Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

My First Trip to Wiesbaden & Eating at Enchilada

Misadventures in Getting There

When we moved to Kaiserslautern, most of the people I knew moved to Wiesbaden. I didn’t see any of them for several months. Then, a friend and former coworker who lived there asked me to come to a birthday dinner at Enchilada, a Mexican restaurant, so I did. Although I’d briefly been in Wiesbaden on the way to a Fasching Parade in Mainz, I had never driven to Wiesbaden before. Driving TO Wiesbaden was cake. Driving IN Wiesbaden was a nightmare.

Google Map Route Kaiserslautern to Wiesbaden

From Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden is a little over an hour straight up the A63. There were several areas of construction where the speed limit went from 80kmph to 60kmph to 100kmph in the span of 100 meters or so, which was annoying. At least I was able to go 130-145kmph most of the way there.

Once I got into the city, the GPS misguided me, telling me to turn at a street that didn’t match the name it gave me and later to turn where there wasn’t even a street. The fact that the GPS voice’s pronunciation of German streets is awful didn’t help either.

I finally figured out that the GPS was trying to get me to turn down a street called Am Römerstrasse, which was next to a barrier. If I hadn’t have seen the sign indicating I could drive on it, I would have thought it was a sidewalk. In fact a wide brick sidewalk is what it felt like as I drove down it. Fortunately I saw a couple of other cars parked on the way down facing the same direction I had driven, so I knew it was okay to drive on it and that I was going the correct way, which was fortunate considering the street was barely wide enough for my car.

Unfortunately, that street ended at a pedestrian street, which was nearly a clone of Hauptstrasse in Heidelberg, including having some of the same shops and restaurants. Although I had seen people drive down the Hauptstrasse in Heidelberg, they always seemed to get looked at strangely, so I stopped without turning onto it. I called my friend and told her where I was. She put a friend of hers on the phone to help. That person couldn’t find the street I had turned onto with the GPS. I didn’t see a sign for the pedestrian street but think it was Langgasse. To the left, I could see a street with traffic, and there seemed to be a bit of a lull in the pedestrian traffic, so I decided to get back in my car and head that direction.

I turned, and of course got some strange looks as I drove down the street. One guy yanked his kid out of the way. I was going about 2km an hour. I wasn’t going to run into the kid. I breathed a sigh of relief as I turned onto the next street. I listened to the GPS’s directions, but I had already decided I was going to stop the first time I saw a parking garage and hoped I was as close as I thought I was. I ended up taking a turn that dead-ended between a couple garages. I figured I’d turn into the one I was in front of, Parkhaus Am Kureck since it was at a hotel (Nassauer Hof). Then someone pulled in behind me, and I had to go there. The sign at the entrance said it was 2 euro to park there. I parked on the first level and decided I’d figure out where and how I needed to pay later.

I turned on my phone’s GPS and put in walking directions for the restaurant. I was told to turn left on a street that I was apparently already on so as I followed, or thought I followed, along, it took me in a circle where I ended up back in front of the parking garage. After the GPS recalculated, I could see Enchilada was a short walk from where I had parked. It was along the same pedestrian street I had stopped at, about a block up from where I had stopped. I f I’d turned right instead of left I would have seen it. Apparently the GPS had been taking me to the front of the restaurant, which would have been great, except one can’t park there. Apparently there is a garage at the upper level of the restaurant, although I’m not sure how to get there.

Enchilada Wiesbaden

Eating at Enchilada

At this point I was an hour late for dinner, but others said they’d been waiting on the waitress to refill their drinks for half an hour, so I figured I had time to eat. I ordered chicken enchiladas and a coke. Since the guy who brought the coke didn’t bring a straw, I grabbed from the bar. The enchiladas were kind of hard and didn’t have sauce on them, though there was cheese on top. There was a dish of what appeared to be half sour cream and half salsa I could have put on it though. The inside of the enchiladas were…interesting. The chicken was decent, and I wasn’t surprised at the corn or kidney beans. However, two ingredients were unexpected: peas and green beans.  I’ve had many enchiladas in my life and I’ve never had one with those ingredients. A friend commented that she had ordered fajitas that had come with cole slaw. My dish came with spicy rice, refried beans, and a small salad.

Enchiladas at Enchilada Wiesbaden

Fortunately I didn’t want a drink refill as the waitress went missing again. Even when we caught someone’s attention to ask for the check, they took their time bringing it. When it came time to pay, the waitress added up what I had and said “and tip?” I asked for the total first. It was 13 euro and some change, so I made it an even 15. It still felt weird to me to tip less than 15-20%, but I knew in Germany it is more common to just round up a euro or two. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to pay more than the 5 euro I had gotten back in change for parking.

Finding My Way Home

On the way out of the restaurant, a guy stopped me on the street asking me something I didn’t understand. “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” I asked. He said no, and his girlfriend wandered over to him. He said something to her, which she shook her head to. I told him, “Ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsch” (I speak only a little German). Apparently he figured it was worth a shot to ask directions to a Schwimmbad (swimming pool). I said, “Ich weiss nicht wo das ist” which I hoped was close enough in words and pronunciation that he got that I didn’t know where it was. He said thank you and walked away.

I continued on my way, hoping that the walk back would be easier than the walk there, and it was. This time the GPS did not lead me astray. Parkhaus Am Kureck is only a couple streets over from Enchilada and takes about 5 minutes to get to by foot, so if you do go to the restaurant or pedestrian street, it might not be a bad place to park. The parking garage did smell funny, but I had caught whiffs of a similar smell coming out of the manholes when I walked by them. When I had parked I didn’t know where the Parksheinautomat was but had figured I could ask at the front desk. (See there was logic to picking a hotel parking garage).

Route between Enchilada restaurant and parking garage Wiesbaden

Parkhaus am Kureck wouldn’t pull up on Google Maps but I think Spiegelgasse is about where it was.

I only had to go up one flight of stairs. When I poked my head out on that level (P2), there it was. It was nice to see the machine accepted credit cards (including the American Visa), so I wouldn’t have been stuck if I’d only had the 5 euro on me. The price turned out to be 6 euro for the time I was there, so I put a 20 in the machine. I immediately wondered if I should have used my card as I heard clink clink clink. At least I had all the 2 euro coins I’d need for awhile.

The way back to Kaiserslautern was almost as eventful as driving in Wiesbaden. First the GPS told me to bear left too late. Then the way it took me to get back to where I should be went through several streets in what I’m pretty sure was Mainz. Fortunately I had plenty of gas, so I wasn’t as freaked out as I might have been if I’d been lost when running low.

When I finally got back on track, everything was fine until an exit on the way to Kaiserslautern. The GPS told me to take a sharp left at a road at a road that was going into the woods. I had followed such a road, perhaps the same one, once before and ended up at a dead end, so didn’t take it. I followed the road to what became a dead end parallel to the Autobahn. I saw a Polizei station sign, so I figured at worst I would stop and ask them directions if I needed to. Then I found one of those exits that’s supposed to be just for the Polizei. I didn’t see another way to get out, so I went through it, which put me back on the Autobahn. The rest of the way back was uneventful.

Even with getting lost twice and the speeds I was going much of the time, I’d only used about half a tank of gas. I had always had the impression Wiesbaden was much further out for some reason. I ended up going back to Wiesbaden in September. That time I didn’t get lost and I got to see much more of the city including the Red Baron’s grave, the view from Neroburg, and the world’s largest cuckoo clock. Be sure to subscribe to Embracing Adventure so you don’t miss that or future adventures.

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2 Thoughts on “My First Trip to Wiesbaden & Eating at Enchilada

  1. There is nothing like getting lost but finding a great place to eat. I would get confused with having to pay with Euro since I have never been anywhere in Europe. I do have a friend that lives in London that wants me to move in with him. I don’t know about that.
    Christi Harris recently posted…What was the hardest part of being a kid?My Profile

    • I don’t mind getting lost if I find something cool because of it. In this case I got lost while trying to find that place, so it was kind of frustrating. It all worked out okay though.

      Paying in euro is really not bad. The only real downside is that the euro is usually stronger than the dollar, which means that we basically lose money for every euro we have to pull out instead of a dollar. They also use coins for anything smaller than 5 euro, and most places don’t accept credit cards, so you have to carry a coin holder around. Otherwise, it’s basically the same as using dollars. The upside is that prices here include the tax already so what you see on the price tag is what you’re going to pay.

      London could be cool. I hear it is very expensive though. You’d be using the British pound instead of the euro there. If you’re not sure about moving, I would maybe take an extended visit at least once or twice to see if you really like it before you relocate. Best wishes whatever you decide.

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