I’ve always loved to travel and was fortunate to have visited many European countries while living in Germany. Like many retirees, I want to keep on hitting the road during my golden years, so to celebrate turning the big 60 this year, I planned a trip to Europe and Egypt. My last trip to Europe was in 2001 so I really looked forward to visiting my friends there. I planned to spend 2 weeks in Germany and Italy with friends and 2 weeks in Egypt on a guided tour. I was so excited as I've always wanted to see the Great Sphinx and Pyramids ever since my first trip to Europe in 1970 when I visited an Egyptian Exhibit in the Louvre. My friend Sue made the trip with me. Our first stop was Germany where we stayed with my friend Danny who lives near Heidelberg. We spent several days touring in Germany, visiting the Heidelberg Castle, Dilsberg and the Hirschorn Castle. The Heidelberg Castle is a well-known attraction with thousands visiting it every year. Personally, I like Schloss Hirschorn which is so picturesque sitting atop a mountain, set against a forested backdrop and overlooking the Neckar River.
We spent a sunny afternoon on the terrace there with my friends Danny and Gretchen, enjoying the scenic view while sipping Rhine wine and eating German pastries. Now Schloss Hirschorn is a 4-star hotel with 8 guest rooms in the main fortress. We dined that night at the Gasthof Zur Sonne in Neidenstein. The menu selections reflected local German fare such as turkey schnitzel and spaetzle, but the taste and presentation was just incredible! Everyone so thoroughly enjoyed their meal that I just had to find the chef and compliment him. Even as an experienced traveler I was shocked at how expensive everything was with the Euro being so strong against the dollar. So if you're planning a trip abroad any time soon, bring at least 50% more spending money. With a can of Coca-Cola or a cup of coffee costing almost $4, you'll definitely need it!