Today we managed to catch one of the boats that go up and down the Neckar River to god-knows-where (none of the words in the brochure we swiped are in our dictionary and the website is only in Deutche). It looked like fun, so we thought we'd get on one depending on where it was going, etc. Going up to the pay window we knew this was going to be a problem. I am short and German people consistently ate their vegetables when I obviously was refusing them. So the words (none of which I could understand anyway, but I guess I like to at least feign I understand what is being said to me) would float out above my head from the cut-out in the plexiglass.
Me (not even bothering to try German as this boat is unloading): Where is this boat going to?
Man in booth: Neckargemund.
Me: What?? Where is that?
Man in booth: Neckargemund. Come back 6:30.
Me (motioning to husband, saying): I have no idea where we're going. Just give the man some Euros.
So we got on this big boat and started floating down the river to this magical (apparently) place called Neckargemund. No idea if we were coming back at 6:30 am tomorrow or 6:30 pm today. The man in the booth was not going to tell me and even if he did, I was not tall enough to even really see him over the counter anyway. So we chance it, hoping what is in my purse (melted French chapstick, cell phone, umbrella, and book) was enough to get us through the next three or 15 hours.
We figured it out. This boat is just yet another means of getting around. You can make it a pleasure cruise if you want and ride the thing round trip (which is what we did only because we didn't know any better). Or you can get on it early in the day with your bike (or not), ride to wherever (other magical, equally as obscure options available), spend the day, and then hop on and ride back. It is a beautiful ride and as soon as I can figure out how to get the pictures off my phone onto this here screen they are yours to do what you like (promise!). Imagine this in the meantime: lush mountains that literally drop into the river, old homes, people riding their bikes on the side of the river, old men in speedoos camping (select few spots, no pics only lots of people gasping in horror), and our favorite, the people at the Gasthaus dancing something I can only describe as the German can-can in traditional costume, except, well, they were really taking it quite seriously. And it was a very small village. Shame on me for laughing a bit at this, but I think it's okay--we were running after the streetcar this morning trying to catch it, so I'm sure there were lots of people getting a kick out of that. I think we're even.