Our ICE to Nuremburg arrives in 10 minutes late. That gets Andrew a-fretting. We don't have many minutes to make our connection to Forchheim. Fewer than 10.
I've not bothered reserving seats. As they were 3 euros cheaper than second class, we have first-class tickets. Ah, the vagaries of advanced-booking offers. My assumption that there will be plenty of spare seats is proved right.
"I told you there would be loads of places, Andrew. That's saved me the price of a couple of beers."
"Or bottles of that nasty schnapps."
"Impulse schnapps, Andrew, that's the correct technical term."
It's doing its job well, the nasty schnapps. I'm all cooled down. At least in my head.
"Why don't you try your ipad? There's a sign saying there's wifi."
"That red dot on the window over there."
"Daaaaad, that's where you're meant to break the window in an emergency."
"No it's not, it's the sign for wifi."
"Then why is there a hammer next to it?"
"And instructions to hit the dot with the hammer?"
"You may have a point."
To Andrew's relief, they've held back our connection in Nuremberg. And in Forchheim. Before we know it, we're bumbling along the single-track line to Ebermannstadt, our destination for the day. The train is surprisingly full.
I tried to get us rooms here, one of Ebermannstadt's two breweries:
But it was booked up. Instead, we're staying at Gasthof zur Post just over the street.
Our rooms are boiling. Facing the afternoon sun, curtains wide open, has turned them into a sweat box inside a sauna encased in a furnace. Hot. I strain to shut out the sun, but the curtains aren't wide enough.
"That's really stupid, having curtains that don't cover the windows. How are you supposed to block out the sun?"
One of the reasons I chose Ebermannstadt as our base was the presence of a Rewe supermarket close by.
"Let's get ourselves some drinks."
Andrew gives me a look. "I mean water or that apple stuff. Honestly." He doesn't give up on the look.
On the way to Rewe, Andrew notices something. Shutters. All the houses have shutters.
"Maybe our rooms have shutters, dad." Could explain the curtain deficiency.
The Rewe is nice and cool. We pick up some water and apple stuff.
At the till, I start searching around.
"You're looking for that nasty schnapps, aren't you, dad?"
"Impulse schnapps, impulse schnapps. Get the name right."
Andrew is right. About the shutters and the schnapps. The shutters almost black out my room. The sun is blocked, but the room still pulls sweat out of me.
"Let's go for a drink to give our rooms a chance to cool down, Andrew."
"OK, dad, but no more schnapps." Andrew is starting to remind me of his mother.
We nip over the road to Schwanenbräu, where we can sit in the shade. I get myself one of these:
And then another.
The sun slips down while I sip and sup and eat sausage.
When we return, our rooms have cooled. Just enough.
"Good night, Andrew."
"Good night, dad."
Gasthof Zur Post
Am Marktplatz 3
Tel: +49 9194 201
Am Marktplatz 2
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