Beard Family Trips & Vacations

Germany and Austria

May 22 - June 7, 2010


This trip was for Matt and Wanda to visit parts of Germany and Austria in 2010.

By using points from airline travel and purchases through various reward credit cards, we were able to get the flights and hotel rooms mostly on points.  This was a big savings in the cost of the trip.


We were able to pay for the following items before going on the trip:

We could have bought more items, but it did not seem reasonable with the shipping costs.  Total expenses paid before the trip, including the airline fees and Holiday Inn partial payments, is $733.99 .


Summary itenirary of the trip plan.

The detailed plan for the trip is as follows:


Items that helped with planning the trip.


Note:  for items paid for in Euro cash, I am using an average conversion rate of 1.248.  This was based on acquiring 205 Euros before going over and getting an additional 1,200 Euros while in Germany and Austria.  The cost of the initial acquisition and the conversion performed for the ATM withdrawals while in Europe was for a total of $1,753.70, which converts to 1.248.


May 22 (Saturday) - Houston, TX and Chicago, IL

Left home around 10:30 AM and ended up passing the exit for the airport without realizing it.  Should have guessed at how the rest of the day would go from there.

We arrived at the The Parking Spot 2 location to park the car and took the shuttle to the airport terminal and there was no line for check-in or at the security check point.  We checked our two large suitcases  and carried on our backpacks.  Done with check-in in about 10 minutes and through security about 5 minutes later. 

Since we had a while to wait, we grabbed an early lunch at Chili's Too, which is located across from the security check point.

United Airlines changed the gate at the last moment,  but no other problems on the flight to Chicago.  United flight 7284 left Houston Intercontinental (IAH) at 1:42 PM and arrived at Chicago O'Hara (ORD) at 4:15 PM. 

We went over to the gate for our connecting flight and had a couple of hours wait before it was time for it to leave.  Grabbed a couple of snacks while we waited.

United flight 0940 left about 20 minutes late from the gate.  It was scheduled for 6:32 PM, but the airline wanted to wait for a connecting flight that was running late.  The plane from Chicago was full going to Frankfurt.  When we boarded, a gentleman was already seated in the window seat, while we had the aisle and middle seats.  He was asleep when we arrived and it turned out he was drunk.  We had several instances of him wanting to get up, which meant staggering around and having trouble finding the right seat again, and then he was concerned he had lost his laptop.  I showed him what I thought was his bag and he sat down happy after that and went back to sleep.  Later on, he tried to get three beers from a stewardess later on, but she only gave him one.  Close to the end, he disappeared for a while and came back with two more beers.  Luckily, he slept most of the time, but Wanda, who was sitting in the middle seat, stated afterwards that his elbow kept hitting her side.


Expenses for Saturday:


May 23 (Sunday) - Frankfurt, Germany

There was also a medial emergency on the plane.  A gentlemen in our row, but on the other side of the plane, ended up getting faint and passing out.  Doctors were called and there happened to be two on the flight.  They stabilized his blood pressure after finding it low and two paramedics pulled him off the flight first after we landed.  They parked the plane away from the terminal to offload us and had to shuttle us in to the terminal.

Wanda says she doesn’t like riding on a 747 due to the seating and screen placement.

United flight 0940 actually arrived around the scheduled time of 9:55 AM at Frankfurt  (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof (FRA), but we had to wait for the paramedics to finish before they would allow anyone else to leave the plane.  Customs took less than five minutes, since we slipped into the front of a  new line that opened up.  Our luggage was coming up on the luggage turnstile as we arrived in the baggage area, so we had both pieces quickly.

We walked around the airport terminal and found an ATM to get some Euros.  Since we had discovered on our 2008 trip to London and Paris that it was cheaper to just withdraw money out of an ATM, we had set up an account just for this purpose with Capital One Bank.  We also had pre-informed them that we would be using their credit cards over in Europe.  We got the standard warning about still possibly having the cards put on hold in certain cases, but this never happened while we were traveling.  We did take a couple of back-up ATM and credit cards just in case.  We are pleased with the Capital One cards for use during travel in Europe.

Pictures from the Frankfurt Airport

After several attempts at various stores, we were told of a place that sold the Frankfurt Card which allows free travel in the central part of Frankfurt, from the airport, and discounts on various items.  This turned out to be at the hotel reservation desk located on the left side after leaving the luggage area.  The cards cost € 12.90 each and were for 2 days of use.

Pictures from the train to Frankfurt Hbf

We decided to go ahead and take the train to the main station Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) and grab lunch there.  We only waited 3-4 minutes for the light-rail train at the airport station and then the trip took less than fifteen minutes to arrive at the main train station.  We walked around the train station for a little while seeing what was there and then decided to eat at a McDonald’s.  I know, not what we would expect to do, but it was quick and easy, and we were tired.

We then walked to the hotel and ended up passing underneath the signs a couple of times before a gentleman asked us what we were looking for and pointed to where we had been.  All I can say was I had been up for about 26 hours by then.

The room (#308) was nice at the Comfort Hotel Frankfurt City Centre (GE148) and, contrary to postings on various sites, the area doesn’t look that bad to me.  We had read some negative reviews on the area, not the hotel, but the immediate area at the hotel is fine. 

Pictures of Comfort Hotel Frankfurt City Centre

After taking a nap, we went to O’Reilly’s Irish Pub for supper.  I had a Cottage Pie (beef, carrots, peas, onions, potatoes) and Wanda had Bangors and Mash (sausage and potatoes).  I also had a half liter of Black Velvet (Guinness and Cider) while Wanda had .31 liters of Guinness.

Pictures from Pat O'Reilly's Irish Pub

We returned to the hotel after finishing up our meal. 


Expenses for Sunday:


May 24 (Monday) - Frankfurt and Dresden, Germany


Pictures from the CitySightSeeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour of Frankfurt

Pictures from the train going from Frankfurt to Dresden

Pictures from the Holiday Inn Dresden


Holiday Inn Dresden room #206

Expenses for Monday:


May 25 (Tuesday) - Dresden, Germany


Pictures from the Dresden Hbf


Volkswagon Transparent Factory

Volkswagon Transparent Factory


Pictures from the Volkswagon Transparent Factory


Expenses for Tuesday:


May 26 (Wednesday) - Dresden, Germany


Pictures from the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Pictures from Theaterplatz

Pictures from the Sophienkeller Cafe


Glockenspielpavillon at the Zwinger

Glockenspielpavillon at the Zwinger Museum

Pictures from the Zwinger



Expenses for Wednesday:


May 27 (Thursday) - Dresden and Berlin, Germany


Pictures from the train going from Dresden to Berlin

Pictures of the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf)

Pictures of the Holiday Inn Berlin City - West

Pictures of the Brandenburg Gate



Reichstag (Germany's Parliament)

Pictures from the Reichstag

Pictures from the Berlin Pavillion Restaurant

Holiday Inn Berlin City - West room #447

Expenses for Thursday:


May 28 (Friday) - Berlin, Germany

Berlin Bear

One of many Berlin Bears seen in the city - this one displayed U-Bahn / S-Bahn routes (subway & light rail)

Pictures of other Berlin Bears

Pictures from the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour in Berlin

Pictures from the Hard Rock Cafe Berlin


Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie - famous crossing of the Berlin Wall before it fell

Pictures from Checkpoint Charlie


Expenses for Friday:


May 29 (Saturday) - Berlin, Germany

Pictures from the German History Museum

Pictures from Museum Island

Pictures from the Neus Museum

Pictures from Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers

Pictures from Mamma Mia Ristorante & Pizzeria


Expenses for Saturday:


May 30 (Sunday) - Berlin, Germany


Pictures from the Jewish Museum


Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace


Pictures from the Charlottenburg Palace

Pictures from the Scharf-Gerstenburg Collection

Pictures from the Berggruen Collection Museum


Expenses for Sunday:


May 31 (Monday) - Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria


Pictures from the train going from Berlin to Vienna

Pictures from the Courtyard Vienna Schoenbrunn


Courtyard by Marriott room #513

Expenses for Monday:


June 1 (Tuesday) - Vienna, Austria


Pictures from the Museum Quarter

Pictures from McDonalds at Karlsplatz station

Pictures from the Hofburg Palace Area


Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg Palace

Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg Palace


Pictures from the Spanish Riding School


Expenses for Tuesday:


June 2 (Wednesday) - Vienna and Salzburg, Austria

Note:  it rained most of the day.


Pictures from the Salzburg Hbf

Pictures from Salzburg


Mozart's Birthplace

Mozart's Birthplace


Pictures from Mosart's Birthplace

Pictures from Mosart's Residence

Sound of Music Bull     Sound of Music Gazebo

Sound of Music Tour - Bull (from Texas?) and Gazebo


Pictures from the Sound of Music Tour

Pictures from the Renaissance Salzburg Hotel Congress Center Home


Renaissance Salzburg Hotel Congress Center Home room #244


Expenses for Wednesday:


June 3 (Thursday) - Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria and Munich, Germany


Pictures on the train from Salzburg to Innsbruck

Pictures from Rosenheim Hbf

Pictures of the Innsbruck Hbf

Pictures of the Insieme Cafe Restaurant


Swarovski Crystal World

Swarovski Crystal World


Pictures from the Swarovski Crystal World



Innsbruck Hbf

Innsbruck Train Station - Mountain view with snow


Pictures on the train from Innsbruck to Munich

Pictures from the Quality Hotel Muenchen Messe


Quality Hotel Muenchen Messe room #32

Expenses for Thursday:


June 4 (Friday) - Munich, Germany


Pictures from the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Picture of Wok n' Walk at Munich Hbf



Visit to the Hofbrauhaus (Beer Hall)


Pictures of the Hofbrauhaus


Pictures of the Hard Rock Cafe Munich


Expenses for Friday:


June 5 (Saturday) - Munich, Germany

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial


Pictures from the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial


Picture of the bus route (electronic)


Expenses for Saturday:


June 6 (Sunday) - Munich Germany

Museum Brandhorst  

Museum Brandhorst - modern art museum


Museum Pinakothek Der Moderne   Museum Pinakothek Der Moderne

Museum Pinakothek Der Moderne - modern art museum

Expenses for Sunday:


June 7 (Monday) - Munich, Germany and Washington, D.C., and Houston, TX



Expenses for Monday:


Expenses for the trip:



Contact Information

Matthew Beard

10318 Sagegate Dr., Houston, TX 77089

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This site was last updated 06/23/10