Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The next day, I did some sight seeing - this time, I spent half the day with the family. Hooray!
Melanie had heard of this railroad exhibit, and none of us knew what to expect when we got there. It turns out, it was a HUGE (1.5 floors!) model of European and American railroads! I wished Nephi were there to see it - it was incredible!
The lights dimmed and brightened to indicate day and night. Here, we are at the Hamburg train station at night. This is a model. mind you. AMAZING!
This is more of Hamburg at dusk - and Fritz and Marietta.
With daylight came...ARIZONA!!! I can't tell you how surprized and how happy I was to see home - even at a 1/144-ish scale! Here is the German view of the 'Wild Wild West'.
And apparently we like to crash planes into the redrock...WHAT?
We split after the museum. I went on another city bus tour. I hopped off for an hour or so at the Rathaus (something like the capitol building, pronounced rat house...heh). Please bear with me through the pics! I just can't get over the architectural detail! Incredible!
On my walk around the same area.
And the train station - this time the genuine article.
We stayed the weekend with Felix's father. The house is about 30 min outside of Hamburg in a lovely, tiny rural town.
FLOWERS! Mama, look at the dahlias! Großpapi (I never got his name, and that's how we referred to him with the kids...) had a lovely garden.
We are less than 30 min from Frankfurt, which is the banking/business hub of
Here a view of the witchtower from the grounds. I don't know what they mean exactly by 'witchtower', that is just what the sign says. Sweet scene in any case.
The castle tower. To the right is a huge pond - 'Wasser!' Fritz shouts...every single time he sees it...
Mama, Daddy, I am gathering gardening ideas as I go. I love the way they've labled these little fruit trees. They've hung little handwritten signs from the trunks. Subtle and sophisticated. Love it.
Here is the church next to the castle, and more of the grounds. (Love the turquoise pots!)
I love beautiful things and beautiful weather. I have both in abundance here and am grateful for them. Amen. :-)
If you can make them out, here is a picture of the flying buttresses on the dom - I have some vague memories of Mama talking about her fascination with flying buttresses and thought of her - this is for you, Mama!
And this is a statue in the middle of the old haymarket. I know it is odd, but I love haymarkets!!! I have no idea what this monument is about specifically...I just wanted to remember the place.
And finally, Monty Python! What the...? I love it! I couldn't help thinking of Colin and the FOOs when I saw the billboards. Can we tell I miss my family? - It's true. Trips are just not the same without you! Love!
Monday, August 10, 2009
The family dropped me off in the city on their way to visit a friend from college. Melanie was wonderful and found a cheap bus tour. I rode around for an hour and a half hearing the history. Here is a pic of the cathedral and the city from my bus window. Note the greyness of the day. A little glum, but still pretty.
Apparently eau de cologne comes from Cologne - who knew!?! There is a particular brand of it, called 4711 -after the address of the parfumerie where it is made, and here it is!
Finally out of the bus, and toe the Dom (German name for catherdral). It is the biggest in
Germany -holy hugeness!
For some reason, I was rather tickled by the statues of the apostles/kings - whatever they are. A little quirky
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday morning, I woke up an hour early - 3:30 am - with the distinct impression that I should double check my flight info. Marje just happened to have left her computer downstairs and, lo and behold! I had mistaken my arrival time for my departure time! From that point I had 2.5 hours to pick up Liza from the hospital in Chandler, get to the airport, through security, and board my plane. With some significant help from Abs and Lizy, I made it just fine - though there were a couple of nerve wracking moments like getting pulled over for not having my lights on (how did the automatic lights get turned off!?!) and tearing through my luggage at the ticket counter to get rid of 9 pounds and avoid a $150 fee...but it all worked out; no ticket, no fee.
The flights were fine - better than expected. My last and longest leg was on a Lufthansa air bus. I am now an official Lufthansa fan. The service was excellent, the entertainment options varied and fee-free, and they provided little feather pillows with quality linens - brilliant!
Well, Kara will appreciate that I once again had a little difficulty getting out of the airport. I think I'll just make it a tradition now. However, I did manage - and in decent time too.
Then off to my family's house. We drove up the driveway that wraps around the house to a precious little scene: the 3 children (ages 2, 4, and 6) were sitting at their little picnic table on the porch with their breakfast laid out. Hooray for summer picnicking! Mommy and Vatti spent the day doing yard work, the little ones lounging and playing, and I in a constant state of mild befuddlement. Knowing so little of the language, and not being sure whether I ought to be speaking English or German contributed to the confusion. Trying to work myself into family dynamic compounded it. Then there was the fact that I had had a total of maybe 3 hours of sleep since 3:30 am AZ time...and we all know how funky I get on no sleep. It's amazing!
A nap, a shower, and some peace and quiet have restored at least a portion of my sanity. I am now sitting in my little bedroom at the top of the house, enjoying the view of the pretty garden below, and my lovely welcome flowers on my table within. Though I have no idea what to expect for the upcoming months, I feel at peace. I think this will be good.
My cute little room
View of the garden from my window