July 30 – Frankfurt – Baden Baden – Munich

After my last night at Michael’s house, I managed to lock myself out while loading my bags into my car. I called him at work and he said that his mother had an extra key at their family home.  The only complication was that Michael’s mother doesn’t speak English and has never met me.  I walked into her store which is alongside their home and after some mangled German and utterance of “Michael” I handed the phone to her, a puzzled look still on her face.  After Michael cleared things up, I got the rest of my stuff and was on my way.

It was a nice morning so I decided to take the scenic route south with plans to stop off in Baden Baden to enjoy some world class spa time.  I had lunch in a small town along a lake and continue on to Baden Baden trying to dodge the rain.

In Baden Baden (the town so nice they named it twice) I skipped the casino and grabbed an early dinner at one of the many cafes.  The weather continued to waffle between nice warm summer evening and rain but rain eventually won out.  After dinner, it was spa time and I headed to the renown Friedrichsbad for some pampering.  This building was filled with saunas and pools and featured some great architecture – particularly a wonderful dome above the main pool.

With the sound of thunder in the background, I decided it was time to leave and I headed back to get dressed and head out.  A nice German spa attendant was alarmed at my hasty departure, explaining in German something to the effect of it was important that I rest a bit before leaving.  Needing to get to Munich and hoping to avoid heavy rain, I had to skip it and get on my way, feeling like a smooth very rested child.

It turns out the rain had a break and the storm was off in the distance but it was mighty and the difference in time between the lightning and thunder led me to believe I could get away with the convertible top open as long as the direction and speed cooperated.  I made my way through the winding streets to get back to the highway.  I was driving fast with the top open, the tunes cranked (U2’s “Electrical Storm” even made its way into the shuffle) and my spirits soaring with bolts of lightning chasing me in my rear view mirror.  Then I ran into tons of road construction and the rain caught up so I got my convertible top closed about 2 minutes before a torrential rain started and traffic slowed to a crawl due to the heavy rain and winds.  At about 1:00am I arrived at my hotel in Munich.

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