Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe & beyond...join me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


‘Tis the season...for waiting. It is the first Advent and everyone is waiting; waiting for a holiday and a break from work, waiting for family, for presents, for the birth of a baby. I am waiting for snow.

It is the first time in my life that I am living somewhere where at the end of November there is still not a hint of snow…not even a whisper. In Alberta and Saskatchewan I don’t think it is even possible to miss snow. It always comes much too early and stays way too late…like an irritating party guest. And, now I am here, on the first Advent, wandering through a Christmas market, in a small town on the Rhein, on a +10 degree, sunny, dry, windy day. It feels much too early for Christmas.

Last weekend, great guy spontaneously said that we should go away for the night. Since he rarely likes straying far from home, I jumped at this opportunity to cash in one of my best western gift certificates. After googling and then booking, we started driving, and ended up…falling in love. We found our new fave place. This little boutique hotel, in Boppard (which sounds funnier and funnier the more times you say it as great guy was doing the whole way there), is nestled on the Rhein, and filled with family history and character dating back to the 1800’s. The wide, sweeping staircase with family portraits of the hotel’s former owners, enchanted me. I took photos, like a geeky tourist, wanting to remember these faces, and wishing I could hear their stories. They had names like Johanna, Lissy, Karolina, Horst und Jakob.

But, the elevator was by far the coolest. It was old (or should I say ‘antique’) and it was small. It had one of those sliding doors which you had to push open. And then, inside there was a blue, leather bench at the one end…a seat perfectly built for two. All the furniture in the hotel was so interesting. The famous furniture maker, Michael Thönet, who stems from Boppard, beginning in the 1800’, had original pieces displayed on each floor. I’m not that well-versed in my antiques, but the curved wooden armrests, the intricate workmanship, and the beautiful fabrics…it was all beautiful.

Great guy and I entered our quaint, cozy room and went straight onto the wrought-iron balcony taking in the peaceful view of the Rhein cliffs, the massive freighters, and the flowing water right below us. I tell you, lying in bed and looking out the window and being able to see the lights of the ships floating by is actually very cool. We sauna-ed and then went for a fabulous Italian meal, where I am sorry to say to any PETA fans, that I ate weinbergschnecken (wine hill snails) sautéed in garlic butter. I figured that since we are in wine berg country I should try these little creatures…isn’t it like eating Alberta beef when you’re in Alberta? Although, supporting the wine industry probably means drinking wine and not eating snails. Ok, so I’ll rectify that and pour myself a glass right now.

A little while ago our relationship came to a breaking point. We have now turned a corner in the direction of togetherness and, I think, we feel more solid and calm now than we have up to this point. We both made a choice…not just to keep flowing along, but to stay. This little hotel, in this little place, with time to just walk and talk and eat together without interruptions, helped a lot. We will be back…maybe when there’s snow. I am waiting.

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