Baden Baden, Deutschland (Germany)
Oh what a fantastic day. I had breakfast about 7:00am here at the Werner-Dietz-JH Hostel and by 8:00am, I was on the trail heading up the mountain. I took a three hour hike in the Black Forest this morning. The temperature was so cool and there was an ever so slight breeze; that’s all that was needed. It was a fantastic hike, plenty of up so I got a great workout, but it wasn’t rocky and treacherous like the Cinque Terre hike. I only saw one other couple and one guy by himself and a horse taking its lady out for a ride. Other than that I had the place to myself.
Wonderful forest smells, flowers, the ground was still wet from the morning dew. A few glossy black beetles clumsily crossed my path and I saw the grossest slugs. Our slugs in the Pacific Northwest are pretty gross, but these were bright orange and bigger, and grosser. I got to the top and walked a path that went around the top of the mountain and was rewarded with incredible views of Baden Baden and the surrounding areas. It was just so fun walking in the forest and I couldn’t help but wonder why I don’t do this more often.
Every now and then I would just stop and sit on a log or something and listen to the birds, and other sorts of noises I’m not familiar with, and the trees – they creaked and groaned. And every now and then, something would fall from the tops of the trees. The forest just seemed so alive; I felt so alive. Every day ought to start this way.
I got back just after 11:00am and showered and took a nap for a couple of hours. Then I went to a local internet spot and uploaded my latest posts for a couple of hours and headed to downtown Baden Baden. It’s a pretty town, fairly well to do. This is a resort town, a spa town. People come here from all over to rest and recuperate and pamper themselves. I parked and walked around a bit, they have nice parks.
Uh oh, what’s this I see? A Casino? Oh c’mon, are you kidding me? Turns out this casino, the Spielbank Casino Baden Baden, has quite a history; it’s a couple of hundred years old and rivals the Monte Carlo. Well, I had to check it out. Good thing I dressed up a little today, this casino has a dress code, geez who would have seen that coming? It’s pretty glitzy, I’d say it was even more impressive than the Monte Carlo. And it was Lady Day. Not Lady’s Day or Ladies Day; It was Lady Day. It just stuck me as funny when I saw it printed on the posters and the ticket. Lady Day. It made me think of the way Jerry Lewis used to say LAY-DEE! My entry ticket was personalized and so I was Frau Margaret Williams for the day. Aside from the ornate ceilings and walls and the antiques, the rest of the place like the bar and seating areas and the gaming tables area were all out of the 50’s and early 60’s. I could definitely see Sean Connery as James Bond here practicing his trade.
Well because it was Lady Day, I got free admission, a spin of some wheel which netted me absolutely nothing, and a glass of champagne. Not bad. I had my drink at the bar and the poor bartender was all alone trying to serve all these Ladies as well as other customers. She was a little flustered but doing a great job. I noticed one of the waiters hanging around the bar and when the bartender went to the kitchen to pick up an order, he wandered behind the bar and grabbed a glass and put it under a tap to poor himself a drink. As a former bartender, that’s a huge no no. No one goes behind the bar except the bartender, who is responsible for the safety of any food items and drinks and of course the money. Well, the tap was dry and oh what a disappointed look he had. Just then, the bartender came back and saw him, he knew he was busted and she made sure he knew by having a few words with him.
She had to go to the kitchen again and that same waiter was back and started putting his collected dirty glasses in a dishwasher glass holdy thingy that I swear the bartender was taking clean glasses from. This ought to be interesting. She came back and the waiter was still standing there and sure enough, the bartender took a glass from the holdy thingy, thinking it was clean and started pouring a drink. I looked at the waiter and that little bugger wasn’t saying anything. I called her over and told her what he did and she turned around and gave him what for. What a loser.
I sat down at a 21 table just as they were setting it up and I commenced to paying off some more of my trip. I played with a guy named Yao who seemed to have quite a bit to play with and wasn’t doing very well for a while. I also played with a couple named Laous and Gabrielle, originally from Hungary (but she grew up in Transylvania), but they’ve resided in Dayton Ohio for decades now. They’re over here for her 40th high school reunion. They were all fun to play with and Yao finally got even and up some.
I played about three hours including a dinner break, it wasn’t too exciting, but I made steady progress and decided to call it a night. I was up about 400 euros; hey, every 400 euros helps. I walked around a bit more since the place had filled up in the evening and there were plenty of very stunning and glamorous people milling about and plenty of wannabes with the almost glitzy dresses but not quite, and men wearing jeans and a coat and tie that was obviously borrowed from the casino. Where in that mix was I you may wonder? Well I was the Belle of the Ball of course.