Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rhine river and Castles

Rhine river and Castles
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

We had a fabulous weekend in Frankfurt with Mum and Dad and Steve….when we eventually got there.

I know I have moaned about late Friday night flights before but this was really verging on Monty Python status.

I came out of work to find my tube station closed and the street cordoned off with a policeman on a loudspeaker saying “Move away from the tube station. You may be in danger”. All a bit unnerving but I jumped on the first bus, then a quick hop from Green Park and made it to Victoria to meet up with the folks. We got the oven from hell (aka tube) out to Heathrow and had a refreshing beverage to perk us up.

Things were looking good until we got to the gate to see the flight had been delayed for 45 mins til 9. We passed the time with another beverage and boarded about 9. The captain apologised for the delay due to having to replace the break pads. After a bit more sitting around he updated us that they were having trouble shutting the back door and engineers were called out again. It seemed we were on our way but then the indicator light still showed the door was open but it was actually jammed shut. Engineers came out again and we were finally backing away from the gates about an hour later. Hurrah.

But before we got to the runway another pesky light was showing problems with an air filter. The engineers paid us another visit. Took out the offending air filter, chopped it half (the captain was full of the gory details at every stage) and put in a new one. This process took another hour and everyone was standing around chatting in the aisles. All that was missing was waiters circulating with champagne and canapés and it could have been quite a good party. So we ended up leaving 3 ¼ hours late – but the pilot at least had the decency to do the usual 1 ½ flight in 45 minutes!

But it was worth the trip as we had a great day on Saturday zipping around the Rhinegau wine region in a convertible VW Smithy hired for the day. It was sunny and hot – perfect Reisling drinking weather. We had lunch at one of the old wineries, Schloss Volrads and then drove along the Rhine river looking at the impressive castles on the banks.

The day was topped off with dinner at our favourite restaurant in Frankfurt – Gallo Nero. Italian of course! The type of place where the chefs shop every morning at the local market for the freshest fish and the waiters recommend interesting specials, recommend great wine to match and try to dissuade you from ordering something if they consider there’s a better less expensive alternative.


Jane said...

Hi, I'm de-lurking after reading your blog for a while. I really enjoy it - loved the Cath Kidston quilt. We lived just outside Frankfurt for 3 years in the 90s so I enjoy finding out what you do there. I was in the wine trade then and agree that the Rheingau is just fanstastic.

Helen said...

thank you! I've been lurking on your site too :)