Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Frankenmuth

Hello err'body. This weekend we went on a roadtrip to Michigan's Upper Penninsula. Our main destination was the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It is about a 10 hour drive from Toronto, not counting the border wait time (which can be up to an hour or more on peak days). We stayed in the Michigan area for 3 nights. Since it's such a long drive, we stayed a night in an Econo Lodge in Bay City and visited Frankenmuth. 

Note about our hotel:
We stayed at Econo Lodge in Bay City for 1 night. It was a little sketchy to be honest. There was some construction going on as well. The rooms smelled a little funny (like a damp smell) and the bathrooms were really small with flickery lights. I know it's a budget hotel but for $85 a night I expected something a little more well-maintained. However, there was free continental breakfast (with waffles!) which was pretty good. 

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For this trip, I rented a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L and this was the only lens I shot with throughout the whole trip. It is the sharpest lens that I've ever had the privilege to shoot with and definitely something that I will add to my wishlist. The quality was just awesome. 
Frankenmuth has a population of about 5000 people. It draws approximately 3 million tourists annually to its Bavarian-themed shops and restaurants. Some notable places include: the Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth Brewery, Zehnder's (the white building pictured above and below), and Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (Source: Wikipedia). 
It's probably the most iconic building in this city. There was a wedding going on inside when I was here.  
In case you missed it in the previous picture, there was a bush shaped like a chicken. 
This is the interior of Zehnder's of Frankenmuth Restaurant. They are famous for their chicken dinners. We didn't go for it though, it was pricey.  
Some cool plates inside Zehnder's. 
The city reminded me of Solvang in California but a lot nicer and livelier. There were musicians playing in street corners and events going on. Good vibes.  
Chicken seems to be a recurring theme here. This is the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. 
Thank you to the stranger who offered to take our picture.  
It's a very cute place. Check it out if you're ever in Michigan. There is also a massive outlet mall 15 minutes away from here called "Birch Run Premium Outlets" if you're a shopper. 
This is "Zehnder's Holz Brucke" which is German for "wooden bridge." Built in 1979, it is a 239 foot, 230 ton covered bridge made completely of wood. It spans over the Cass River (Source). 
It's pretty neat. I've never been inside a covered bridge before. There are walkways on the side that overlooks the river. 
They had some sort of peacock housing in the city. Look at this handsome guy.  
The city is very well-maintained. 
Here's the covered bridge again from the riverbank. I really like those giant willow trees draping over everything.  
The building there is the Bavarian Inn Lodge which has an indoor water park inside.  
This cracked me up, lol.  
Inside a sweets shop. This is not a real person. It is actually really creepy but the toffee samples on the tray were really good.  
Inside the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. Lots and lots of cheese everywhere.  
Chocolate cheese--never seen this before. I sampled some and it actually tasted okay.  
Ma famille minus one.  
There are a few eateries here that were packed to the brim. Also, the hydrangeas are gorgeous.  
I think this is the city hall (if I'm not mistaken). There were a bunch of kids dancing in the square. I guess they were doing some kind of demonstration? Looked like they were from some sort of dance school. 
That's it for Frankenmuth!
Here is a tree that was in front of our hotel. Our hotel was right off the I-75. It was quite convenient but don't expect anything fancy. It's only $85 so you get what you pay for.
Woo a flock of birds flew by.
Here's our route so far if you were wondering. Approximately 500 km traveled! 

Stay tuned for the next two parts, it gets a lot better! We go on a sunset cruise and one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. 

-e.m.

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