Thursday, April 2, 2009


There are many reasons to travel, but for me one of the most important is not just to see old friends but to make new acquaintances and form new friendships. From that perspective our weekend in Köln at the penshow and then in Wiesbaden on Monday was perfect.

For us the Köln show ended Sunday morning with a small brunch at the Hotel Falderhof. At breakfast Peteris Seja suggested driving R9, which we took from Koblenz along the river. If I have any complaint about this trip, it is the relative lack of time for unstructured touring, wandering. Sunday we wandered and I did not even take out my camera.

We ended up in Wiesbaden in late afternoon and checked into the Hotel France on Taunusstrasse, recommended and booked for us by our host Knut Dorn.

Knut is the managing director of Otto Harrassowitz, Stanford University Library’s largest suplier of books. For years I have heard Sharon singing his praises, not just as a vendor but as a delightful man, and recently she has gotten to know his daughter Claudia, who is also his assistant and has been a Stanford Library intern. If you have a sense that there is a close working relationship between Harrassowitz and Stanford, you have it.

Sunday night Knut and his wife Renata picked us up from the hotel and took us out to dinner at one of their favourite places a rustic echt
Deutsch restaurant at the foot of the city’s funicular railroad, which sadly was not yet open for the year. Dinner was grand and the conversation was beter. Within minutes I felt as if both Knut and Renata were old friends.

Monday was a workday for them and my camera and I rambled the inner city. Claudia joined us for dinner Monday night and took us off to one of her favourite places a rural hunting lodge just outside the city. Another fine meal and superb conversation ensued.

Tuesday morning we were off to visit more old friends, Karin and David Parisi and Osman Sümer in Hamburg.

Our hotel in Wiesbaden, the Hotel France on Taunusstrasse.

The city's famed Casino, now a museum.

An interesting door at the side of the Rathaus.

The Marktplatz seems to be the center of the old city.
And the Marktplatz church with its Gothic spire, which seems to be typical for the region
Look colsely at this balcony, there are many interesting things going on.

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