Our travel began in June 2019 from the West Palm Beach TriRail to Miami, Florida. Pros on TriRail. Cheap ($6.90 each). Cons are you may encounter a guy that didn’t pay and ranted during the whole ride that he wasn’t getting off that train. So, you get what you pay for. It was an experience, however!
We took a connecting flight from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal and onto Frankfurt, Germany with TAP Portugal Airlines. It was an 8 hour flight to Lisbon, which landed us perfectly on time. We had only 1.5 hours to catch our connecting flight to Frankfurt, Germany. The cost for tickets for two of us was a total of $362.40. Because we generally fly pretty cheap, there are sometimes limitations. For instance, we paid an extra $92.00 for one extra bag, because try as we could, a 17 lb. suitcase (each) for our long trip was just not going to cut it. So our total price to Frankfurt was $454.40 for the two of us. We’ve mentioned in previous blogs, we are really great about packing, but our suitcases alone weigh 4 pounds, so that didn’t leave us much wiggle room. We were also allowed to bring a 4.4 lb. carry-on. On the way over, our carry-on was NOT weighed. However, EVERYTHING was weighed on the way home, so Tip #1 – weigh everything if you get those cheap tickets with the limitations! You can buy a luggage scale, which is truly helpful! It’s a great idea to guestimate your weight when packing for your trip home.
The Lisbon Airport was amazing. If you have a connecting flight that close, you MUST enlist the help of the employees at the airport. In our case, they got us to the front of the line and after running most of the way at the airport, we made our connecting flight just in time! Thus, you too can fly cheap… just be prepared to run! So Tip #2 – Make sure you carry light luggage you can run with! And enlist airport help to get you to your connecting flight!
We arrived in time for our niece to pick us up in Frankfurt and made the two hour drive to Kaiserslautern. To compensate for jet lag, we arrived and took a two hour nap that fully refreshed us!
The next morning, our niece drove us the two hour drive from Kaiserslautern to Riquewihr, France. What a lovely drive! Arriving in the quaint village of Riquewihr, we accidentally discovered a cheese and sausage factory, which was an incredible delight! The foods in Europe have no preservatives and if you are generally prone to food reactions, this is a wonderful gift! After several hours walking through Riquewihr (the Alsace Region of France), we drove to Strasbourgh, France. We walked to the Cathedral Notre Dame and were so blessed to hear the choir sing. Riquewihr and Strasbourgh were lovely places to visit!
The next day, my husband and I took the train from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg. It was a 1.5 hour trip. Roundtrip price for the two of us was 22,80 Euros, which was well worth it to save our niece a trip! On the way, we passed many different villages, including (remarkably) seeing several bombed out structures fromm World War II. We also passed the ruins of a castle! That was fascinating. The trains do not have air conditioning and traveling in the summer was comfortable enough, until the trains had mechanical problems. In Kaiserslautern, the locals seemed very friendly, as they are accustomed to U.S. military. I find that people are the same everywhere. Most are friendly throughout the world and some are not. Represent yourself well as an American. Be nice 🙂 Tip #3 – We thought about taking a train to Paris, but discovered the day we wanted to go, it was a German holiday. If you want to go other places, make sure you know ahead of time if your travel date is a good time to go.
We visited the Heidelberg Castle, which was a great sight to see. It was worth taking the train up to the castle for 8 Euros each. In town, we ate lunch at the authentic German restaurant, “Bier Brezel”. We shared the equivalent of mac & cheese, known as “Spaetzle”. It was hearty & delish!
Our time was mostly spent just enjoying family stationed in the area, but seeing a bit of the German culture and the French countryside was a great plus! Check out the next leg of our trip to Manchester, England!