Our group met at dawn for the first time at the Frankfurt airport after all night flights. The good news was there was a driver in a big red bus there to meet us. The bad news we couldn't check into our hotel rooms until 2:30 that afternoon. As much as our bodies were screaming rest, our adventuresome spirits were chomping at the bit to explore. We chartered a boat up the Rhine River and was fascinated by the towering granite castles, amongst the miles of well-maintained vineyards, both defying time and progress as the river rolled on.
Lunch was in a quaint old villa near the river with ancient grape vines adorning the canopies and open-air dining. I was enjoying the ambience of the experience with unfamiliar background music and other diners chatting in unknown tongues when a rocking blast of "Cotton Eye Joe" spit out of speakers someplace. The tune and music was the same but the words were being sung in German. How is that for a hybrid culture?
It took me a long study of the menu to decide on what to order. Mainly because I couldn't read it and if I could figure out the words I wasn't sure what it was. A "pig knuckle" sounded pretty wholesome and something I could identify with however I didn't expect it to be the better part of a hog's leg. Bill and I had enough pork to share with everyone. So far I'm digging these German ways. Two-stepping music and pig knuckles, what else could a country girl want??
Written by Brenda Valentine