Trip to Germany: by Eric Van Cleve

When traveling to Germany there are always things to see, especially when travelling to three different sporting events is on the agenda in four different cities in a matter of four and a half days. The weekend was fast but extended by taking off on Wednesday from San Francisco and landing in Frankfurt the following morning and heading out for some beer and brats. The question becomes, what was the best site? Was it that the scoring of three soccer matches having only four goals, of 1-0, 1-0, 1-1, or was it the 8 segments of train rides, or perhaps it was the wine barrel in a Heidelberg castle which held one million glasses of wine (well, at least it did), maybe the protest in the streets while looking at the university, or perhaps the Mardi Gras feel of old town Düsseldorf with beer served in the streets.

Oddly enough the best “cage” was in a town called Möchengladbach (For those that don’t know the “cage”, there are two sections in the stadium that has plexiglass walls so that the opposing fans can’t punch the home town fans. Do we need this for Yankees v. Boston games or the bleachers at AT&T Park when the Dodgers come to play the Giants?). We had the most expensive seats at this game than we had in past games, but with few scalpers, the market price was driven up. We saw the most exciting game with two goals in the first half to tie the match 1-1. Möchengladbach is in D1 but have a funny feeling that they may not be after this season. After drinking at the game, we made our way to old town which included receiving beers in the streets. To my delight a foot race also existed where people were running through the streets of Düsseldorf and finishing right near where we were drinking beer.

With so much to see, it was a well-rounded, action packed, fun-filled extended weekend that I would gladly do again.