Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bonn Day 2 (Part 3) - Credit Card should be good enough, right?

Well, at this point I was a little tired and hungry, it was getting around 11:30 to 12pm, so I figured that I would stop by the restaurant that was right there. It was a fairly big restaurant, so I figured they wouldn't have a problem with my credit card. I was wrong, I asked for a Coke, and then I remembered that I should ask them about the credit card. So just as they opened up the coke, I got to them to ask, and well, they didn't expect any credit cards, just cash. So I apologized for the mistake and left. :-/

So I started my hike back down the hill, keeping well aware of the falling rocks (#60). Well, seeing that there wasn't any restaurants between Drachenfel Castle and Drachenfel Manor (Need to make sure this is correct), I figured that I would at least tour the manor seeing that I was already there. Well, needless to say there folks, the manor was BEAUTIFUL! And that would still be an understatement. :-) While still keeping off the grass (#68), I took the pictures from #61 to 115. Well, the history of the manor has quite a few ups and downs. It was created by a middle class man who made it rich, and commissioned its construction. However, he was never set foot in the manor, because by the time of its completion, he had gotten too sick to really leave his current house. So, after that it was a training ground for an equivalent of the Boy Scouts (I believe), a Christian Boy's School, then a military training school for the Nazi's when they took over. Then WWII and the Allies shelled the location, there was quite a bit of damage, not as bad as Berlin, mind you, but quite a few rooms were damaged, to the point where some stained glass windows where shattered beyond recognition, for instance. After WWII, no one claimed ownership of the manor, so it basically went into disrepair. It because a house to go to for the homeless or for those that used drugs. The city eventually wanted to demolish it, till someone stepped in and bought the house. I forget his name right at the moment, but he was fairly wealthy at the time (I think it was 1990's), and he started getting together a commission to restore the house.

Note that even though they are still allowing people to go onto the estate, they still want everyone to do what they can to help, such as the picture #84, where you don't ruin the wood flooring, or you know, the typical #68 keeping off the grass! hehehe :-) They put another museum into #71, all about nature conservation. They had an audio headset that would respond to whatever location you were standing at, and give you certain information. The museum was all in German, but at least I had the headset. Although it had a few "bugs" in the system. But oh well, I'm not going to worry about it. The "museum" was ... okay. Nothing like Smithsonian quality, but it was adequate. Went up into one of the towers of the manor, and started taking a few pictures starting with #102. Unfortunately, my slight fear of heights (yeah, I know, my height and all), thanks to my Dad, made my palms sweat a little. But thankfully the tower was stable. :-) Well, after the tower I went into the basement. They showed a few schematics of the place shown on #108 and 111, couple of other items like #109, 112, and 113, and they also had a video on the construction that's been going on. Unfortunately, it was in German, so I couldn't really understand a word that it was saying, but it was kind of cool to see anyway. :-)

Well, down in the basement, I also saw #115 and #114. Basically if anyone has some free cash that they wish to donate (hehe yeah, I know, free cash, let me get out my OTHER wallet...), I photographed the info, just in case. :-)

Well, after the basement, I went into #71's museum, and I had wanted to put up some souvenirs but once again, they didn't take credit cards (are you sensing a theme?), so I went through the museum, and continued on my way after that. I was feeling quite hungry by this point, and knew that I should stop someplace to get something to eat. So as I was going down the hill, you know all those restaurants that I passed coming up? Well, not a single one took credit cards. :-/ So I get to the base of the hill, right where the trains start up the hill, and I was figuring, I'm getting back into town, I shouldn't have a problem with my credit card now. (I was figuring that the places on the hill didn't really have any form of connection to establish a credit line, so I figured the opposite would be true in the town itself).

Well, I checked out this one ice cream parlor/sandwich shop, that was next to the Drachenfel train, but no dice. So I continue, and find an antique shop. So wanting to get a few gifts, I went in (asked the lady if they excepted the credit cards, and they did ^.^), and got Mom a nice gift. I'm going to have to start all of this stuff out. :-)

Well, after the purchase, I continue in search of finding food. Unfortunately, not many places advertise that they except credit cards (unlike in the US, where you could find the labels on practically every door...not quite, but close to it), so I had to go one restaurant at a time just to see if they took credit cards or not. I think I went into about 4 maybe 5 different restaurants, before I FINALLY found one. Order myself some pasta, and got #116. It wasn't too bad. Basically it was spaghetti noodles with butter melted over.

Well, after finishing off the pasta, and having about 3 glasses of soda (it was a warm day), I looked at the time to see that most of the museums were already closed by this point, either that or had about an hour left. Not much for anything along the lines of museum hopping, so I figured I could just go downtown to check out the sights there. So I hop back onto the tram and ride back into town.

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