When we first moved to Germany, my brother introduced us to many people and we made a lot of friends. It was a great help to have my brother here; he was able to help us settle in since he had already lived in Germany for several years. We had several barbecues over last summer, had some great times.
My brother and sister-in-law moved farther away shortly after that, so we didn’t see them as much. Then the first friend one left, and the next. In the fall, another one left. I found out about my disappearing job. Then the library director announced her new job. She left in March. My brother got orders a few months ago, and just last week moved back to the States. Another colleague at work just had her last day. And now two more friends are leaving for the States tomorrow.
Herr has been able to make some new friends going back to school and participating in the Sound of Music musical. For me, however, I just keep watching friends leave. Glad social networking sites exist, but I miss all my friends back in the States. In Madison, we had so much fun… I miss the terrace.*sigh*
Well, that’s a brief albeit not so happy update. Need to hold on tight to the friends I still have here. 🙂 Oh, and someday I will get to posting about Prague and Edinburgh. Someday…
At the end of March (yes, I know, I have been busy), my parents and their good friend were able to visit us for a week. Since it was my father and their friend’s first time to Europe, we kept them busy. The first day here we had a large barbecue and played some Rock Band. After that, things went much faster. 😉
Day 2: Paris
We caught the 6 a.m. train over to Paris and were lucky to get an entire compartment to ourselves there and back! In Paris, our first destination was the Eiffel Tower. The weather was turning unfriendly as we made it up, so we didn’t go to the very top. We had a nice French lunch right outside the L’Hotel des Invalides, where we saw some very interesting weapons and Napoleon’s tomb. Hopping a metro, we walked around Notre Dame and ate some expensive (but average) ice cream. With not much time left, we crossed the Seine and briefly walked around the pyramid at the Louvre, then caught the train back to Germany. We didn’t return until midnight, but we were able to get up early enough the next day for our trip to Luxembourg.
Eiffel Tower with Peace Monument in foreground
Chapel at the L’Hotel des Invalides
Day 3: Luxembourg
Friday was our World War II history day. We split into two cars and made for the north eastern border of Luxembourg, where Vianden Castle sits. Vianden was a famous POW location, but they did not allow us to see any of the dungeons. After a tasty bite in the town, we drove to Luxembourg City, drove past the huge ruins in the middle of the city, then visited the American Cemetery in Hamm just south of the main city. General Patton is buried there, as well as a very nice war memorial. We thought about stopping by Trier on the way back, but in the end we all just needed sleep.
American Cemetery, Luxembourg
Day 4: Hohenzollern
We had a hard time getting started on Saturday, so we only got down to see Hohenzollern Castle. It was a very cold and wet day, and the castle was like a freezer! It was nice regardless, and we were able to take the puppies with us.
Day 5: Baden Baden
Herr, my mom, and I went to taking a relaxing spa day in Baden Baden. My brother, dad, and friend went over to the technikmuseum to see tons of cars and other transportation fun stuff. Baden Baden is awesome! Highly recommended if you want some pampering done. We got a specialized treatment, but my mom highly recommends the public baths at Caracalla. They looked pretty nice from the cafe we had lunch at. 😀 Definitely a great break after rushing around.
Day 6: Wurzburg
My brother used to be stationed near Wurzburg, so he took us over to show us some of his old haunts. Wurzburg’s palace is worth seeing, even though most of it was rebuilt after being nearly demolished in the war. It was neat to see the meticulous work done to repair it to its original grandeur. We walked around the shopping area and crossed one of its beautiful bridges, ate a lot of ice cream and food… I hurt so much. 😛
Day 7: Heidelberg
On the last day here, we finally took them downtown, saw the river and walked the shopping area a bit. Roo and I hung back while the rest went up to the castle. Had to take them to Vetter, and afterwards to look at the castle from the Old Bridge. We jumped through a few bars on the way back, so they could experience drinking from a boot and a horn. 😛
We packed a lot into a week, but at the same time it was a bit more relaxed than we usually take it. lol We fit a lot into our trip to Scotland a few weeks after, but we didn’t walk nearly as much as we ate. 😛 I was very happy my parents were able to visit us.
Really busy month, but I promise fantastic photos and stories coming. 😀 Just to summarize our recent adventures, since mid-March we have visited Paris, Luxembourg, Baden Baden, Wurzburg, Prague, and Edinburgh (throw in a week of work travel pour moi starting on Easter no less). I haven’t seen half the pictures yet myself! Just want to keep everyone in anticipation… just kidding.
Truth be told, I have been reading up a storm and avoiding computers outside of work as much as possible. Speaking of, I need to get back to my new reads now… Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland, Da Vinci Code (the illustrated edition) by Dan Brown, and the everlasting Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (very far behind on that, yikes!). Ah, perfect weather for curling up with a book while soaking in the sun. Just need one of those elusive beaches… 😉