Today we drove from Maastricht, Netherlands, to Mainz, Germany, a sizable and historic city along the Rhine River. The drive took about two and a half hours, and other than intermittent rainstorms and a major traffic jam near Aachen due to road work, it was a really pleasant drive. We'll be here two nights.
Tonight we are staying in a lovely room at the Hyatt Regency with a view of the river (above), thanks to the super-cheap rates that business hotels offer on Saturday nights. We wouldn't be able to afford the regular rate for the room tomorrow night, so we'll move across across town to another hotel.
We enjoyed a more relaxed pace than usual this evening, taking a slow walk through town in the light rain without worrying about photo duties. Mainz is a really pleasant city - it has an attractive little historic center and minimal ugliness on the outskirts despite its size. It centers on a huge, pink-stone Romanesque cathedral, which last time we visited was surrounded by a huge Christmas market. Although it's hard to beat a German Christmas market, it is nice to be able to move more freely around the old town without all the booths and crowds of people.
We had a really wonderful dinner tonight at a place called the Augustinerkeller (Augustinian Cellar) that caught our eye during our walk earlier. It turned out to be just as good as its specials board made it look.
Although the streets were quiet, the restaurant was very full when we arrived, which was a good sign. Fortunately, there was an available table downstairs and we had perhaps the hardest-working waitress we've ever seen in Europe, who also spoke perfect English. More importantly, the food was outstanding. We intend to return tomorrow! It was very dimly lit so the photos aren't very pretty, but I did my best:
David had this jaegerschnitzel, and while my meal was good, his was absolutely heavenly. The picture really doesn't do it justice. I had actually decided tonight that I was done with schnitzel, since it isn't usually all that special, but this one got me all confused again! The mushroom-cream sauce was the best ever, the pork was much more tender than usual, and the breading was just right. Even the fries were perfect.
Tomorrow should be another fairly relaxing day, with only a couple of churches to photograph and the move to the other hotel. We're moving to another business hotel with a desk, so that should be ideal conditions for me to finally get caught up on the London blog post, I hope! Guten nacht!