We got up this morning at about 7:45. Actually, I woke up at about 3:00am and it took a long time to get back to sleep. But once I did, I managed to sleep until 7:45. We had another breakfast and this time, I avoided the raw eggs. I could have boiled one if I wanted to, but I'm not that good at the art of egg boiling. Now that I think of it, though, it's probably smart to let people do it themselves. Everybody has a different opinion of when an egg is sufficiently cooked.
Our total bill for two nights, dinner (including two bottles of wine, two entrees, two desserts, and sparkling mineral water), two breakfasts for two, and a jar of honey, came to about $350. Not bad at all, for what we got. For those who have kids, this hotel does have a nice garden area and it looked like there were even outdoor toys for little kids. It was raining a lot, though, so we didn't check it out. The hotel is ten minutes from Colmar and has tight parking, but I think we got a great deal. Plus, the staff was really nice. If we go back, we'll bring extra pillows.
It was pouring rain when we left, so we decided to take the shorter way back home, using the autobahns. I must say, in some ways, that drive was as pretty as the drive out was. We went through Freiburg, which appears to be a great town. But before we got to Freiburg, we got stuck at the border. They were doing construction in the rain, so getting across the Rhine took about ten or fifteen minutes. I'm not kidding. The stop light was only letting two or three cars go at a time.
Scenes at the border...
One thing I noticed on this trip were the many crucifixes and crosses everywhere. I have heard it said that Europe isn't all that religious, but there's religious symbolism everywhere. I even saw one cross on a small mountain on the autobahn, surrounded by hills. It was very cool looking. I couldn't help but be reminded that in the United States, such symbolism is disappearing. I am not a particularly religious person, but I do think it's kind of refreshing that Europeans don't seem to get bent out of shape over crosses and crucifixes... and little shrines.
We got home at about noon and I was hungry, so Bill and I went out to lunch at Hotel Hasen Gasthof, a very nice four star gasthaus in Herrenberg. I had seen this place and wondered about it last time we lived in Germany. I'm glad we got to try it today, because the food is excellent and so is the very proper service. Bill and I were a little underdressed for the clientele, which appeared to be chiefly older people. It was interesting to observe them. One very nice couple sat near us with a woman who was either a nurse or a family member. As they left, the man nodded and said to me sweetly, "Auf Wiedersehen."
We had two courses. I had a bowl of tomato creme soup with a "gin espuma" (basically some kind of foam). Bill had a barley soup that was very good. Then I had kasespatzle with bacon and sautéed, caramelized onions and Bill had roasted pork with a mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. I hesitated before I got the spatzle, because I don't usually like it. A lot of times, you get it kind of dry and flavorless. This time, it was delicious with creamy mild cheese. I am a fan of mac and cheese and this dish was like Germany's grown up version of it.
Yummy spatzle! Sorry this is half eaten. I usually take photos before I start eating, but I didn't want to be too conspicuous, taking pictures of my food. It was so good, I decided to take them anyway.
Bill has the special...
Hotel Gasthof Hasen: A very good place to eat on the main drag in Herrenberg.
I washed my lunch down with a Hochdorfer beer and Bill had Spezie, which is cola and orange mixed together. He let me taste it. It's really good when it's made from a fountain. We both resolved to come back to Herrenberg one night properly dressed and have dinner at the gasthaus. As we left, I turned to the gentleman sitting next to me and said "Auf Wiedersehen." I was rewarded with a big smile. I know he could tell we were Americans and likely wasn't expecting that.
Later, we went to Bad Niedernau to pick up our dogs at the Hunde Hotel Haase. They were glad to see us, though I think they had a good time. I'm not surprised. Our old dogs, Flea and MacGregor, used to love going there when we took trips. They got through it fine, so I feel okay about them staying there when we go to the States next month. I just have to figure out the new way of getting there, since we no longer live in Pfaffingen.
It was wet, but scenic, on our drive today.
All in all, we had a nice time visiting Colmar, France. Hopefully, next time, there won't be as much weirdness.
The sun finally came out... just in time to set.