Sunday, January 27, 2013

Last week in Germany

Well, our last week in Germany wasn't too eventful.  Most of it was spent on base, and in our hotel room.  Took the dog to the vet to get a new health certificate so we can travel with him.  A lot of trips to the BX (there is an indoor playground there).  And misc trips to the commissary and post office.  However, Saturday we did get out and froze our tushies off to see a little more of Germany.  I searched for an easy to get to medieval town, called Esslingen.  It is right off of the S-Bahn.  Only needed one train to get there.  No big deal that it takes 20 minutes to walk to the train stop.  In 20 degree weather, with no winter clothes.  Keep walking, you'll get warmer.  However.. Emma isn't walking.  So bundle her up.  Except, she doesn't want to be in a papoose.  She'd rather walk then be pushed in the stroller.  Except, she wants to go that way.. not this way.  Oh, the joys of traveling with young children!

Before we left on this day trip, I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of research online before leaving.  However, most people who live and work on base have a car, and they don't take public transportation too much.  So, some of their information was a little.. incomplete.  Like, directions to actually get to the train station.  Luckily, people understand imcomplete one-word sentances even if they don't speak English and we don't speak German.  But, it is always polite to ask them before speaking to them in English.. to ask them in German if they speak English.  Sprechen Sie Englisch?  And when we get to Africa, Parlez-vou anglais?

When we arrived in Esslingen, I was told.. follow the church steeple, that is usually where the center of town is.  Well, we couldn't see the church steeple when we got off the train.. amongst the modern tall buildings blocking it.  But, eventually we wandered enough that we found the old town, and also some nice medieval structures.  Even though, the entire time we all wanted to be inside where it was warm.

Schelztor gate-tower
A building under renovation with Parish church of St. Dionysius behind it.  River Neckar and ducks.
Parish church of St. Dionysius 

 Inside Parish church of St. Dionysius
We found it very interesting that we ended up in a town that has a church called Dionysius.. when that is the last name of our nephew who lived with us for six months last year.  Maybe this is a sign that he needs to start going back to church!  :)

Even the Starbucks is in a medieval-style building

 His first German bratwurst in Germany.  He LOVED it.. and they were very good.  Not bad from a street vendor.
It was so cold, we didn't get to see as much of the city as I would have liked.  There is a castle here and everything.  And the vinyards up on the hill.  I would love to come back here in the spring.

So cold, she couldn't even take her arms out of her jacket to push her sisters stroller.
Vinyards on the very steep hills

Back on the train, only a few stops away is the Mercedes-Benz museum.  Which is where Lilly wanted to go.  However, I don't think she thought it would be so big.. they take you back in time to where it all began in 1886.  Eight floors.  The amount of collections they have here.. I can't even imagine what the insurance payments are on that place!  And its a very high-tech building.

 Mercedes-Benz museum, Stuttgart

No hands AND asleep.. she's pretty tallented!
1886 - The first gasoline car

1980 Mercedes-Benz "Pope Mobile" 

A very interesting display of historic cars

We spent so much time in the museum, it was dark outside when we left.  And the waiting and walking back to the hotel was extremely cold.  On our journey, we were pretty worried for little Emma.  She wasn't walking to stay warm.. and started to fall asleep in her stroller again.  So, I made Bryce carry her to keep her alert and warmer.  However, when we got back.. her hands and feet were very red and sore.  So.. needless to say, our journey for today is cancelled, as we can't risk being out in the cold again.. as we would have to walk back to the S-Bahn for today's journey.  Again, we hope to come back when it's warmer and can be a little more adventerous.

This is my last post from this continent.  Tomorrow, we begin our journey to our third continent (Bryce will be returning to his fourth continent).  Emma isn't even two and she is already traveling to a third continent!

Please pray for little to no drama, or issues.  This time, the dog will be checked as baggage instead of flying in-cabin with us (he tore through his soft-sided kennel last week).  This leg of the trip will be even longer than the legs it took to get to Germany.  We hope for good weather, as there has been inclement weather in Paris where one of our connections is at.  And prayers for safety in the other countries we have connections in.  Our arrival will be very late in Djibouti.  But finally.. what we've been waiting for.  Soon, we will see our new home.

I do not know when we will have access to internet again, so..

Until next time!  We are ready for warmth!

Stuttgart - 11:30am ~ 35 degrees

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