Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wardrobe shopping and Visit to Wiesbaden

My first IKEA experience
When I first heard that we had to put in our own wardrobes in our new home, I thought, "well, that sounds like fun".  Little did I know the expense involved and the information overload factor! Most German homes don't have built-in cupboards. We are lucky we have a built-in kitchen in our house; most people here even move out with their kitchens!  After shopping around at various furniture stores in and around Frankfurt, we decided IKEA would be the most cost effective, and had no waiting period for delivery; e.g. we have to wait 10 weeks for our sofa which will hopefully arrive in December.
There is a huge range of absolutely anything home-related at IKEA, and there's so much to choose from it can become quite overwhelming.  They have ready-built cupboards on display, but once you've decided on your preference, the choices are you want sliding doors or doors with hinges, with glass or mirrors, wood, in white or brown, with soft closing hinges or not, drawers or baskets, one or two hanging racks, these door handles or those ones, two doors or 6? Just to mention a few.  Then you sit at a computer and "configure" the wardrobe of your dreams, and as you add in various items the price goes up.  Once you've completed your design you print it, and the list of items is checked by the IKEA staff. This process thus far took us about 4 hours, including a quick coffee break in between - Thank goodness for the IKEA coffee shop/canteen. Then you go down to the warehouse and collect each and every shelf, hinge, handle etc. We had to get wardrobes for 3 rooms, plus shelves for our pantry and cellar, so we got someone to help us gather up all the items.  This took about 40 minutes, and we had to pay for the service but once we saw the massive trolley of stuff we agreed it was money well spent! 
These 2 trolleys are our wardrobes!
Waiting to pay
Then we queued to pay - Ouch! an expensive purchase.  We were thankful that we didn't have to shop for a kitchen too - yes, we saw the poor souls doing that here today.  Then they wheeled all our items into the storage bay - if you're not taking it away that day.  Then we booked transport to deliver the goods (at a cost) to our new house this week.  The next step will be to get all the wardrobes assembled. I will take pics of the final products to share.  It was definitely a shock to the system shopping for furniture this way, but now that I know how it's down, I've already planned the next trip of other things we need for the house :-)

Visit to Wiesbaden
It's our last Sunday in the hotel, and with no "house duties" to do and all the shops closed, we decided to get out of the hotel room and visit Wiesbaden - less than 30km from Bad Soden. We've been to Wiesbaden before, but it's a lovely town and there were still some places we hadn't explored.  As we arrived we happened to see a little tourist train...
Good timing - just caught the last train of the day at 12.00

Thermal baths - still to visit these

Beautiful view of Wiesbaden from the Russian Church

Russian Church
 We went on the Nerobergbahn - built in 1888.
Little train up the hill

Brrr... today is cold!

Hydro powered train

Oh my gosh, this year has flown by! The shops already have the Christmas decorations on sale.

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