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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last Stop: Baden-Baden

Our next stop: Baden- Baden. Eventually we arrived at our final destination and second exchange partner near Baden-Baden. There is always some excitement when you reach your new exchange destination. You have a certain picture in your head from the description of the owners on that website and pictures that you have seen. One has to be prepared that once expectations aren’t always met. In this case we got lucky again. The townhouse was a lovely abode with a small garden in the back and the balcony on the first floor. This time our abode is a little smaller, a duplex as we say in Ireland, but sufficient for our needs. The location nestled against a hillside and its views over the beginnings of the Black Forest were priceless. It being a lovely summer day, we opened all doors and windows to air the place and feel the fresh mountain the breeze rush through it. Most German private homes have no AC. Fresh mountain air cleared the house at night even on the hottest days when the barometer nearly reached 40 degrees Celsius.
There were no unpleasnat surprises, no missing light bulbs like in France last year or broken sinks. Neither did we have to feeed unannounced pets like fish or guinea pigs! 

One downside, however, needs mentioning and that was a bad Internet connection due to the surrounding hills.

Baden- Baden is a world renowned spa resort and also famous for its high-end casino. 

The German word Baden means  to bathe.  In the last century, the elite of European countries came here for the "cure". This mostly consisted of drinking certain water from mineral wells that are still being  made available to ailing people who want to improve their health -- for a few Euro now. Then it was most glitzy. Even the Roman used that already during Roman times. From here, it’s easy to get to the French border into Alsace, France.

The Kurgarten (spa garden) at the Kurhaus annually hosts Baden-Baden Summer Nights, an outdoor event featuring live classical music concerts. I was looking forward to spending time in the FabergĂ© Museum. Maybe a trip to the Therme (Thermalbad), hot mineral waters you can swim in; good for arthritis but  a bit much on a hot summer’s day. 

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