Restaurant at Chateau Namur, Namur, Belgium

We ate dinner one evening during our stay at Chateau Namur.
We’d read about the food, and restaurant, and seen lots of photos of the meals, so we were looking forward to a pleasant dinner.
We ate a very small lunch, so that we’d enjoy our evening meal.

We chose the Chefs Menu, which consisted of four courses.
The waiters were very young, and obviously keen to do everything correctly, the service was good.
We ordered a bottle of red wine, and a bottle of still mineral water.
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The first course we were served was a tiny round of smoked salmon, with a cashew nut on top, served on a piece of slate. The salmon was pleasant enough, although it also had a few other ingredients mixed through it, but no idea what why the chef added the cashew nut.

This first course was followed by another, which consisted of two dishes. One large dish was placed in front of us which had so many things in it I can’t remember them all. I do remember, tiny pieces of Chinese gooseberries, tomato, onion, and various other things, on top of this was pâté, and on top of the pâté was a small slice of fresh fig.
The second part of this course, was served on a piece of slate, which was placed next to the large dishes in front of us. The slate also had pâté on it, and something that is not easy to describe; it was a cake-like sliver, sweet, crunchy, topped with Chinese gooseberries and tomatoes. It tasted like Christmas, very festive.

The net course was soup. This was pretty much as you’d expect, a bowl of soup. A large bowl, not much content. It was obviously mushroom soup, but as with the previous course there was lots going on with it. It was quite cold, and very salty.
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The main course arrived a long time after we’d finished the soup. It was so long after that we were thinking about going to bed.
The main course was fish, I can’t remember what fish it was. The late looked quite colourful as once again the chef had added lots of components. I can’t remember everything that was on the plate, and all of the photos I shot of the food are out of focus – bleary eyed from tiredness, but I do remember a coupe of minuscule shrimps, Brussel sprouts, a few smudges of something orange? maybe pumpkin? Also on the plate was a buttery sauce which the fish was lounging on, and there was a spring-roll, filled with several things, the main one of which tasted like seaweed. The spring-roll was very greasy. To accompany the main course we were served a small glass of potato wedges, and a dish of sauce of some kind.

Dessert was a choice of Creme brûlée, or cheese. Laura chose the Creme brûlée, I chose cheese. Laura ate one tiny mouthful of her desert, which she said was more than enough, as it was the worst Creme brûlée she’s ever had. It was pink, possibly raspberry, lumpy, and the topping wasn’t crunchy as you’d expect.
The cheese was wheeled to our table on a large trolley. The selection of cheese looked good at first glance, but as the waiter told me what was offer I was not impressed. Basically a couple of hard cows milk cheeses and a couple of soft. Also on the trolley were fresh grapes; green and black. We’d seen other diners being served a large number if grapes, but as there were only a few green grapes left, that’s what I was given. There was dried fruit too, figs, apricots, and dates, as well as honey and chutney.

Er, what can I say about our dinner?
It was without doubt memorable, but not for good reasons.
The chef probably can cook, but it’s difficult to tell from this meal. It was all too much. Every course had way too many ingredients, most of which did not work together well, or at all.
He obviously doesn’t agree with the less is more approach.
Having looked forward to our dinner all day we were both very disappointed.
We returned to our room after dinner, and unfortunately the dinner continued to return to us, the immense mixture of foods and flavours repeating on us all through the night.
As I said, we’d read good things about the restaurant at chateau Namur, but it was not good. Maybe the chef was having an off day?
We noticed some of the other diners were also unimpressed with the food.
We would not eat there again, once was once too much.

Brugge, Belgium

We arrived in Brugge by train from Brussels. The journey only took an hour, so there were quite a few tourists, day-trippers, on the train.
The first thing that we did when we arrived in Brugge was visit the tourist information office in the train station, to get a city map.
Then is was a couple of minutes walk to our hotel. Neither of us felt 100% so we decided not to bother with any sightseeing, and stayed in our room resting for the rest of the day. Plus the freezing weather meant all we wanted to do was stay inside in the warm.
We did pop into a bar in the station in the evening for a quick beer though – well, when in Belgium….. ;)

Photos of Brugge

The next morning the weather was horrid. As we were getting dressed, it started raining, then just as we were about to leave the hotel, it started snowing. Putting on a brave face we headed towards the centre of town, stopping along the way at De Halve Maan brewery for a fortifying beer. Not that we needed the excuse of snow to stop for a breakfast beer. We like beer! We like beer for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any time.

Video of Brugge

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We finally made it to centre of town, but the weather was so bad that we did not really enjoy the fine architecture. The snow was falling thick and fast, everyone was trudging along, heads down, trying to keep warm.
We did not linger in town, we decided to walk back towards our hotel and the warmth it offered. On the way back we stopped for lunch at a little cafe a couple of doors down from De Halve Maan brewery.
I had beef stew, Laura opted for fish. The food was cooked fresh, the service friendly, and it was much cheaper than the majority of the restaurants we’d seen in town, which were over-priced. The economic crisis strikes again.

Food scoffed, we returned to our hotel, via a supermarket to pick up a few bits for sandwiches to have that evening. Sandwiches in our room was a much better option than having to venture out in the freezing cold for dinner.

Instagram photos of Brugge

The following day it was much brighter, and there was even a slight glint of sun every now and then. We strolled into the centre of Bruges, enjoying the walk. We stopped along the way for a coffee at De Vuyst. The coffee was very nice, served with a small square of tasty sponge cake. We sat there for quite a while, sipping our coffees and listening the to jazz music playing softly.
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We then explored Brugge for a couple of hours. It was a completely different day to yesterday, life is so much better when you’re not freezing your bits off. :o
For lunch we went to Brasserie Den Tijd in the central train station. Laura was still feeling rough, with bronchial issues, so we thought eating closer to our hotel would be better, not much walking required afterwards.
We both had the daily menu, which was vegetable soup to start, and sausage, cauliflower cheese, and potato croquettes for the main course. A simple meal and very satisfying. The meal also came with a coffee or tea to finish. Good value at 13.50€ per person.
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We both thoroughly enjoyed our time in Brugge, it’s a pretty town with lots of interacting places to wander.

ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station, Brugge, Belgium

We spent three nights at the Ibis Budget Centrum, in Brugge, Belgium.
Check-in was friendly and efficient. Our room was on the third floor overlooking the front of the hotel.

Positive Points ~
1. Good location. A couple of minutes walk from the train station, and about only 20 minutes from the centre of the old town.
2. Free WiFi available in our room, although it was very slow, and often so slow it wasn’t useable.
3. Carrefour Express supermarket just round the corner.
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Negative Points ~
1. The window, which was actually a full size glass door, only opened a couple of inches. It had a latch that allowed it to open in stages, also a lock, but as there was no key we could only open it as far as the bracket allowed.
Despite the weather being freezing during our stay, we would have liked to be able to open the window fully – fresh air is good for you.
2. Our room was small, more suited to one person, not two. In an effort to make it feel larger it had been designed in a way which probably looked good on paper, but not in reality. The shower and sink were in the bedroom. This may bother some people who like their privacy.
3. The loo was in a separate room, but the door was very thin and was smaller than the door frame, so once again this meant it wasn’t particularly private.
4. The shower door had a hole for a handle, which meant water could easily go in to the bedroom. Also it didn’t fit properly at the bottom, so water could leak from the too.
5. There was no wardrobe, just a few clothes hangers on a wall bracket.
6. No storage. We don’t travel with suitcases, which is just as well because the only for them would be under the bed, if they’d fit.
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ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station,
Marie Popelinplantsoen 4,
8000 Brugge,
Belgium
Phone:+32 50 40 51 20

Brussels City Centre Apartments, Brussels, Belgium

We spent three nights at Brussels Apartments in Brussels, Belgium.
Our one bedroom self-catering apartment was one of many in a large building.

Positive Points
1. Quiet. Our apartment was at the rear of the building overlooking residential properties so we were not disturbed by road noise.
2. Good location. About 20 minute walk to the centre of Brussels, and 15 minutes from the Gare du Nord.
3. A good choice of bars and restaurants locally.
4. A couple of small independant mini-marts nearby, plus a small Carrefour Express.

Negative Points
1. Not obvious how to gain entry to the building on arrival. We only managed to get in when another guest was leaving, they also kindly told us where to go to check-in.
There was no business name on the outer door, or bells, and once inside there was no name on the ‘reception’ door, which was in fact just another apartment.
2. The apartment was really a studio, with a mezzanine bedroom.
3. Steps up to the bedroom were not much more than a ladder, they were very steep with narrow steps.
4. Free WiFi never worked.
5. Erratically equipped kitchenette. There were no forks, but there was washing-up liquid, and lots of glasses.
6. No TV.
7. When we left there was no one around to give our keys too, so we had to slide em under the ‘reception’ door.
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Rue de l’Association 32-34,
Brussels, 1000
Belgium
Tel: +32498575998

Chateau Namur, Namur, Belgium

We spent two nights at Chateau Namur, in Namur, Belgium.
The hotel and fine dining restaurant of the hotel school of Namur, is set in large grounds away from the city.
Chateau Namur is a 4 star hotel which is popular with tourist and corporate guests alike. It’s a large building with several seminar rooms suitable for business use, and ample space for weddings and other events. There’s adequate parking.

Positive Points
1. Friendly and professional welcome.
2. Large room.
3. Large bathroom. Bathtub in the bathroom.
4. Lots of parking.
5. Restaurant and bar.
6. Pretty good value for money.
7. Free fast WiFi

Negative Points
1. The decor is dated. Furniture showing serious signs of wear and tear. Upholstery stained.
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Chateau Namur in Namur, Belgium was very busy during our stay. The day we arrived a diabetic dog conference was taking place, with vets everywhere. That evening there was a glucosamine conference underway, which seemed very lively too. On the morning we left, yet another conference was starting.
There was also a good mixture of overnight guests, ranging all ages, from families with young children, to older retired couples.
We throughly enjoyed our stay at Chateau Namur, it was very pleasant.

Avenue de l’Ermitage, 1
B-5000 Namur – BELGIUM

Tél. : +32 (0)81 72 99 00
Fax : +32 (0)81 72 99 99
http://www.chateaudenamur.com

Best Western Univers, Liege, Belgium

We spent three nights at the Best Western, Univers in Liege, Belgium.
The welcome was friendly and professional.
Neither of us were feeling well during most of our stay, so we spent quite a lot of time in our room. Thankfully it was comfortable, and quiet.

Positive Points
1. Close to the train station, it’s literally just across the road.
2. Large comfortable bed.
3. Lots of cafes/bars and restaurants nearby.

Negative Points
1. It is quite a distance from the centre of town.

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Best Western Univers Hotel
Rue des Guillemins, 116
B-4000 Liège
Tel : +32(0)4/254.55.55
Fax : +32(0)4/254.55.00
http://www.hotelunivers.be/

Brussels, Belgium

Day One

We arrived in Brussels by train from Namur on a Saturday morning. The train carriage was packed like a tin of sardines. I did manage to get a seat, but Laura opted to stand all the way. She insisted I sit down because of my ankylosing spondylitis pain. There were a couple of instances where passengers disembarked and laura could have sat down, but being the lovely lady she is she remained standing to allow others to sit. There was the usual mix of people you’d expect on a train, but also a couple of groups of young children, one was a troop, girls club of some sort. They were all quite well behaved, and quiet. A couple of groups of 8/10 of them managed to squeeze on to seats for four people.
We were pleased to get off of the train when we arrived at our destination.
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Once we arrived in Brussels we found our accommodation, dumped our stuff, and headed into town. Being a Saturday most of the bars and restaurants along the way were closed, and sadly a good few of them were closed-down.
The streets were pretty deserted. It was a little eerie. No doubt people were staying indoors avoiding the cold weather.

We mooched round the Grand Place for a while, then headed back North towards our digs, and lunch.
We ate at a restaurant, Garden City, Place de la Republic, just up the road from our rental apartment. Laura had chicken in a tarragon sauce, I had, Stoemp Saucisse, sausages with bubble and squeak style potatoes. The restaurant was lively, the service good, and the food tasty.
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What was interesting as we walked the streets, was the fact that even around the streets near the Grand Place, a lot of businesses had gone out of business. It’s quite sad and shocking to see this in the centre of a capital city.
A lot of Brits blame Brussels for everything, I wonder who the people of Brussels blame?

Video of Brussels – Day One

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Day Two

On our second day in Brussels we wandered into the Turkish area of town. On the way we first stopped at the small botanic gardens (Botanique Kruidtuin), where we took some photos, mainly of the statues, and shot a little video.
We stopped for a coffee, for Laura, and a beer, for me, at the cafe in the botanic gardens. Laura was appalled at her tiny cappuccino, and even more so at the 3€ price.
The we headed North to Place de la Reine Koninginneplein.
As we’d rented an apartment we opted to eat back at ‘home’.

Video of Brussels – Day Two

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Day Three

We headed back into the centre of town via the Parc de Bruxelles and the Palais Royal/Konninklijk Palesis.
A quick gander at the Manneken piss, then it was lunch at Manneken Cafe/Restaurant on Rue au Beurre, 42 Rue au Beurre, just off of the Grand Place.
We chose this restaurant simply because through the window we spotted a roaring open fire. It was quite busy inside, the service was good, the food mediocre. We both had the plat du jour, beef Bourguignon with chips. The beef was tender and flavoursome, but unfortunately it was stone cold. Thankfully though, the beer was cold too. Laura had a 50cl glass of Kriek, I had a 50cl glass of Ramée.
Bellies full, all be it with cold food, we wandered back to our digs.

Video of Brussels – Day Three

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We’ve visited Brussels before, enjoyed the Medieval architecture, the food, and most importantly the beer.
Unfortunately this time, the weather was not brilliant, and neither of us were feeling well, so we didn’t have as much fun as we could have. Never the less, we still enjoyed our short stay.

Photos of Brussels, Belgium

Instagram Photos of Brussels, Belgium

Namur, Belgium

We arrived in Namur by train from Liege. We left the station and found the tourist information office, which was situated a couple of hundred metres from the station. Armed with a map we headed in to the centre of Namur for a look round. Namur is a small place so it did not take long.
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After wandering round for a while we were feeling hungry, so we started looking for somewhere for lunch. We decided on the set lunch at Pascal Pirlot ‘La Petite Fugue’. The food was very good, but the service was terrible. The lunchtime ‘Menu Rapide’ that we ordered took well over 2 hours from start to finish.
We’re not usually in a rush to eat, but neither of us were feeling our best, so less time spent in the restaurant would have been much better for us. We were keen to get back to our hotel for a much needed siesta. Several of the other other diners were also unimpressed by having to wait so long between courses, and for the general slow service.
It was the slowest menu rapide we’ve ever had, which was a shame as it rather took the shine off what should have been a very pleasant meal.
Our lunch consisted of steak tartare served with a tiny glass of asparagus soup, presented on a small piece of slate.
Next was a very tasty Thai style soup.
Then the star of the meal, the main course, a large tender lamb shank.
For dessert we had a chocolate mousse.
After lunch we caught a taxi to our hotel, and that was it for the day.
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The next morning we walked down into town, via the walls of the citadel. It was freezing cold, and the snow was deep underfoot, but thankfully it was not snowing, which made the 50 minute walk moderately enjoyable.
Once in town we found a very nice little pub called Le Ratin Tot where we stopped for a couple of beers. It was most enjoyable, and we could have happily have stayed there for many more hours.
After enjoying our beers we got a taxi back up the hill to our hotel.
In the evening we dined at our hotel. We chose the chefs menu.
A good nights sleep followed and so ended our time in Namur, Belgium.

Photos of Namur

Video of Namur

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Instgram Photos of Namur

Liege, Belgium

We arrived in Liege by train from Cologne in Germany. We had to change trains at Aachen. We got off of a modern German train at Aachen station, and 20 minutes later we boarded a Belgium train.
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It was like stepping back in time. The Belgium train was very old. The outside roofline was heavily rusted, and looked like it was held together by sheer luck.
There were quite a few passengers on the platform waiting for this train. The appearance of the train caused a lot of interest, and questions. People were asking each other if it was the train to Liege. Most of them couldn’t believe it was in service as it looked like it should have been retired many decades ago.
On the bright side, the interior of the train was clean and spacious, and not that shabby, just antiquated.
An hour later we arrived at Liege train station. The welcome was less than warm, in fact is was more of a snow blizzard. Thankfully our hotel was just across the road from the station, so we did not have far to traipse.
Checked-in and refreshed we headed into the centre of town. This turned out to be a most unpleasant walk because of the weather conditions.
We retreated back to our hotel, and that is where we spent the next 3 days. Partly because of the weather, and partly because I had a very bad cold and spent an entire day in bed sleeping. Sleep is the best medicine.
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We did venture across the road to the railway station to purchase tickets for our onward journey to Namur, and also to the Taverne du Univers, a bar/restaurant underneath our hotel. We had lunch there one day. The food was very average. I had meatballs with a tomato sauce (14€), Laura had chicken with a tomato sauce (14€). The service was good though, and at least we didn’t have to walk far on the snow covered slippery pavements back to our hotel room.
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Liege is probably a decent town, but not feeling particularly healthy, and the snow, meant we didn’t get to see much of it. What we did see on our brief visit to the town centre looked nice, although it was very expensive. There were lots of closed-down businesses, and lots of over-priced shops. I guess that’s the economic crisis for ya!
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XII Apostel Hotel Albergo, Cologne, Germany

We spent two nights at the XII Apostel Hotel Albergo.
Our room was small, but well appointed.
There were slippers! Laura was pleased about that, she said we should only ever stay at hotels who provide slippers for their guests. :o
The hotel was in an excellent location, within easy walking distance of everywhere, the train station, the shops etc. It was right in the centre of all the bars, pubs, brew houses – beer – basically it was in the centre of Cologne beer universe. :)
Breakfast was not included in our room rate, but could be eaten in the hotel restaurant, for €12.50 per person. That must be a mighty fine breakfast. We didn’t eat breakfast, not at that price.
Free WiFi was available in our room, but it was slow, and kept disconnecting.
The bed frame in our room was too large for the space it occupied, there was only a couple of inches gap between the bed and the walls. We bashed our knees/shins on it several times. Laura has the bruises still.
The hotel was nice and clean, we enjoyed our short stay.
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XII Apostel Albergo
Heumarkt 68?72, 50667 Cologne, Germany
Phone:+49 221 25085197
http://www.xii-apostel.com/

Cologne, Germany

We arrived in Cologne by train from Koblenz.
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We didn’t do much during our stay because neither of us were feeling particularly well, and the weather was shitty, which did nothing to encourage us to get out and about exploring the city.
We did eat out a few times though. We ate lunch at Papa Joes Biersalon, Laura had Dicke Bohnen Speck, pork belly with beans and béchamel sauce. I ate chilli con carne.
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We also ate at a Thai restaurant a couple of times, Kitti Chai Thai Street Kitchen and Bar (Ehrenstrasse 81, 50672 Cologne). On our first visit Laura had duck in a coconut sauce with rice, I had Thai chicken soup. On our second visit I had duck in a spicy chilli with rice, Laura chose prawns in a vegetable and coconut sauce and rice. Both times our bill only came to €20, including drinks. :)
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Apart from eating we did venture to the Kölner Dom, and the Rathaus. The weather was miserable, but we still shot a couple of photos and a tiny bit of video.
Just about the only other thing we did during our visit to Cologne was pop in to several of the beer houses.

Despite both of us feeling unwell, and the freezing cold snowy weather we enjoyed our time in the city. Then it was goodbye Cologne, and goodbye Germany

Video of Cologne, Germany

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Photos of Cologne, Germany

Instgram photos of Cologne, Germany

Hotel Continental Pfalzer Hof, Koblenz, Germany

We stayed for three nights at the Hotel Continental Pfalzer Hof.

Positive Points:
1. Location. It is just across the road from the main train station.
2. Breakfast was basic but ok, and you could ask for more coffee. We like lots of coffee in the morning.

Negative Points:
1. The reception staff were schizophrenic.
The same staff members were either very rude, or super friendly and helpful.
When we arrived we received a rude welcome, and the receptionist even swore at us.
2. No safe luggage storage. We asked to leave our bags and were told to leave them in a public space, which was out of sight of the staff.
3. The bedroom was very dated, and most things either broken or about to break.
4. Windows very difficult to open and close.
5. Shower bracket was held on with sellotape.
6. The fridge was locked in a cupboard, and obviously not working.
7. No free WiFi in the room, or anywhere in the hotel.

Koblenz, Germany

We arrived in Koblenz by train from Worms, via a couple of minutes to change trains in Mainz.
For a change, there was no long hike to our hotel because it was just across the road from the train station. The irony of this, was the fact the hotel would not let us check-in early, and there was no secure place in the hotel to store our luggage. So we had to cart our kit around with us until 3pm.
We left the hotel and scooted over to the tourist information office to pick up a map of Koblenz, it was free.
Map in hand, we headed down to the Rhine. The sun was shining, and it was a very warm day, so we wandered slowly along the river. Both of us were dressed for the cold, so it was a tad too warm for us. Not something I thought I would ever feel considering just a few days ago we’d been freezing in snowy Munich.
Having our kit with us, even though it was not a great weight, or volume, meant that neither of us really enjoyed our first few hours in Koblenz. It felt more like a chore wandering about the town, wasting time, but unable to relax and enjoy ourselves because we were lugging our bags with us.
We stopped for lunch at a cafe/restaurant called Einstein. This lifted our spirits somewhat, because the food and service were both excellent.
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We both had the daily special, breast of chicken covered in melted soft cheese and fresh tomato, served with gnocchi, and a warm salad of courgette, carrots, and rocket.
After lunch we hit the streets again, willing the time to whizz-by so that we could check-in to our hotel and offload our luggage. We wandered round the streets for a while before ending up at a bar/restaurant next to our hotel called Konigsbacher Treff.
We supped a beer, a dark beer for Laura, dunkel, and a wheat beer for me, hefe, until it was finally time to check-in.

Photos of Koblenz

In the evening neither of us felt in the mood to venture far, so we just popped next door to Konigsbacher Treff again, for a beer, and a bowl of goulash soup. The soup was a small portion, but very tasty with quite a lot of meat.

The next morning we mooched around town a bit, before ending up at the Rathous. It felt more like killing time, than tourism because we we both feeling unwell, so not particularly interested in anything. We just wanted to go to bed, but knew we needed to eat. Killing time, until lunch.
For lunch we went to the Altes Brauhaus. Lunch was mighty fine, and seriously massive. Even with the enormous meal, we both still managed to down a couple of beers. There was an old couple sitting next to us who were clearly on a liquid only diet. Beer, and schnapps chasers – lots and lots of them.

Video of Koblenz

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The following day we went to the train station to purchase tickets for the next leg of our travels, from Köln to Liege in Belgium. On entering the station we had four packets of belVita biscuits shoved into our hands. The company was doing a promo and handing them out right, left, and centre. We could have come away with a shopping bag full, if we had wanted to. The biscuits were pretty tasty. :)
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Then we strolled into town and had a wander to the big covered shopping centre where we mooched round for a bit avoiding the cold weather. That was the sum total of our morning.
For lunch we headed back towards our hotel and ate in Konigsbacher Treff. We both had the 5.90€ daily menu. Soup to start, followed by fish with chips for me, and pork with broccoli for Laura. As is her way, Laura suggested we share the fish and meat, but I got to keep my chips because I don’t like broccoli. :)
Good food, and good beer, and then it was ‘Game Over’ Koblenz.

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Instagram Photos of Koblenz

Boos Hotel, Worms, Germany

We stayed two nights at the Boos Hotel in Worms.

Positive Points:
1. Price.
2. Excellent buffet breakfast, which included the first hot food we’ve had in any of the hotels we’ve stayed in in Germany. The hot food was scrambled egg, and bacon. Also available were fresh crusty rolls, wholemeal seed bread, fruit bread, boiled eggs, a selection of cold meats and cheeses, cereal, yogurt, orange juice, and various other things including gherkins, and black olives.
3. Friendly reception staff.
4. Good sized room.
5. Free WiFi in our room, and throughout the hotel.
6. Small fridge in our room.
7. Large Flat screen T.V.

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Negative Points:
1. Very noisy extractor fan in the bathroom.

We thoroughly enjoyed our short stay at Boos Hotel in Worms, Germany. We recommend it, and would definitely stay there again.

Boos Hotel
Mainzer Straße 5
67547 Worms
Germany
Tel: 06241 – 947639
Fax: 06241 – 947638
http://www.hotelboos.de

Worms, Germany

We arrived in Worms by train from Stuttgart, with a change in Mannheim.
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We arrived in Worms, just before midday. The walk to the hotel was not far, so we checked-in, then headed out to explore Worms.
The Imperial Cathedral of St. Peter’s looked interesting from the outside, but there was a service taking place, so we did not venture inside. About the only other thing that took my interest was the Wine Growers Fountain by Gustav Nonnenmacher.
Excitement over with for the day we retired to StadtCafe for lunch (http://www.stadtcafe-worms.de). One special of the day, yes, yet another schnitzel, and chips, and of course a beer, and that was that. The schnitzel was slightly different than usual though, it was served in a tomato and pepper sauce. The chips was seriously over salted.
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On the way back to our hotel we stopped off at the Lidl supermarket, which was just across the road from our accommodation, where we picked up grubbins to make a sandwich in the evening.

Photos of Worms

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast at our hotel, we headed out to visit the Andreasring, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe.

Photos of Andreasring

Video of Andreasring

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We spent a good while exploring the tombstones, before heading to the river Rhine where we stopped for a much needed beer in Bagenbrau. We sat outside supping our beers, and enjoying the sun. Very pleasant indeed.

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After refreshing the taste buds we headed back to town, and lunch at a Greek restaurant called Dimitra (Untere Kammerer Street). The food was good, but not Greek by any stretch of the imagination. To start we were given a salad each. It wasn’t like any salad we’ve ever eaten before, and definitely not like any of the salads we ate during our time in Greece. It consisted of shredded carrot, lettuce, onion, and it was smothered in vinegar. Possibly soup, rather salad. ;)
For the main course I had liver in a red wine sauce, and Laura had a Moussaka, which she said tasted more like a Shepard’s Pie, and left her craving to smother it in HP sauce. Not Greek at all, but decent grub none the less. The service was good, and our bill was reasonable.

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Video of Worms

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Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

We arrived in Stuttgart by train from Ulm. The journey only took an hour, but as the train sped along the tracks the landscape changed from white and snow covered to green, but although the greenery looked nice it was still freezing cold about the half way mark.

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We arrived at Stuttgart HbF, exited the train station via the subway underneath the main road, and came up next to the tourist information office. A reasonable 50 cents later we had a tourist map of the city and were on our way to our hotel.
We checked-in, dumped our kit, and then headed out into the city.
It was lunch time so we headed straight to a restaurant/bar called Platzhirsch (Geißstr. 12, 70173 Stuttgart. Tel. 0711 – 242 397 http://www.platzhirsch-stuttgart.de). We both had the daily special, yes, yet another schnitzel, I had chips with mine, Laura chose potato salad. We had a couple of dark beers to help it down.

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The beer was good, but the food was far from the best that we have had in Germany so far. Platzhirsch had a young funky feel to it, even at lunch time. We fitted right in. ;) We would visit again, but for the beer and vibe, not the food.
After lunch we returned to our hotel for a siesta. In the evening we were both tired, weary, and not feeling 100%, so we popped into the supermarket near our hotel, and purchased a couple of bowls of salad, some ham, and bread. A room service dinner, delivered to our hotel door – by us.
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Photos of Stuttgart

Next morning we had breakfast in our hotel, a lingering breakfast while I used the free Internet, which was only available in the public areas not our room, and I caught up on some blogging tasks.
Breakfast a distant memory we ventured out into the big wide World. It was a mixed day of tourism and shopping. By mixed I mean 1% tourism and 99% shopping.
Unfortunately 99% shopping seemed not to be enough, because Laura failed to purchase any new footwear. She is in desperate need of some new kicks, as her boots are not long for this World, they’re falling apart, held together no doubt by street grime picked up over the past 19 months of walking on this bout of our travels.
Laura may not have found any suitable footwear, but she did buy a few things to replace her lost luggage, a Maybelline mascara, a mini double sided mirror, and a pair of tweezers. She said she was very pleased to finally be able to tidy up her Dennis Healy brows. She also said she was very unhappy with the magnifying side of the mirror, which she claimed made her wrinkly eyes look about 100 years old. I told her they were beautiful laughter lines, and she didn’t look a day over 90. :o

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We also bought a large tub of coconut oil. Both of our faces have taken a battering from the cold weather, and were in much need of a little attention. The coconut oil was a welcome treat for our skin, and as we chose to purchase edible coconut oil, we can use it safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t contain any harsh and nasty chemicals. Plus if we have room any service dinners again, aka buy salad etc to eat in our room, we can add some flavour by drizzling it with our new ‘face moisturiser’.
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Mascara, mirror, tweezers, and coconut oil are all well and good, but for me I think the best purchase of the day was an orange Ivory Coast baseball cap that cost only 2€. A bargain, and so anti-cool that is is cool. Well, that is what I’m telling myself. :)
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We stopped for lunch at Taunerquelle Restaurant. We both had the special of the day, which was a couple of white sausages with gravy, and potato salad. At 9.99€ it was over-priced, but the good beers made up for that. The restaurant/pub itself was also pleasant, and very reminiscent of a country pub in the South of England.
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Video of Stuttgart

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The next morning was a Sunday, which is not a fun day in Germany. Everything was closed, so instead of heading into the centre of town, we decided to explore a few of the back streets near our hotel and beyond. We found little of interest, so decided to stop for a beer in a joint called Dre Mohren, a nice looking bar/restaurant. While we sat at the bar supping a beer, we toyed with the idea of having lunch there, that was until we saw the chef sneeze into his hands and not bother to wash afterwards. The barman was also doing his best to spread germs around. We voted with our feet and left.
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We walked the streets some more, eventually heading back towards our accommodation, finally we ended up in Shabu Shabu, a Chinesse restaurant just across the road from our hotel. We both ordered soup to start, prawn and coconut for me, chicken and coconut for Laura. It was nice and spicy, but quite small portions. The soup was followed by chicken with vegetables in a coconut sauce served with plain rice for Laura, while I had pork in a soy sauce with vegetables, also with plain rice. The main dishes were nothing special, in fact we’d had preferred to have had more soup instead. The food was o.k. and made a nice change from the traditional German food that we had eaten over the last week or so.
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For our final meal in stuttgart, there was little choice, as being a Sunday evening not much was open. We popped over the tram tracks from our hotel to the Lokanta kebab joint. I ordered a wrap stuffed with doner kebab meat, and lots of salad. Laura said she was fed up of our meat rich diet, so she had an aubergine pizza. She’s doesn’t particularly like pizza, apart from my home-baked 8 hour tomato sauce topped pizza, but it was one of the few meat-free items available. The pizza was large, the topping was generous, especially the cheese, in fact there was way too much cheese. I scoffed my doner wrap, and had a slice of Laura’s pizza too. We’re both fed up of cheese because we ate a lot of it recently in Italy. Having said that, the pizza was pretty good, although I doubt they thought we liked it as when we left it looked more or less untouched.
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Instagram photos of Stuttgart

Hotel Espenlaub, Stuttgart, Germany

We spent three nights at the Hotel Espenlaub in Stuttgart, Germany.

Positive Points:
1. Price. Good value for money.
2. Location. Close to the city centre, and the train station. Also a number of bars and restaurants, and a couple of supermarkets very close by.
3. Good size room for a budget hotel.
4. Both smoking and non-smoking rooms available.
5. Buffet breakfast was decent.
6. Friendly staff.
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Negative Points:
1. Mouldy shower curtain that smelt so strong it stunk the whole room out.
2. No wardrobe in the room, just shelves and a coat stand.
3. No WiFi in the room. It was available in the breakfast room.

Despite the seriously stinky mouldy shower curtain in our bathroom, we enjoyed our short stay at Hotel Espenlaub in Stuttgart, and we would stay there again.

DONAUHOTEL, Hotel Garni, Neu-Ulm, Germany

We stayed for two nights at Donauhotel, Hotel Garni in Neu-Ulm.

Positive Points:
1. Location. The hotel was close to the centre of town and both train stations.
2. Reasonable buffet breakfast.
3. Free WiFi was available in our room.
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Negative Points:
1. Price. Over-priced for such a dated and spartan room. It looked like it had last been refurbished in 1975.
2. Small and pokey bathroom.
3. Disturbed by building works. During our stay the hallways floors were covered in plastic to keep the flooring underneath clean because there were workmen carrying out various jobs including requiring the ceiling lights. The bare light bulbs were left dangling, and low, all along the corridor leading to the bedrooms.
While we appreciate that essential work has to be done, it wasn’t necessary to do everywhere at once. As it was low season, with fewer guests, they should have closed half of the rooms off at a time to complete the work. This would have caused much less noise etc. for the hotel guests.
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We wouldn’t stay at Donauhotel, Hotel Garni in Neu-Ulm, Germany again. It was too expensive, not good value for our money.

DONAUHOTEL
Hotel Garni
Augsburger Str. 34
89231 Neu-Ulm
http://www.donau-hotel.net

Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

We arrived in Ulm by train from Munich.
Two hours after departing Munich we stepped out of Neu-Ulm train station, only to be met by an icy cold wind. Heads bent low we trudged in the arctic conditions for 10 agonising minutes, then we reached our hotel. We checked-in, dumped our luggage, and then headed out to explore Ulm.
We had a gander at the Rathaus and Munster.
Ulm Munster is a Lutheran church, with cathedral-like proportions. It is reportedly the tallest church in the World, its steeple measures 161.5 metres, 530 feet. It’s an impressively ornate, gothic design, but much of it was obscured by scaffolding at the time of our visit.
We took a few photos and shot some video of the Munster before deciding we were too frozen to stay outside any longer, so off we went to fill our bellies.
Zuc Teck (Hafengasse 21 – http://www.zurteck.de ) looked warm and inviting, so we stepped inside. We both ordered one of the daily specials, and a big beer each. To start we had a very tasty red pepper soup, it was so good we would have liked more, it was a very small serving. For our main course I had chicken cordon Bleu with potato, Laura had a pork chop with pasta ribbons. Laura likes to share, so we split our main courses in half. The total bill came to 19.50€ for the both of us. Excellent value for money, and friendly service.
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In the evening we crossed just over the road from our accommodation to Cafe d’Art. We both had a steak which came with a mountain of pasta smothered in tons of cheese. We also both had 3 big glasses of Gold Ochsen Dunkle beer to help wash down the seriously hearty meal. Even with all of the help of the beer, we both left some of our food. In fact we mainly just ate the steak, as we’re fed up eating cheese. Happy and fat, we toddled back across the road to our hotel.
Update ~ Unfortunately we were both unwell the following morning. :(
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Photos of Ulm, Germany

The next morning we waddled, as we were still full from the previous evenings dinner, down to breakfast in our hotel. Still stuffed from the night before, all I could manage was a bread roll with jam, a pot of cherry yogurt, and my usual million cups of coffee. Laura ate a seedy roll, boiled egg, and some fresh cucumber and tomato.
After a leisurely breakfast, we were in no rush to venture out in to the arctic conditions ;) we returned to our room. It wasn’t long before we were both quite ill, as a result of the previous evenings dinner at Cafe d’Art. We lingered in our room for a good while before eventually wandering out.
Wrapped up snug we continued exploring Ulm. We first headed to the train station to sort out our onward train tickets from Stuttgart to Worms. I had found a price online of 25€ per person, but the ticket lady said that was only an online price and she wanted 40€ each. Not liking this price, we said thanks but no thanks. Instead we went to the self-service ticket machine, and found yet another price. A much more wallet friendly 14.50€ per person. All the different prices were a tad confusing, but 29€ instead of 80€ made me very happy. :) Less money spent of travel equals more money for beer. Priorities. It’s all about getting your priorities in the correct order. :o
Chores done, we then headed to the Fisherman’s and Tanners quarter. Very quaint, with some fine examples of timber construct. The best build as far as we were concerned was the old watermill. It was the best because it was also a pub/restaurant called Zur Lochmühle (Gerbergasse 6, 89073 Ulm.). We stopped for a beer and to warm up a little. The beer was decent, but the service was tardy, so we didn’t stop for lunch.
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Refreshed from the beer, we strolled a little more before going to Brauhaus Barfüsser (Lautenberg 1,89073 Ulm) for lunch, and yet more good beer. This time we enjoyed a couple of black beers each, and lunch. They brew their own beer, and it was very good indeed. We ordered the daily special which was a large chicken fillet, served with chips, and a mixed salad. Unfortunately the chicken fillet was deep fried in cheese. It doesn’t seem to matter what we order, there’s always more bloody cheese. The food was very tasty though, and Laura managed to scrape most of the cheesy crust off of her chicken. I was too hungry to faff about so I just wolfed mine down. Total bill for two lunches, and three 50cl beers, with a tip, came to a very reasonable 25€. :)

Video of Ulm, Germany – Part One

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Video of Ulm, Germany – Part Two

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Instagram photos of Ulm, Germany

Cheers Ulm!

Last but not least a beer from the local big brewer, Gold Ochsen.

Gold Ochsen

Munich, Bravia, Germany

We arrived in Munich by train from Verona, Italy.
It was a very scenic 5 1/2 ride through the mountains. When we reached Munich, we found a city covered in snow.
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We headed to our hotel, a good (bad in the snowy weather) 30 minutes walk away. It mainly took us so long because of the wintery conditions underfoot.
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Laura was feeling unwell, so she got comfortable and warm in bed, and I headed out to a local supermarket for supplies.
We stayed in for the rest of the day.

The next day was a Sunday, so everything was closed. We needed to buy train tickets, so we headed to the train station via the Theresienwiese park. The snow was deep so we did not venture into the park, but skirted the edge. It all looked very scenic, but after 10 minutes we had both seen all of the snow we ever wanted to see. We arrived at the train station, figured out the train we needed to catch to our next destination of Ulm, purchased our tickets for the cheap regional train. It was still early, but, not having eaten any breakfast, we decided to have lunch.
We found a comfortable looking restaurant in the train station called Rubenbauer’s. A couple of large beers, and two plates of roast pork and dumplings smothered in a rich gravy later, we ventured back out into the cold.
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But not before visiting a bakers/cake shop, which was also in the station where we bought some bread and cakes, we also popped in to a small supermarket for drinks and a jar of honey.
Then it was the unpleasant long trek back to our digs.

The next morning we caught the metro into the centre of town.
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The snow had stopped, and the sun was out, so we managed to shoot a few photos and some video.
Sightseeing was a secondary activity. First order of the day was to buy a SIM card for the iPhone, and get a decent data bundle with it. It turned out to be a tall order. Most of the prepaid SIM cards only came with a meagre 250MB of data for a month. I eat that amount of data for breakfast. Apart from the lack of bundled data, was the fact that even basic phone packages cost a great deal of money. The cheapest I could find from the major networks was 35€ for a month.
In the end I found a secondary network on offer in a T-Mobile shop. It cost 10€ for a SIM card, and you could buy 3GB of data for 20€. The only pain in the butt was the fact that I needed to use the Internet to register the SIM card, and the website of Congstar was only in German. But with a bit of head scratching, and 30 minutes, I had managed to work out the website and get the SIM card active, well, almost active, because it was not instant. It took 12 hours for it to become live.
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Another important purchase of the day was Diclofenac Sodium (Voltaren). I managed to purchase 25mg tablets over the counter. Pricey, but much needed. Twenty tablets cost just over 10€. The last time I purchased Diclofenac was in Belgrade, and they cost about 1.50€ for the same dosage.
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Also on the shopping list for the pharmacy was Wobenzym Plus tablets. Laura had read up on these and thought that they may be a useful addition to my anti-inflammation medication. Again the pills were rather pricey. They cost over 30€ for 100 tablets, of which the suggested dose is 6 tablets to be taken daily.
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Drugs purchased, and now carrying a bag resembling a mobile pharmacy, we continued looking round central Munich, before heading back to Poccis Str, the tube station next to our accommodation. We were hungry, so we looked for somewhere for lunch. We found a place near our digs called Rotkappchen Burgergrill, and had a mighty fine burger each. I had a chilli burger, Laura had an avocado burger, we shared a portion of chips and a salad. A couple of small beers washed it all down nicely.
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The following morning we headed to the Old South Cemetery (Alter Südfriedhof).
It was blanketed in deep snow, it was almost surreal. We explored for an hour or so before deciding to take shelter from the snow and cold in Lindivurmstuberl, which is a very good restaurant serving up hearty food and good beer. And that ended our adventures in Munich. We chose one of the set menus. Soup with mini dumplings to start, followed by meatballs served with mashed potato and a green salad, and a banana mouse for dessert. Obviously we also had a couple of beers. :)
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Photos of Munich

Video of Munich

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Photos of Old South Cemetery

Video of Old South Cemetery

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Beer adventures in Munich
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Kloster Andechs
Beer
Chiemgauer Brauhaus, Chiemseer Braostoff
Beer
Maxlrainer, Schloss Trunk
Beer
Augustiner Weissbier
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Losch-Zwerg, Cola Weizen
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Spaten, Munchener Hell
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Hacker-Pschorr, Munchener Gold
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Wine adventures in Munich

Suss & Fruchtig, Samtrot Wurttemberg
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Rheinberg Kelleri, Spatburgunder 2012
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Wurttemberg Schwarzriesling 2011
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Summary ~
We’re not lovers of cold weather, and we especially aren’t fond of the snow. But despite the nasty weather we really enjoyed our time in Munich. The people were friendly, the food was good, and most importantly the beer was very drinkable. :)

Instagram photos of Munich