Our first day in Karlsruhe turned out well. I have many, many more pictures but I'll post those to my Flickr account next week. We arrived in Frankfurt at roughly 7:30 AM on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately for me, I did not sleep even for a little bit on the flight. This was very odd for me as I can usually sleep anywhere at almost any time. I think the problem was that I had the LCD on the bulkhead directly in front of me and movies played most of the night. The constant change in lighting was a distraction.
After arriving in Frankfurt we took the train to Karlsruhe. I was impressed by the scenery. I first noticed from the plane on the approach to the airport that Germany, at least this area of it, is much more heavily forested than I had imagined. This impression was reinforced by the train ride; we passed through what seemed like tens of miles of sparsely populated forest land.
As impressed as I was with the "green-ness" of the countryside, I was even more impressed by the city of Karlsruhe. It is clean, feels safe, has a diversity of appealing architecture and sustains a bustling feeling of life and exuberance well into the night. The city is filled with restaurants sporting outdoor dining, good beer and excellent food. The people are friendly and I just have an overall good feeling about the place. Perhaps it would be different if I lived here every day, but with the eyes of a foreigner it seems like a great place to be.
The picture above is of the centrally located palace. Most of the roads lead to this structure. It is surrounded by parks and fountains. I will spend much more time strolling its grounds should I find myself here again.
As an aside, Rich was singing "The Final Countdown" at work prior to our departure on Monday. He suggested I continue to hum / sing the song to make it stick in my traveling companion's head (we are kind to each other at work). Well, the FIRST song that came on the radio in the taxi when we arrived in Karlsruhe was "The Final Countdown". The odds of that happening have to be amazingly small. I love when stuff like that happens.