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topdog1961

European Family Vacation

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topdog1961
2 hours ago, WI Outdoor Nut said:

Just remember, there is a constant "police state" with cameras.  Some are mounted on bridges and structures, others are moveable.  In the cities, I have found more police presents than the highways.  Regarding the accidents, drivers in Germany are good, bottom line.  In the US, we are so distracted it is embarrassing. 

 

I did get to see a drug bust in a park in Munster today. Several immigrants were hauled off for selling. 

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topdog1961

We took the train to Munster today, about .5M population. 22 euros, about $25 total, for five  of us to get a regional all day train and bus pass. Pretty cheap and heavily state subsidized. 

 

This continent is awash in graffiti, not even good graffiti. But apparently the punks respect private property and the marvelous churches with millennium of history. 

 

We went to the market that pops up in the courtyard of the biggest cathedral on Sundays and Wednesdays. You could get anything: meats, produce, fish, flowers, all very fresh and reasonable. .you name it. When it closed, it was gone in an hour. Food is also very inexpensive in the supermarkets here. But we still haven’t figured out where you can buy a bottle of aTylenol for aches and  pains. 

 

The women shopped. I know it is a broken record, but while they did, I did more cathedral tours. I too am amazed at them. Each has distinct architecture and build. I’ll never cease to be amazed at a 30 ft wide, 40 ft tall hand made organ, or enormous buildings 1000 years old. Pictures and words are useless to represent them. 

 

The cities use even more bikes than the small towns. The contrast with America is amazing. 

 

Minster has a beautiful “Promenade”, a tree lined bike/walking tail that bisects it. 

 

The bing cherry tree on this property is huge, 40 for of deliciousness. 

 

 

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Dave in Maine

The drugstores are called "Apotheke".  You have one in the picture with all the parked bikes.

I dunno whether they sell Tylenol in Europe. But I'd bet you can get aspirin in the Apotheke.

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Dave in Maine

Some of their graffiti is very, very good.  E.g.,  along a main highway on the north side of Stuttgart

 

 

 

 

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casts_by_fly
2 hours ago, Dave in Maine said:

The drugstores are called "Apotheke".  You have one in the picture with all the parked bikes.

I dunno whether they sell Tylenol in Europe. But I'd bet you can get aspirin in the Apotheke.

 

Tylenol here is called paracetamol, not acetaminophen.  Same drug. Tylenol brand doesn’t exist. Panadol should be in Germany. 

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topdog1961

Thursday morning, local. We’ve been here a week and a day now, two more full days to go. It’s time. I believe this family is running out of local things to entertain us, though they are the best part of our visit. I think it’s time they should get back to their normal life. Then Saturday and Saturday night we spend with another exchange student’s family (we never hosted him) before flying out Sunday night. We hoped to go to Cologne today but my daughter’s knee is hurting after her April ACL surgery, that will be to much walking. The mother is taking us adults on another castle tour, this one appears much grander. The heat wave is broken, at least till the weekend. 

 

I wish we were in physical shape to partake in their routine physical activities, my wife has RA and my daughter has issues from a bad car accident. The mother, though not looking extremely athletic, takes a week to walk 90 miles to another town every summer, staying at hostels along the way. In the winter, she does the same in the Alps. Her brother, a great guy (and very fit 53) lives on the same grounds and showed me video of him climbing the Matterhorn last year. He’s getting ready for a several hundred kilometer bicycle tour of the alps, he played tennis all last evening, as he does every Wednesday. 

 

I believe the lowliest beginner job gets at least 4 weeks “holiday” (paid vacation), and most 6. They are shocked that some Americans get none and it took me decades to earn 4. 

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topdog1961
8 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:

 

Tylenol here is called paracetamol, not acetaminophen.  Same drug. Tylenol brand doesn’t exist. Panadol should be in Germany. 

 

Got it at the apotheke on my morning walk. Thanks. 

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Greg Hartman

Just saw this has become a travel log.  Great stuff!  I speak (well, I did at one time) flute German and we lived in southern Germany for some years long ago.  This brings back memories of those happy days, although much has changed - no graffiti back then, for example.  Thanks for posting!!

 

My wife on one of the twin towers of the Frauenkirchen - she was afraid of heights:

 

5-29-14 - Patty at the Frauenkirchen - Colorized

 

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topdog1961

Greg- your wife looks terrified. Prolly what I looked like just watching video of the uncle here descending the Matterhorn. 

 

We we had a great afternoon meal at a rural farm restaurant. I’d have to call it very upscale by US standards, with lots of antiques. They slaughter their own meats. We ate in the courtyard. We wanted some authentic German food. I don’t remember the name of my meal, but it started with asparagus soup, then salad, and a main course of beef and sweet onion sauce, with potatoes of course. My wife had schnitzel with potatoes of course. My kids had a great steaks. Such luxurious meals for 7, plus beer for most, came to 142 euro. The cost of food is greet here. 

 

Them we went to a moated Palace from the early 1700s, but unfortunately it was being prepped for an open air classical music concert tonight and we only got to tour the grounds. 

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topdog1961

Yesterday was our last full day with this family. It has been a great visit. The 18-19 year olds went to a local lake with nice beach for a swim, then went clubbing in the night. It’s morning now and I see they are home safe, a sigh of relief. But drinking and driving here is as unthinkable as showing up a minute late for work. 

 

One big lasting impression is the impact of religion to this rural area of Germany, though it is dwindling like in the US. The host mother, my wife and I visited a local monastery that had a nice but not highly impressive church from the 17th century. It is on a working farm and the monks farm and run a store and restaurant to support themselves. We sat in as the brief moon prayers were chanted by black robed monks, though most were in the fields. 

 

She then took took us to a nature preserve on the Netherlands border. Another impression is how attune these people are with nature. It is an important aviary on the European migration route. We had a nice walk in the woods. And at the end of every trail in Germany there is a church and a bier garten. The rural Catholic Church surprised even our host in its magnificence. For scale, the figure atop the organ is life size. We had some beer and fries in the garten. For our last evening we had some drinks and talked on the front porch with our host mother and her parents, with her interpreting. All three could precisely mimic and get the birds around us to reply. 

 

Now we are preparing to leave for one night with the young man near Frankfort that I took hunting, but never stayed with us. My kids did not become his friends in school and are upset we are leaving their friend a day early to see him. They also stayed out al night and are sleepless. But we have at least a 3 hour drive there. I hope they are not arses. I’m curious to see what’s in store for us for our one night with this other family. I invited myself, and the young man has given no indication of plans for us. He just gave us an address and said his family is looking forward to seeing us. It’s not really fair to them that they are getting us at the end of our trip and everyone is tired and just wishing we could snap our fingers and be home. 

 

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1971snipe

Cool monestary.  Best wishes for your visit with the young man and his family.  

 

I hope to get back over to Germany soon.  Maybe next year.  

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topdog1961

I’m glad we didn’t snap our fingers to get home and miss out on the visit with the second family. I believe we found out how the German 1% live. Johannes’s father is an Architect and his mother an attorney. They live in a 5br 4 bath home in Gau-Algesheim, a town on the Rhine founded in 766. It is 3 hours south of our previous location. The streets are even narrower and the architecture has a more Mediterranean look. His father is a Deacon in the church, dating from the 1400s, with an addition in the 1800s. He is also the architect of a recent 10 year renovation. He gave us a personal tour of all areas including a marathon climb to the top of the steeple. It wasn’t exactly OSHA compliant. It was fascinating to see how the church is constructed, viewed from places we normally would never be allowed. He said many overpainted paintings from the Middle Ages were discovered in the renovation, and each had to have its own renovation. The Madonna figure below was thrown into fire when Swedish Protestant soldiers attained the town in the 1500’s, but it would not burn, so is said. 

 

We then retired to their home. He and his son are big time hunters. They showed us their collection of guns and trophies. The meal was a grilled wild sow back. They also served canned black walnuts, shell, hull, and all. The father is a multi-talented man. He played the organ for us at the church, a waltz on a grand piano on their home, then sang old Germany Hunting songs with his accordion. Much beer and good wine was had. 

 

In the morning we attended services with them and visited the Rhine. The photo below is of a cruise ship and vineyards on the opposite side. 

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topdog1961

Home safe late last night after 33 hours of travel. Up, jet lagged, at 5:00am for work. Back to the real world. 

 

If I can figure out how to load short videos on line and post links to UJ, I’ll post some videos of  the architect/Deacon father at our last stay.he is a multi talented man.  I have them of him playing a beautiful pipe organ in their 600 year old church, a waltz on their grand piano, and the accordion after several beers while singing old German hunting songs, most of which referenced hunting pretty young women as well. I bet their hunting camps are a hoot. He is also the huntmaster for their European style (group) hunts. I have video of him playing elaborate traditional signals to control the group hunts on a German hunting horn. 

 

Thanks for traveling along and giving me a place to journal our trip. 

 

Edit: the architect/hunter/Deacon/musician also teaches a program on traditional German hunting to all young school children in their town. He said invariably he’s asked at each session “Why do you kill these animals?”  To which he replies “Because they are hard to eat before you kill them.”  Also a pic of their hunting rig, a Mitsubishi diesel SUV, and one of their Tyrolean hunting hounds added. 

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Greg Hartman
1 hour ago, topdog1961 said:

Home safe late last night after 33 hours of travel. Up, jet lagged, at 5:00am for work. Back to the real world. 

 

Thanks for traveling along 

 

Glad you had safe travels.  Thanks for taking us along - brought back many memories of living in der Vaterland!!

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1971snipe

You're back home already?  Geez.  

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