Passing by Ledward Barracks, Schweinfurt, in April 2017

There are extensive rebuilding plans for the former areal of Askren Manors and Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt. Today, while visiting family in town, we drove by and I took some photos. It still looked the same to me, except for the big sign announcing the Abbruch (demolition).

Ledward Barracks, Schweinfurt

Hotel Cour du Courbeau in Strasbourg

We left Germany on a dreary Friday afternoon and arrived in sunny Strasbourg three hours later. We got really lucky with the end of February weather.

We had booked the Classic Room online at half price for one night at the Hôtel Cour du Courbeau in Strasbourg. This hotel is most impressive: authentic 16th century on the outside, and completely 21st century on the inside.

Hotel Cour du Courbeau

This photo was taken from our room, looking out on the balcony which stretches along the whole front of the building. The thin wires are to keep the pigeons off.

We had a pleasant evening sitting outside on the balcony, gazing at Orion’s Belt. We moved the room’s little bench outside, and shared a bottle of wine on the balcony. This was so pleasant. For smokers, there is an ashtray on the wooden railing for your convenience.

We skipped the € 24 per person breakfast (offered by the receptionist), and headed to one of the cafés nearby for a smaller breakfast version.

This hotel is centrally located, next to the canal and very close to the cathedral. We only had to cross the bridge, and found ourselves at the Saturday farmers’ market, with the flea market right next to it. The flea market takes place Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

We found a few interesting articles at the flea market, ranging from a wooden spice box with pewter labels spelled out in French, an old postcard from Germany, a hand-carved wine bottle topper, etc.

Here we stopped for a second breakfast of croissants and coffee. In the back, you see parts of the farmers’ and flea market area.

We will do this again sometime soon. It was nice to get away for a couple of days.

Lufthansa Strike and Hotel cancellation

This Dutch proverb really sums up my latest travel experience, He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.

Due to Lufthansa’s pilots’ strike on 24 and 25 November, I did not even get to set my foot outside the front door.

I usually book my trips online, but this time I wanted to give a travel agent friend my business. This cost me dearly. Where one can usually cancel online hotel bookings within a certain time frame without a charge, or a reduced charge, going through a travel agency is very different.

The travel agency uses a tour operator to do the hotel booking. We paid € 452 for three nights. We were informed of a refund of € 46 for the prepaid € 452 (billed in February). Hence, a letter had been sent to TUI, the tour operator. We lost € 406 on the hotel booking.

TUI’s response was predictable. There is no additional reimbursement.

The travel agent also neglected to tell me she would process our flight ticket refund. Only after some prompting, and so-called miscommunication, I was informed that the ticket seller would be sending her our refund. Of the initial € 564 for two tickets, we got € 452,32 refunded.

I also rechecked on our ferry tickets we had purchased for the route Tallinn – Helsinki. These were non-refundable tickets at € 52.

Needless to say, we not only lost this travel opportunity, but I also have to spend a considerable amount of time on research of how to get any money back. In money value alone, my travel companion and I have lost € 599, 68.

My letter to Lufthansa, with a detailed explanation of losses incurred, was sent off today.

I had also booked ‘additional services’ with Lufthansa online, such as a checked-in suitcase. This is another item I have to see when I get my money back. My letter to Lufthansa, requesting a refund for this separate online booking, was sent off on 12 December and to date, 6 January, I have had no reply.

Frankfurt Airport

On a more pleasant note, I was home alone for four days and did not get into trouble. My husband was in Paris with his brother during that time, and both children are away at university in Shanghai and the U.K.

Conn Barracks Schweinfurt – 37th Armor in 1961

This video clip shows the 37th Armor at Conn Barracks in 1961.

(Video credits go to Hardy Hobbs)

Visit https://www.facebook.com/LedwardandConnBarracksSchweinfurt/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf for more about Conn Barracks and Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt.

A Good Reason to Travel

Travel brings us back to ourselves.

– Albert Camus –