Saturday, January 07, 2006
Back in the USA
Been back from Germany a couple of days now. It's good to be home, to sleep in our own bed. But the trip was great, if exhausting. We briefly toured sites in Ulm, Halle (en Salle,) Leipzig, Berlin and Munich. Ulm is a beautiful little town. Feels very Bavarian. There is apparently money in this town. Despite its relatively small size, it sports Rolex and Prada stores among other rather toney outlets.
We met my son's girl friend's family - her mother, brother, sister and her mother's boyfriend. They are good people. Her Mutter is a great cook and they have a wonderful home. We had a christmas gift exchange alongside a (real) tree bedecked with lighted candles. My son's girl friend and her sister entertained us with a violin and piano duet, and all of us sang carols in both Deutsche and English.
It snowed from the time we landed at the Munich airport until late the next day. I took the above photo from our bedroom window at their house at about 3:00AM. Pretty artsy, eh?
We stayed in Ulm a couple of days, and then, using her Mutter's car, a Ford Focus wagon, the five of us with all of our luggage drove north to Halle. This was my first adventure driving on the autobahn. They do move right along. It began snowing again during our drive making the trip a little dicey. We arrived in Halle around 5:00PM, after dark.
Halle is the birthplace of Handel. As I mentioned, my son is a singer. He has sung a lot of Handel over the last 2 or 3 years. He has the Messiah nailed.
I won't bore anyone reading this further with the minutiae of our travels. While we went to many interesting, and often historical places, the best part of the trip was seeing our son and his girl friend; being with them for several days. It was great fun.
We did eat some wonderful food. Probably the best was at a restaurant in Berlin called Bangin'. It's located across the street from a restaurant at which Bill Clinton and Gerhardt Schroeder supposedly ate together some years ago. We intended to go there, but it was rather pricey and, oddly, nearly empty. We looked across the street at Bangin'. It was busy and somewhat less expensive. No brainer. The food was great. A friend of my son's, a pianist, met us earlier and acted as a tour guide for us. He is an impressive young man.