★ Wiesbaden here I come!

In about 48 hours from now I’ll be jumping aboard a Qantas Boeing 747 in Sydney and getting nice and comfortable up the front of the plane, oh yeh Business Class here I come, where I’ll be spending the best part of 24 hours heading to Wiesbaden in Germany.

Anyway, seeing as I leave everything to the last minute I’ve decided to actually do a bit of research about Wiesbaden so I could work out what to do in my free time there. Time to cue Flickr search, and of course Wikipedia.

Wiesbaden, Germany

Wiesbaden is a city in southwestern Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 300,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 35,000 United States citizens (mostly associated with the American military).

Wiesbaden, together with the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Mainz, is part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, a metropolitan area with a combined population of about 5.8 million people.

Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Its name literally means “meadow baths”. At one time, Wiesbaden boasted 27 hot springs. Fifteen of the springs are still flowing today.

Looking through all the info on Wikipedia there’s lots of things to do and see, and looking through all the photos on Flickr one of the biggest attractions seems to be the architecture. There’s some amazing looking old buildings there, so much older than a lot of what we have here in Newcastle, and being a bit of an architecture geek I’m sure I’ll have plenty of photos to blog over the next week or so.

Packing wise I’m a little bit limited because of my flight to Sydney, apparently you can only have 17kg of checked baggage on the flight as well as 4kg of carry on baggage. So now I have to work out how to pack for 8 days, plus my return flight, and keep my bag under 17kg. Well actually it shouldn’t be too hard on the way out of the country, but coming back might be a little tougher specially with a bit of duty free shopping in Singapore. Hrmm this could be challenging!

And in other traveling concerns, there’s this flu thing going around at the moment, you might have heard of it….Swine Flu, aka H1N1. If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably seen that I’ve been suffering from a bit of a cold, and let’s face it planes are not the best places to be if you’re sick as the aircon just circulates EVERYONES germs and even if you don’t have a cold when you get on, chances are you will have one when you get off.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping my eye on the news, and on Smart Traveller, but it’s a bit difficult to get a proper gage on how bad this Swine Flu is as there’s so much mis-information being circulated by the various news channels. I’ve heard reports of 135 dead in Mexico and the US, which has since been refuted by the WHO who have said it’s only been 7. Then the Australian media chimes in and says there’s been 20 cases identified in Australia, and as close to Newcastle as the Central Coast….but in another report that number had been changed to 15, and even then they said that they may have come in contact with the virus.

Update: The WHO just published their latest update on the Swine Flu ‘pandemic’ which you can read here. In short the WHO reports;

28 April 2009–The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 19:15 GMT, 28 April 2009, seven countries have officially reported cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 64 laboratory confirmed human cases, with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Canada (6), New Zealand (3), the United Kingdom (2), Israel (2) and Spain (2).

So nothing for Australia….you’ve got to wonder who has it wrong, the media or the WHO?

Oh well, I’ll be all drugged up with my Cold n Flu tablets and Vitamin C so hopefully any bugs I get on the plane wont stand much of a chance.

Anyway, this short blog is in danger of turning into an epic so I might sign off now while I can.

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