Tuesday, Aug 18 — Flying
I arrive to SFO San Francisco International Airport and check in to United Airlines flight 926. I ask the gate agent if there are any business class seats available and she takes my ticket and upgrades me to window seat 8J. It is my first experience with international business class and I am thrilled beyond belief. My Boeing 777 takes of at 7:09pm.
Wednesday, Aug 19 — Heidelberg
We land at 3:00pm the next day. Andre meets me at the airport and drives me to Heidelberg. We meet up with the rest of the crew and take a boat cruise on the Neckar River. We drink German beer. We have dinner at night at a cafe at the base of the Heidelberg Castle. The ambiance and company are magical.
Sunday, Aug 23 — Cologne
We take the DB Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express from Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof to Köln Hauptbahnhof and arrive in the early afternoon.
When we exit the train station, the views of the gothic Cologne Cathedral are surreal; it is unimaginably massive. Two intricately decorated towers take up most of the front of the church, atop which stand two conical spires. The cathedral is jaw-dropping beautiful. I can only wonder what history this building has seen since its commencement in 1248.
We check into Hilton Cologne, a modern city hotel that is perfectly located and tour around Cologne. In the evening we stop by the IceBAR and I enjoy a martini made with saffron-infused gin.
Tuesday, Aug 25 — Train to Frankfort
I buy a ticket for the DB Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express to Frankfort for €60,00. We depart Köln Hauptbahnhof around noon and head southeast to the Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf at FRA Frankfurt Airport.
I board United Airlines 927 and my Boeing 777 takes off at 5:25pm. We land at SFO San Francisco International Airport at 7:53pm the same day.