Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 7 Postscript

19 11 2020


Enough time has passed since July for enough people to forget enough things so that I now feel comfortable telling you more precisely where we went for our honeymoon and how we went there.

I already mentioned here both before and after two of the places as hints: One was Transylvania, and the other Thessalonica. Along side of that, I also kicked a snarky line that involved Belgrade, and not because it wasn’t one of our stops.

Combine all that, and some of you can already probably figure out that the mighty Danube River had something to do with it.

And that it did: We went on a close to wire-to-wire cruise of the Danube, that started at Ingolstadt, and ended at Vidin, Bulgaria. Then over land the rest of the way, Vidin -> Sofia -> Thessalonica -> Bucharest -> Transylvania -> Chisnau -> Odessa -> Mouth of the Danube -> Bucharest. Flew home from Bucharest to Cologne, and the flight path took us over three of the major cities on the Danube where we made stops, (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna), and furthermore, went straight over Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, one of my stops during the 2018 Voyage. That city has a German name, and when I say it, everything else will fall into place: Budweis. Yes, I’ve seen the original Budweiser brewery, and while I can’t say that they welcomed a native St. Louisan who has had five close relatives work at Anheuser-Busch with open arms, considering the long time controversy, they did take things in their stride. I should say that the original Budweiser as a beer is so much better than A-B’s that it’s an insult to the original even to think of comparing them, even if its brewery is hardly what you would call modern.

But I digress.

The flight back was also the first time that I used or even seen the Cologne-Bonn Airport (Köln-Bonn Flughaven), even though, at the time we landed, I’d lived in Cologne for a month short of two years.

A quick and dirty map:

Once we set sail east out of Ingolstadt, everything geographically was new to me. Even though I have already been to Austria, its stamp was already on my passport from Summer 2018. Apart from that, I got ten new stamps on my passport — Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, Greece, Moldova, Ukraine. To add to the fourteen I had previously (Canada, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City). To make now 24 overall. We even passed through a semi-autonomous region of Moldova called Transnistra, a slight slither between Moldova and Ukraine, I think the only remaining “country” that uses the hammer and sickle in its flag. It issues its own outbound passports but does not have passport stamps of its own. Seven national capital cities. Two significant seas: Aegean and Black. In fact, the Aegean was the first time my actual feet touched Mediterranean waters.

So, think of all the big name cities we visited: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, (this honeymoon was brought to you by the letter B), Sofia, Thessalonica, Chisnau, Odessa. The culturally significant and stunning Transylvania region. All the places in between, and the bonus of seeing a few of of them again (plus one city from two years ago) from the air flying back. In spite of all that, there’s one thing that beat them all, and the thing I’ll remember from this honeymoon even if get to be a million years old with Alzheimers.

Frau. had already on much of this same trip, as a girl, and sights this stunning, she was more than happy to see them again, even though I know the reciprocation for a honeymoon involving many places she has already seen and been is going to be that I eventually take her to see St. Louis — Still now, I catch her looking up something-something St. Louis when I take a peek at her devices. She wants to see where her husband comes from, and I guess I should be happy for that by itself, even though I don’t think I can verbally warn her enough to prepare her for the whole experience, that what she is going to see in quite a few parts of St. Louis will shock her in ways she’s never been shocked. She’s been to America, but only New York and Chicago.

But, back to the honeymoon, as we were discussing what was to come, she looked at me at one point like my fly was open. I was like: WTF? One thing led to another, and she told me that she was surprised that I was missing something on the long trip we were about to embark upon, and she was surprised that I didn’t know about it, in spite of my reasonable command of geography. I asked her what it was, but she clammed up, wanting to save the surprise for when I actually saw it.

So, what was this thing that beat everything else that I’ve already stated, something that Frau. wanted to keep a surprise, and something I’ll remember even when I’ve forgotten everything else about this honeymoon?

Oh yeah, it was that good.

The Iron Gates Gorge of the Danube.

I just can’t, with any words even I could use, or the photos and videos I took. Nothing but actually seeing it could do it justice. I’ll just say here that it’s basically the part of the Danube that is around the Serbia-Romania-Bulgaria triple point, most of the river somewhat east of Belgrade on east and south to Vidin, where we disembarked from the river cruise.

And I don’t think you could find a better river cruise in the world than the real meat of the Danube.


On a more up to date personal note, this weekend is Frau.’s baby shower. Not the traditional sort of one; Remember, I said that we won’t be having one of those for the same reason we didn’t have a wedding registry, because we already had or could easily get the kind of things that you get with a wedding registry or a baby shower. But you’ll also remember that I said that Frau., her mother, my sister-in-law, Frau.’s grandmothers, and other various female in-laws, are going to have a baby shower type celebration that will involve many shipped in boxes of chocolates from Germany’s famous chocolate makers in Bremen. That happens this weekend. It also means that both mein Schweigervater and I will have some me time alone time, separately. I’m going to do a short roadtrip out of town and stop at whatever looks good and is open, considering the lockdown. I know that this will be the last lengthy substantial stretch of alone time that I’ll have for a very long time, and I’m going to use it to do two things: A lot of sleep, and a lot of clearing and resetting my head, to get ready for what’s to come.

Once this weekend is over, it’s down the stretch we come. In fact, Frau.’s maternity leave begins tomorrow, so she’s going straight from her last day of work for awhile to her baby shower then to maternity leave. It means that I’m going to make sure I enjoy this weekend’s me time. But before then, I’m going to surprise her at her work tomorrow afternoon with a rose and a few pieces of the kind of chocolate she’ll be eating all weekend. Keep that our little secret.

If all goes well, I’ll have attained everything I could have wanted out of life and reasonably could have attained, by the time you read a RHOC entry in this space. All the more remarkable considering how as late as about two and a half years ago, I had concluded that none of this was possible. Knowing what’s coming over this the final month and change, I don’t expect any posts here, and not much if anything on my socials.

This is truly it. It’s now or never.

And I wish you all a fröhliche Weihnachten, because I know I’ll be having one, my best Christmas ever.



6 responses

19 11 2020

The only way this article from two days ago could be more about me is if it was actually about me.

(1) It uses 1977 as the baseline reference year, and, if you’re new here, that’s the year I was born

(2) It’s dateline Wiesbaden, (because that’s where Destasis, the German public statistics agency, is based), and I was there on Tuesday for doctors’ appointments

(3) And of course the personally timely subject matter, multiple births.

19 11 2020
Evil Sandmich

Ha! Let me know if you need IT support there!
eventually take her to see St. Louis
Lock and load.
I know even for people who live in Northeast Ohio they have a hard time contemplating just how bad the East Cleveland area is and they drive right past it going out to Niagara and wine country. Reminds me too of the black police chief talking to Antifa clowns: “No, you don’t understand, this the ‘hood, you have to get out of here”

19 11 2020

Speaking of which, the reason I really haven’t said much about the American election having a hook to Frankfurt is because there are too many open matters about that raid. I will say that I find it curious that my daily driver news source, based and published in Frankfurt, hasn’t said much about it.

BTW, is Toad Lick Games your blog?

19 11 2020

At one point after the honeymoon, speaking of the Aegean Sea, I looked up Lesbos Island, and now I know why it’s such a honeypot for invaders — Because it’s legally in Greece, i.e. the European Union, but right up against the Turkish west coast.

21 11 2020
Alright Dan

Take care.

21 11 2020
Hard Right

semi-autonomous region of Moldova called Transnistra

Isn’t that where weev was hiding out?

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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