down side to this isn't I could take any of this home.
The one exhibit I was able to take a few pics from was the exhibit from the Frankfurt school of fashion, Tales of the Unexpected.
One tradition is too plan an evening at any of the apple wine (apfelwein) restaurants in old town of Frankfurt. Wagner's is like stepping back in time and enjoying a German meal, fellowship and some new friends regardless of the language differences. Enter the restaurant, pull back the thick red velvet curtains that shield the inside from the cold and embark on rooms and rooms full of big long tables, benches and chairs. Complete strangers sit right along side you. They call this family style. Where I come from they call family style where they dish your meal in big dishes placed on the table, you it pass around and help your self. Here you don't share food unless you want, you share the table.
Due to it's popularity, it is a great place for the tourists to gather. This seems to help with the language barriers. The food is amazing from wiener schnitzel to the sausage sampler platter. Ya, the sausage platter was as gross as it looks in the picture, but one thing stands true, whenever we travel we try and do as the locals do. If you are in Nashville you have to listen to country music, so if you are in Germany you have to have sausage and sauerkrat.
I am not a big fan of the apple wine. Reminds me of when I was a kid and accidentally left apple juice in my lunch thermos. I opened the lid and it exploded. I told my dad I think I had just made beer.
The real adventure begins as we rented a car and began the drive to visit the charming area of Ste. Marie Aux Mines. We made sure the rental car had a GPS system. We weren't the least bit nervous. GPS IN GERMAN!
This wasn't like rental car companies here where there are people everywhere. Nope, they just sent us out down a very,very long hallway, an elevator and a huge garage. We played with the GPS, when a man pulled up behind us. He worked for the rental car company and was only there to park another car in our soon to be vacant parking spot. He changed the language to English and we all had a good laugh.
The European Patchwork Meeting 2012 will be having an exhibit with some of Mark Dunns antique quilts and textiles. We met with Rhinetex, the Moda distributor along with the organizers of this event.
The entire trip I felt like the guys on The Bachelor television show when all they can say is "Amazing." However my word was "Charming!"
pictured above - the exhibition hall, meeting with the team, Maarten and William at the Amish exhibition, the B&B we stayed during our visit.
on the road again
Drove to Heidelberg, Germany to see the "charming" castle and enjoy a cappuccino and a bowl of soup. The soup here is like no other, all the ingredients are so fresh and I am sure full of rich cremes. I decided to turn the rest of the trip into a soup tour trying to order it for every meal.
Had to get on the road to make sure we arrived at our next stop before nightfall. The GPS was great but there is something about driving in the pitch black along winding roads through the mountains with a voice repeating merge right at the next round about.
The drive was breathtaking through the Swiss Alps. Those are some big mountains!! We arrived at nightfall in Como, Italy. A perfect ending to a perfect day.... And I think no u turns that day.
January is off season so the area was very quiet but that didn't take away from the charm. We visited any yarn or quilt shop we could find along our route.
Antipastos, fresh fish, wines, cappuccinos, chocolates, breads, olive oils, cheeses and a few more soups rounded out the stay in Como. This is probably the town where the 3 pounds happened.
I can officially say I have been to Milan. (driving to the airport at 4:30 in the morning) This just means will need another trip back to see Milan in the daylight.