Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How to tell the tale?

There are so many different experiences, thoughts, sights and sounds to describe that there's really no way to do it...but to do it. So, the Reader's Digest summary it shall be.

Friday - Saturday - Flew from Milwaukee to Chicago to Frankfurt. That's a lot of flying if you've got a back that hurts. It's even longer if you have no patience for sitting in a cramped seat next to a fellow traveller who absolutely refuses to surrender any of the common armrest between you. So, I fidgeted a lot and got up and down quite a bit too...it was semi-sweet revenge.

The airport in Frankfurt very nice. It's easy to find your way around, pretty clean and the people working there are very nice and helpful. Caught a train right there at the airport and continued the long trek to northern Germany.

The train, a high-speed ICE, took me through Hannover and Bremen and on to Oldenburg. The girls in the the Hannover Hauptbahnfhoff are very cute...or at least a lot of them are. Believe me - I checked. Called Steffi along the way and told her my estimated arrival time and agreed to call when I got to Oldenburg.

Steffi and Rudiger picked me up at the station and took me to their home. Steffi's Dad was also in town, so it was nice to see him again. And I finally got to meet Lilly. She wasted no time in climbing all over me. Nothing wakes you up from travel stupor like a vibrant two-year old climbing on you, wanting attention.

Went for a walk with Steffi in the countryside, stayed up for a bit, and finally crashed into the soft mattress for some sleep.

Sunday - We all went for a walk on the moors, outside of Oldenburg. Yes, they really were moors. There were still trenches in the landscape where they used to cut peet to burn and build with. It was a beautiful day and a nice walk.

The beautiful weather stayed around for the entire two weeks I was in Europe. They're in the grips of an unusually nice spring this year - which sounds great, but is terrible for the farmers.

After the moor walk, we drove to the coast and had cake and coffee at a place by the water. That was the home of the giant penis in the sand. What beach is complete without a giant penis protruding from the sand?

Came home, had dinner and watched a Sting DVD while drinking some excellent German beer.

Monday - The jet lag hit me on Monday and I slept in until 1 p.m. Everyone worried that I had died in my sleep, but an occasional snore proved that I was still alive.

Went swimming with Steffi and Lilly. I haven't gone swimming in a pool in a long time. It was nice and warm...and not too crowded. Did a few laps.

Wandered around Oldenburg while Steffi taught a Pilates class in the city that evening. It was nice to just wander a bit. Used some of my bad German to get a coffee and to find batteries and a new bathing suit.

We met up later and had another round of coffee and some desert at a restaurant by the old church in the center of the old town.

Tuesday - Lazy day. Got up and had a great German breakfast - some cheese, some bread, some spread, and a bit of meat. The girls went for a long walk, so I went for a short walk around the neighborhood.

Bernhard built a fire in the fireplace on the patio at night and we sat around it with some nice red wine. There's something primal about a fire and combined with the wine it helped the conversation flow.

Wednesday - Got up early and B. took me to the train station in Oldenburg. He walked me up to the platform and was - I think - a bit impressed that I could get a schedule with all the stops and changes printed up at the ticket office.

Went to Bremen, then Hamburg, then onto Denmark. Switched trains once in Denmark on my way to the end of the line in Thisted.

Per, a friend of Steffi's, met me there with his daughter Nina and his German Shepard Heidi. We had a nice meal at a restaurant by the water, dining and while watching the boats and a couple of frolicking girls.

<More to come>


tshsmom said...

WHAT, no pictures of the penis?!

Shawn said...

Ahhhh...that's part of the unspoken tragedy. Somehow, I erased the the first 150 photos of my trip and didn't even know I did it until a few days later. There were some great pictures there too...grrrrrr. Technology is great, but sometimes it sort of sucks.

tshsmom said...

Z did that with L's camera on one of our weekend getaways. Fortunately, it wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.