"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Baden-Baden, Part 1

According to Bill Clinton, who certainly has an appetite for the extravagant, "Baden-Baden is so nice, they had to name it twice." And nice it is, even in the middle of winter. The name simply means "Bath-Bath," and it is its thermal baths that have been drawing the rich and famous here for centuries. Tolstoy, Strauss, Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky, Queen Victoria, and the Vanderbilts, just to name a few, have journeyed to Baden-Baden to get pampered and soothe rheumatic joints at the spas, try their luck at the exclusive casinos, and strut their stuff through the perfectly manicured gardens. Although we are not rich, nor famous, we decided a stint in Baden-Baden would make for a pleasant way to spend a day with my family.

Aunt J and Grandps on the hour-long train ride to Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is nestled in the hills of the Black Forest. Overlooking the town are the ruins of the Burg Hoehnbaden, the castle of the Baden rulers from the 11th-15th centuries

steam rises from the outdoor pool at the modern Caracalla Spa, the perfect antidote to a cold, winter day--too bad we didn't bring out bathing suits!

Grandma, Penelope, and Grandpa next to Friedrichsbad, the queen of German spas, built on the ruins of ancient Roman baths.

the Father and I spent an interesting afternoon at Friedrichsbad a little while ago, but we'll save that story for another post...

in front of the Trinkhalle, where the 'who's who' of the 19th century were served glasses of the spa water by young female clerks. now you can serve yourself a cup of the warm, salty stuff from a tap in the center of the hall.

Aunt A and Uncle M inside the Trinkhalle

the sisters posing outside the 1820s Kurhaus (casino). we tried to go in and take a peek, but we didn't get very far since we didn't meet dress code.

too cool for school

little P in her chariot gets a push from Aunt J

the Christmas decorations were still up even though it was January. i guess this is what Santa looks like after the holidays. Uncle M did his best to console him.

walking past a building that is always full of Christmas cheer

after hitting up a few stores and a nice lunch we had had our fill and it was back to Heidelberg. penelope was only too happy to comply.

Coming up tomorrow: adventures in German bathing...

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