Cochem to Beilstein, July 5

There must not be as many lawyers or frivolous lawsuits in Germany as in the United States.  Benjamin and I went to a really neat pool yesterday afternoon after I bailed out on the bike-building concept. Two olympic-sized pools with a water slide, a five-meter diving board, and a ten-meter diving platform had only ONE lifeguard.  He sat  in a windowed, air-conditioned office area, wearing street clothes and reading the newspaper.  The water slide was a blast!  A sign posted pictures of the slide rules, yet all the kids were breaking them. The kids were going down head first, piling up human trains, running up and down the slide, and finding anything else illegal to do.  The lifeguard couldn’t have cared less.

Another interesting un-American observation was the lack of safety with the hospital windows.  I noticed when Ella was at the Koblenz hospital that the windows swing completely open and have no screens.  Wondering how this system could work without the fear of possible lawsuits, I asked Barbara Jarmausch about that.  I said, “In the U.S. we could never do that because people would jump out the windows, and there would be lawsuits.”  Barbara said, “Oh, well sometimes people do jump out the windows.”  I thought wow!  How amazing!  That wouldn’t happen in the States.  I’m baffled by the Europeans’ laissez-faire attitude and wonder what the States would be like if there weren’t so many lawsuits.

The ride today was a whopping 7 miles from Cochem to Beilstein.  Beilstein is like a little story book town.  It’s absolutely gorgeous!  The town is limited in supplies and filled with tourists during the day, but the evenings are quiet and charming. We splurged tonight because the campground is on the opposite side of the river and requires a ferry to go back and forth.  The ferry quits at 6:00.  We wanted to see the town this evening, so we found a room for a pretty reasonable price here.  This will allow us to enjoy the town’s leisurely evening.  Our room is fantastic and gives Anna a real bed to sleep in for the first time since her accident.  Here, we can recharge our batteries and enjoy the free wi-fi, a rare occurence.  We are enjoying ourselves again and the plan to continue our leap-frog approach down the Mosel.

Today I ate possibly the best meal I’ve ever experienced. The steak was delicious, and the location was absolutely exceptional. We sat at a round picnic table in an elaborate flower garden with the beautiful Mosel to our left and the adorable Belistein to our right. In the warm sunshine and gentle breeze, we chatted, laughed, and ate while marveling at the incredible view and enjoying the perfect weather. Beilstein is lovely. This quaint town consists of a few small roads lined with shops. The streets meet at a cute little town square. There, we stayed at a bed and breakfast because, as mom said, “we were feeling bad for ourselves.”

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