Fidella's Journal of Germany

Montag, 2 August 1999
  Dan & Johanna are taking me to Germany for fourteen months.   We left London, England this morning and arrived via plane in Hanover, Germany this afternoon.   From the airport we caught a bus to the train station (Hannover Hauptbahnhoff).   We had about an hour ride to Göttingen.   Bruce's friend Herr Rolf Kallmeyer came to meet us at the station and drove us around town to see a little of the city, buy some groceries and take us to the Goethe Institute, where he had arranged for us to stay a day early and had picked up the keys for us.   This will be our new home for two months.   J and D say it's just like being an undergrad again.   Our room is large and we have access to a kitchen with a few dishes and pans, a stove, sink and refrigerator, but no microwave and no telephone.
Dienstag, 3 August, 1999
  This was registration day.   D&J had to stand in lots of different lines.   They each had a short interview to confirm that they would be placed in appropriate classes.   J is in Grundstufe Eins (German for babies) and Dan is in Mittelstufe Drei (not the highest class but the next one down.)   We went for a walk in the center of the city to see if we could open a German bank account but they need D&J's passports and Goethe Institute registration papers before they can open an account.   They had already given their passports to the Institute so they can get their 'anmeldung' and since registration was today they haven't yet received the papers they need.   Göttingen is a pretty city about the size of Pasadena.   There are many 16th century buildings in the center of town.   They look similar to many buildings in England from about the same time but they are much larger and seem in better condition.   There are also a lot more trees here than in Brighton.
Mittwoch, 4 August, 1999
  Today we had our first lessons.   I snuck into J's class and listened to what she was doing.   She learned to ask her classmates names and where they were from.   After classes finish at 1:00 PM they are supposed to study and do homework until 5:00 PM.   Today however, we went to a meeting at 2:00 about email and a practical tour of the city.   The email meeting was not very promising.   We can get a Goethe Institute email account and use it for only 1 DM/20 min.   But there is no way to connect to the web or telnet to check our other accounts.   This is not good.   The rooms do not have phone jacks and we've also found that there are not any internet cafes in the city.   It's beginning to look like you won't be seeing my journal until Oktober but I'll try to keep writing as often as possible in the meantime and you'll just have to catch up later.   *smile*

  After the email meeting we went on a tour of the city.   This tour didn't cover the sites per se.   This was a walking tour of useful places like Banks, Pubs, and Grocery stores.   We bought some food.   Cheese!!!   Then D&J spent the rest of the evening doing their homework while I caught up on my journal.

Samstag, 7 August, 1999
  Heute (that's today in German) we found an Internet Cafe that we had heard about towards the end of the week.   We searched for it on Friday, but couldn't find it, and when we asked someone at a computer store if there was one around, he directed us to a location on the other side of town that is at present an Italian restaurant.   But we found it this morning after checking the address John (a fellow American in D's class) had given us.   The place is small and easy to miss.   We spent an hour there going through D and J's email, but I never got to check mine since things weren't set up correctly to access my old account.

  Later we met John for lunch at the Ratskeller which is a restaurant in the cellar of the old Rathaus.   I was very excited because I thought that meant they would have special menus for cute little animals, but then I found out that `Rat' means advice in German and that `Rathaus' is the word for City Hall.   The meals were good anyway and we had a good view of the Gänseliesel, a pretty fountain statue of a young girl carrying a goose and a couple of goslings.   Liesel is a nickname for Elisabeth and Gänse is the word for geese.   It is the most famous landmark in Göttingen.

Sonntag, 8 August, 1999
  We got to sleep in a little today.   In the afternoon we went for a walk in the center of town.   Pretty much everything is closed on Sundays (most shops close by about 2 PM on Saturdays and are required to be closed all day Sundays).   The only things open were Cafes, Pubs, some Restaurants, and, as it turns out, a store that sells just newspapers, magazines, and things like that.   We went ahead and bought 2 magazines and a comic book.   D got an 'Eishockey' magazine, J got a 'Puppenhaus und Miniaturen' magazine, and I got a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' comic book, 'Buffy Im Bann der Dämonen'   They're all in German so J and I can't read them.   We just look at the pictures.

  Afterwards we found an Italian restaurant.   Their pizza is weird.   Each person gets one big round piece and you have to eat it with a knife and fork (J always does that, so she doesn't think it's so weird).   And it comes with things like white asparagus on it.   Bizarre.

Mittwoch, 11 August, 1999
  This was an amazing day!   We woke up at 4:30am (believe it or not), got our things together, and walked across town to the Bahnhof (Railway Station).   There we met with Gilda (another student in D's class) and caught the 5:58am train to Fulda where we changed over to another line going to München (Munich).   The first train was absolutely packed and we were extremely happy that D had made reservations for seats so we didn't have to stand or sit in the aisles.   That train was headed for Stuttgart.   The train to München was still crowded, but not as bad.   When we got to München, there were a ton of people there milling around.   We joined them while we waited for John to show up on the next train.

  We walked around town seeing some of the sights.   It was funny because starting around 11:15 everyone was wearing silly foil glasses and looking up at the sky.   I tried to see what they were looking at but all I saw was clouds.   Every now and then, the sun would break out and everyone would hurry to put back on the silly glasses and say `ooh' and `aah'.   Even D and J were doing this!   We made our way to an outdoor market in the center of the city and stopped for some lunch.   D and J let me look up into the sky through their glasses and I saw what looked like a crescent moon right where the sun was supposed to be.

  Soon it started to get a little darker even though the sky right around the sun was clearing.   And then the most amazing thing happened.   The crescent turned into a single diamond of light and then vanished, leaving us in twilight.   Instead of the sun, we saw a circle of light, and just down and to the left we could see a very bright star (D said it was really Venus).   For a very short minute, it became ever darker, until it was no brighter than on the night of a full moon.   We could see beautiful colors and motion in the ring around the sun (D says it's called a corona).   Soon, it was already getting brighter, and before we knew it there was the bright diamond again on the other side of the sun and moon and it became day once again.   We had hardly noticed the rain until after the eclipse was over.   Soon afterwards, the sun was once again covered by clouds.

  We read later in the newspaper that the weather prediction in München gave only a 20 percent chance that we'd be able to see the eclipse.   It was incredible how everything came together to allow us to see the event clearly right when it mattered.   All those people on the morning train to Stuttgart weren't nearly so lucky, as it stayed clouded there throughout the eclipse.

  We enjoyed the rest of the day in München, seeing the beautiful Theatinerkirche (a baroque church) and going to the Alte Pinakothek art museum.   J really liked the building in a painting of Susanna im Bade, 1526, by Albrecht Altdorfer (1490-1538).   We stopped at an Eiscafe (Germany has lots of Ice Cream cafes.) and caught the evening train back to Göttingen.   It was a very long day but so full and so fun!

Freitag, 13 August, 1999
  Last night we saw a movie called 'Lola Rennt'.   That means 'Lola runs very fast'.   I couldn't understand any of the words but that was okay because it was a very visual story.   Lola has twenty minutes to get 100000 DM.   There are different timeline scenarios played sequentially.   It was fun.
Samstag, 14 August, 1999
  Today D bought us a fun new computer game, Discworld Noir.   He bought the german version so we can learn german while we play.
Sonntag, 15 August, 1999
  D and I went to Kassel today to see the Wasserspiele (Cascades).   There's a big park up on a hill that rises above the city, and there are three castles in the park.   All the way at the top is the Hurcules castle where once a week they release the water.   We got to see the water flow down hill through a series of pools and cascades.   It was really pretty.   It was too bad that J was sick and had to stay home in bed.
Freitag, 20 August, 1999
  J spent most of this week recovering from her cold, but she was fine by Friday when we had a fun International Dinner at the language institute.   Everyone was supposed to bring a dish from their homeland.   We brought guacamole and corn chips.   One of the Mexican students thought we cheated, but it sounded Californian to us.   Some of the food was really good.   The best thing of all though were the authentic tamales!
Samstag, 21 August, 1999
  We went to Weimar today, the former home of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who turns 250 a week from today.   D says he's an important writer and that he wrote `The Sorcerer's Apprentice'.   But I'm pretty sure that it's from Mickey Mouse's autobiography.   I know I've seen a documentary film about it.

  Weimar is neat.   D says it used to be in East Germany.   We went east to get there, so I guess that makes sense, but I don't understand why it isn't East Germany any more.   D kept looking for Trabi's, some kind of car made out of plastic or paper or something.   He says they used to be all over the place and that people had to wait years just to get one even though they had plenty of money to buy one with.   We saw one, but it just looked like a big version of a toy car.   I like my red car better.

  We went to the Bauhaus museum.   They had some furniture and pictures and stuff.   They were all from almost a hundred years ago.   It reminded me a little of the Frank Lloyd Wright stuff we saw back in Pennsylvania.   Here's J having fun in a play area.   We also went to the palace to see an art museum there and later to go to an orchestral concert.   It was all Beethoven and rounded out a great day.   After the concert, we took a train to nearby Erfurt where we stayed the night at the Youth Hostel.

Sonntag, 22 August, 1999
  We spent Sunday in Erfurt.   We walked on a bridge with houses built on both sides of it.   A church actually even arches over one end of the bridge.   The prettiest thing there is the big Cathedral.   They call them Doms here.   The stained glass is amazing, and there's a cool organ as well.   I liked the Citadel on the nearby hill since I could see really far.   After lunch we sat around at a Wine Festival, before heading back to Göttingen on the train in the evening.
Dienstag, 24 August, 1999
  We went to Karstadt, a big department store, and bought some really funny looking dice.
Freitag, 27 August, 1999
  I went with D and his class today to Hann. Münden, a little town between here and Kassel.   We played a game all around the town, collecting pieces of information about the city and its history.   There were 3 groups working to answer all 25 questions in less than an hour and a half and WE WON!   We got 24 questions right, and the only one we missed was because a guy we asked on the street gave us bad information.   D's teacher bought us all ice cream as a prize.   The town was really pretty, and I hope we get the chance to go back with J and take some pictures of all the timber frame houses and the cool Rathaus.
Samstag, 28 August, 1999
  Happy 250th Birthday Goethe!
Sonntag, 29 August, 1999
  There was a big summer festival in town today.   It was fun.   We got to eat fresh candied almonds (they look like yummy bugs and taste really good!), and we got to hear some music and just generally have a good time.
-- Note -- Oktober, 1999 --
  The past couple of months have been so busy it was impossible to keep my journal up.   J and D are trying to help me remember all that we did during this time but they are both still a little busy so it will appear in dribs and drabs.   Also I am waiting for them to take the six rolls of film to be developed.   These should help jog our memories.
Freitag, 3 September, 1999
  Today we left Göttingen, in the morning, on a Bus with a group from the Institute.   We arrived in Berlin in the afternoon.   Then D&J and I went for a walk.   We saw part of a really neat church in what used to be 'West' Berlin.   It was built in memory of Kaiser Wilhelm at the end of the 19th century but was hit by bombs during World War II.   Only the front entry remains and the tower above doesn't have a point but is jagged edged.   Inside were beautiful mosaics.   J especially liked the golden bits in the ceiling mosaics.   I liked the dragon!

  We went back to the Hostle to meet the others and went for a boat tour on the river.

  After the boat tour we returned to the Hostle again for dinner and then D&J and I raced to catch the subway to Potsdamer Platz.   The Philharmonie Berlin is near Potsdamer Platz.   We arrived at the Philharmonie at exactly 8 PM when the concert was scheduled to begin.   We thought we were just too late but they let us buy tickets and we quickly climbed four flights of stairs to our seats.   The music was by Mahler, D&J's favorite composer.   And guess who was playing.   The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, (with Mariss Jansons conducting).   The first half of the program were some of his songs and the second half was his 5th Symphonie.   It was a wonderful evening.

Samstag, 4 September, 1999
  Today we all got on the bus and a tour guide came along to tell us all about the things we saw while we rode around the city.   We saw lots from the bus but also stopped several places.   We saw Check Point Charlie, The Brandenburger Tor, some parts of an old wall with lots of graffiti painted on it.   D was in this city just after the wall came down and there was much more of it then.   Now there is only a little bit that has been kept to remind people of it.

  After the tour D&J and I went to the Reichstag.   This used to be the capital building of Germany and now it is again.   A new dome has been added to the top of the building.   It is made of glass and has a spiral walkway and a center column of mirrors inside.

  We returned to the area near the Gedächtnis-Kirche (the curch we saw the first day).   We played by the fountain and bought some books at Ka De We.   Ka De We in Berlin is the biggest department store in Europe.   There is a mall near the fountain that has a really neat water clock.   We had dinner at a mexican restaurant.   It was okay.   They made the enchiladas with flour tortillas.

Sonntag, 5 September, 1999
  This morning we got on the bus and stopped by a longer piece of the wall.   Then we went to the Pergamon Museum.

  Afterwards we all got back on the bus, left Berlin, and went to Schloß Sanssouci.   Schloß means pallace.   We were given a tour of the gardens and in the palace.   Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside and they didn't have any postcards of the interior.   It was really beautiful inside.   I especially liked the last room which was painted yellow and had lots of carved wood.   There was a really neat squirrel carved on the door.   We hopped on the bus again and stopped in Pottsdam for dinner.   We arrived back in Göttingen late at night.

Samstag, 11 September, 1999
  Today we went on a trip to Hannover.   We had a short tour of the city but it was a bit dissapointing.   We did get to see a pretty neat church though.   It had a five pointed star at the top.   The old Rathouse was really pretty.   We also went to the new Rathouse.   The neat thing there was they had four models of the city, 16th century, 1930s, postwar 1940's, and present.   We saw some really cool trolls outside.   We found a sushi restaurant for lunch.   It was very yummy.

  We walked around the city and then went to the Historisches Museum Hannover.   It was a really nice museum.   They had an exhibit of Bicycles from their invention to present.   There were coaches of the Hanoverian Kings.   J's favorite part was the wonderful collection of traditional costumes.   There was also a very small exhibit about the history of the 'schule tute'.   In Germany when children first go to school they are given a 'schule tute'.   It is a present shaped like a cone filled with candy, fruit, and sometimes toys or schools supplies.   Some of them are very pretty and J and I had seen children with them but didn't know what they were.   J still wants one.

  In the evening we went with some of the Russians from the Institute to see an opera.   It was 'Das Rheingold' by Richard Wagner.   We returned to Göttingen very late and very tiered but it was all worth it.

Mittwoch, 22 September, 1999
  Today we went shopping in Göttingen to buy J a new backpack.   We got a really cool one that expands into a huge shoulder bag.   We bought a new leash for our suitcase.   We also bought some candy to give as a 'geshenk' (present) to J's teacher.
Donnerstag, 23 September, 1999
  Our last day of German courses.   We had an "Abschieds party" (farewell party) in the evening.   Here's Dan with our friend Joy.
Freitag, 24 September, 1999
  Today we left Göttingen.   We left our suitcase and a couple bags in storage at the institute.   No point in taking two months worth of luggage for a two week trip to Italy.   We spent the morning walking around the town, looking at a few bookshops and eating Dönner Kebabs.   We caught a train at 7 PM to Venezia.   (Venezia in Italian, Venedig in German, Venice in English)
Samstag, 25 September, 1999
  We arrived in Venice around 10 am.   It took us a little while to arrange for a hotel for the night.   We were going to stay for two nights but then found out that there is going to be a train strike from 9 PM Sunday to 9 PM Monday.   We spent the rest of the day wandering all over the city.   J says "It's like walking into a fairytale.   You hear so many stories about this city.   It's weird to actually be here."   We saw lots and lots of beautiful masks, pretty things made of glass, and beautiful boats.   The canals are really neat.   There are only streets for pedestrians and canals for boats but no roads for cars.   We saw the Basilica di San Marco and the Piazza San Marco.
Sonntag, 26 September, 1999
  We saw more of the city today.   We walked to the island and ate ice creams all day.   We took the train to Trieste, Italy in the afternoon/evening.   We had italian food for dinner.  J had spinach canaloni and D had salmon and shrimp pasta.
Montag, 27 September, 1999
  D is attending a conference 'Cosmo 99' at the Abadus Salaam International Centre for Theoretical Physics.   Today we went with D to the center.   There was a welcoming party in the evening with lots of food.   We saw Rich Holman from CMU and lots of people D&J know from Sussex, as well as getting the chance for J to meet Professor Baccke, who D will be working with in Dortmund.
Dienstag, 28 September, 1999
  J and I climbed the hill past the Roman Amphitheater and saw a castle with a museum of weapons from the 13th to 19th centuries.   On the walk up we saw more than 40 cats in only 15 minutes.   They all look healthy and well fed, but I was a little scared they might think I was a rat and try to eat me.   I stayed close in J's pocket.   Beside the castle is an old church with ruins.   J and I sat there for a while and wrote a couple postcards.   Then we went to the castle museum.   There were lots of polearms and some early guns.   We walked around the castle walls and heard the church bell ringing and were at the same height so we could see the bell rather well.   I saw about 30 lizards darting out onto the wall and then over the edge.   I tried to catch some for a snack but they were very fast.   It started to sprinkle but it was very light so we walked along the rest of the wall and it stopped so we sat and looked at the wonderful view of the sea.   It started to rain so we left the wall and went into a sheltered area of the castle and then it started to pour.   We had to wait about an hour before it let up and even then it was still raining.   In the evening we went out for chinese food.
Mittwoch, 29 September, 1999
  We went on a field trip to Aquilea.   There were lots of Roman ruins here.   We went to Grado? and walked around the island with some of D's friends.   We had pizza for dinner and some really really yummy ice cream for desert, the best we've had since we left Brewster's in Pittsburgh.
Freitag, 1 Oktober, 1999
  J and I went to the Museum Rivotelli.   This museum is two adjoining palaces.   Rivotelli collected italian art in the 19th century and when he died he left his palace, art, and funds to turn it into a museum.   Further art was purchased with this money and added to the collection.   They subsequently purchased the adjoining palace which has been converted by modern architects to house the additional collections.   In the evening there was a farewell dinner.
Samstag, 2 Oktober, 1999
  We left Trieste, on the north east coast of Italy, and arrived in Livorno on the west coast of Italy.   We went to the port to check on the ferry schedules.   During the summer they have 4 boats a day to Bastia.   But the summer tourist season is over and now it's only 4 boats a week.   While walking around the port we saw some very old walls.   We also walked around the center of town a little bit.   We spent the night in a hotel in Livorno.
Sonntag, 3 Oktober, 1999
  We sailed to Corsica.  We left Livorno, Italia at 4 PM and arrived in Bastia, Corsica at 8 PM.   The wind was high and the ocean was a bit rough.   Poor J was very sick.   Ken and his cousin Juliet met us at the boat in Bastia.   Bastia is a city on the north end of Corsica and Corsica is an island south of France and just north of, the Italian island, Sardinia.   Corsica was once part of Italy, like Sardinia, but now it is part of France.   We went for a light dinner in Bastia.   J and I had some Mozerella!
Montag, 4 Oktober, 1999
  In the morning we walked along the beach and had Café aux Lait and Croisants for breakfast.   Ken's aunt Jacqueline made a wonderful lunch for us with sour pickles, little sausages, rolled meats, paté, tuna salad, sliced salmon, french bread, and cheese!   Ken drove us out to his uncle Roger's winery (Mont Saint-Jean) and vineyards and gave us a full tour.   We learned a ton about the various wines and grapes and got to taste all the wines in the tanks.   Afterwards, we went to a different section of beach.   K and D swam in the water while J played in the sand.   It was too close to the water so I just watched.   We had a delicious dinner of baked chicken, green beans, sweet potatoes and of course wine.
Dienstag, 5 Oktober, 1999
  Today we spent the whole day at the beach.   We found a good spot near where the river flows into the sea.   We could see Elba and Monte Cristo.   We built a huge fortress with paved center and an entrance road paved with only white stones.   We had lunch at our favorite café on the beach, salmon for J and K and spaghetti Bolonese for D.   Then we returned to finish our fortress.   We had a Corsican dinner of veal stewed with Orange over rice that was very tender and yummy.
Mittwoch, 6 Oktober, 1999
  We had our usual croisant and café on the beach in the morning then went to the cooperative Uval which distributes the Mont Saint-Jean wine.   From there we returned to Bastia and caught our Ferry back to Livorno just in time.   J had a much easier time on the boat this time both because she took some medicine before hand and because the sea was much calmer.   We arrived in Livorno at 4 PM and caught a 6 PM train to Verona with only one quick change in Firenze (Florence).   In Verona at midnight we caught our return train to Göttingen, with a short change in München (Munich) at 6 am.
Donnerstag, 7 Oktober, 1999
  We arrived in Göttingen at 11 am.   We found a car rental agency and arranged to pick up a car in the afternoon.   We went to the bank to do some stuff and then we had lunch near the Rathaus.   There was a festival celebrating 25 years fußganger zone (pedestrian area).   Göttingen seems to be always celebrating something. :)   We returned to pick up the car and then went to the Goethe Institute to pick up the rest of our luggage which we had left in storage.   We couldn't find our maps so we just headed off to Dortmund reading the highway signs.   And eventually, we arrived in Dortmund with no real problems getting there.   We did unfortunately arrive too late to pick up the key for our new home, however, so we had to spend another night in a hotel.
Freitag, 8 Oktober, 1999
  We moved into our new apartment today.   We spent the whole day cleaning and putting things away.   We have a one bedroom apartment.   The living room, dining, kitchen area are all one room.   We have a big TV with lots of channels.   We have a purple couch and chairs.
Samstag, 9 Oktober, 1999
  Today all the stress of traveling and moving have caught up with D and he has a cold.   So we've taken today for a quiet rest.   We went shopping for some groceries and J has been doing a little bit of tidying but mostly we've been working on writing my journal which we've not had time to do in the last couple months.
Dienstag, 12 Oktober, 1999
  D is sick so we went and saw a doctor.   The doctor gave D prescriptions for lots of medicine.   I hope D feels better soon.
Freitag, 15 Oktober, 1999
  D went to see the doctor again.   He is feeling a little better but he still won't let me bounce on him.
Montag, 18 Oktober, 1999
  D and I got up extra early this morning.   We took the train to Hannover and then caught another train to Magdeburg.   We are here for a special meeting just for Humboldt Stupendium recipients.
Mittwoch, 20 Oktober, 1999
  Hooray, we returned home to J.
Donnerstag, 21 Oktober, 1999
  Today we went downtown but first we stopped at the Physics Department to photo copy some papers.   We took the S-bahn to the train station and then the U-bahn.   I'm not sure why they have two different names they both look the same.   We went to the Stadthouse which is kind of like the Rathouse but in Dortmund they have both and D said this was the one we needed.   D&J have to 'anmeld' and get their Visas.   In Germany everyone has to 'abmeld' (deregister) and 'anmeld' (register) whenever they move.   When we were at the Geothe Institute, they took care of the paper work for us.   Today we had to wait in a couple different offices to talk to people and show them paperwork.   We got into the second office just before lunch and they took our papers and told us to come back at 4 PM so we spent the afternoon shopping.

  The weather has gotten much colder (below freezing at night) and D&J's winter clothes are still in England.   We found some sweaters and also got some pillows.   D's allergic to the feather ones that come with our apartment.   We went back to the Stadthouse and got our papers.   D's happy now that it's all taken care of.   (At least until January.)   We still have a few more things to take care of, as far as moving is concerned though.   For one, we still need a telephone.

Samstag, 23 Oktober, 1999
  Today we took the subway to 'Indupark'.   It's a shopping area kind of like Monroeville in Pittsburgh.   We went to IKEA and J measured lots of things.   D bought some pot holders.   Then we went to a computer store and looked around.   Then to a couple different appliance/electronics stores where D & J looked at VCRs and telephones.   Then we went to WalMart.   J bought some bins for separating trash under the sink.   We have to separate our trash into five different groups.   Biodegradable ie kitchen waste; plastic and metal, but actually it's all containers including the waxy-cardboard milk boxes; glass; paper; and lastly whatever trash is left over.   D got the most exciting present though.   He bought a VCR so we can tape Daria on Saturday mornings and watch it later in the day.   The Gästehous (where we live) provides cable and a TV so we have lots of channels to choose from.   We had some Ice Cream and then returned home to test out our new toy...   Oops they forgot to buy tapes.   That's okay we spent the evening setting it up, programing channels, and playing with the remote.
Sonntag, 24 Oktober, 1999
  Everything is closed on Sundays.
Freitag, 29 Oktober, 1999
  Today was a sunny warm day.   D talked to the phone company today but they wanted way more money than is reasonable just to switch the phone on.   That is on top of the fortune they want to charge every month and that they charge more even than in England for local phone calls.   So now they have to figure out how I'm going to update my journal to the server.   I guess we'll just have to keep transfering my files from D's office.   D came home this afternoon very frustrated so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and go for a walk.   We walked to Eichlinghofen.   J keeps calling it Eichörnchen which means 'squirrel'.   I think she forgets we're not in Pittsburgh and that we don't live near Squirrel Hill anymore.   We were hoping to find a library or video store but we didn't find either.   We found a grocery store that has more to choose from than the LIDL's near our house and we found a bakery.   D&J forgot to bring their backpacks so we had to buy a paper bag at the grocery store.   Like in England, you bag your own groceries but here you are also supposed to bring your own bags.   D&J were much happier so we went home and made dinner, chicken and cream spinach over pasta.
Samstag, 30 Oktober, 1999
  We went downtown again today.   We found the main library and spent some time walking around it and inspecting it.   J is very happy.   They have lots and lots of books, a large children's section where you can even check out games!   You can also check out CDs both music and computer programs, videos (the videos cost 3 DM to check out), cassette tapes, and there's even a special department open twice a week where you can check out art to decorate your home for up to three months.   D&J found a section with German lesson books so J and I can keep studying.   J would have checked out several books today except she forgot to bring her passport.   Libraries in Germany are different than at home.   You don't get a free library card.   We didn't use the public library in Göttingen because it wasn't worth the cost for only two months especially when we were so busy.   Of course we had the Goetha Institute Mediathek where we could borrow some books.   At this Dortmund Library it will cost 20 DM (divide by 2 for an approximation of US dollars) for one year.   We had a yummy chinese buffet lunch.   There was some sort of festival, though we never saw any signs indicating for what.   There were lots of stalls and lots and lots of people walking around.   We watched a very funny and very good juggler for a while.   We spent most of the rest of the day wandering around looking in various shops.   We found a craft store for J and returned there later to buy her some new paints she's been wanting since we were in Göttingen.   They are pretty neat.   You paint with them on plastic and then peel them off to stick on the window like 'colorforms'.   You can peel them off and reuse them as often as you like and they are transparent like stained glass.   We also stopped in several bookstores and at last found something for D, a copy of the starter box for the German equivalent of 'Advance Dungeons & Dragons'.   It's called 'Das Schwarze Auge'.   We also got a soft bound Asterix und Obilix book.   Because of the festival all the stores in the Fußganger zone were able to stay open late.   (By law, except for festivals, all stores in Germany have to close at 4 PM.)   It was a long day and we had lots of fun but by the end we were very tired and ready to go home and rest.
Dienstag, 2 November, 1999
  We went downtown today to transfer some money to D&J's American account.   Afterwards we went to the library and got J a library card and checked out a few books.   Then D had to go back to work so J and I went the the grocery store and returned home.   J spent the rest of the day working on the German quiz program she's been writing.
Sonntag, 7 November, 1999
 G&B arrived today with the rest of our stuff from England.   I was sad because Caxton didn't come with.   G says he's hibernating but that's silly.   It's colder and snows more here than in London and I'm not hibernating.   ...ZZZzzz... huh?...Oh right... I was writing in my journal...Um I think I need to go take a nap now.
Dienstag, 16 November, 1999
  Today my friend Squishy arrived with Margie and Frank.   We took the train and met them at the airport.   We took them back home to drop off their stuff and then we went downtown.   We got some gebraten Mandelns (sugar roasted almonds) and went to the post office to buy stamps and to mail off Dan's applications.   Then we went to the film store and picked up our six rolls of developed pictures.   Now hopefully. J and I can start scanning them.   We wandered around for a while and then stopped for a bite to eat before heading home.   The weather has turned cold and frosty.
Mittwoch, 17 November, 1999
  Wow! Frank and Margie can sleep even more than me!   They went to bed around 21:00 last night and didn't wake up until 14:00 today.   J told me to be very quiet and let them sleep because they were tired from their long flight and needed the sleep.   I had several naps myself.   When they woke up we went grocery shopping and then we came home and had Bratwurst for dinner.   D took M&F to school to see where he works and to check train schedules.
Donnerstag, 18 November, 1999
  Today we woke up extra early.   Today's Linen day. (Twice a month someone comes to take away our sheets and towels which is nice but they come super early.)   M&F and Squishy had to also get up early because they are catching a train to Trier.   I looked out the window just now and it's SNOWING!
Freitag, 19 November, 1999
  M&F and Squishy returned this evening.   They hadn't had dinner so they went and got Pizza.
Samstag, 20 November, 1999
  We went to the Weihnachtsmarkt in Dortmund.   It's a sort of Christmas fair.   There's lots of food and Gluhwein stalls, as well as lots of craft and gift stalls.
Sonntag, 21 November, 1999
  Today M&F, D, Squishy and I went to Köln (Cologne).   (J stayed home and slept all day because she has a cold.)   It was snowy but lots of fun.   We went to the Dom. (Remember Dom means Cathedral?)   Today was some strange Holiday called Toten Sonntag (Dead Sunday).   They were having mass all day.   We climbed lots and lots of stairs.   We got to go way up into the tower on a really narrow twisting staircase with two way traffic but it was hardly wide enough.   We were standing right near one of the bells when it chimed the quarterhour.   It made my jump but D held me tight.   Just like in Dortmund, Köln is having a Weihnachtsmarkt.   We got some Gluhwein (mulled wine) and we each got a really cool mug that commemorates the occasion. (Well not exactly each, but D says I can share his with him and J.)
Montag, 22 November, 1999
  Squishy and Co. headed off this morning to travel along the Rhein.
Dienstag, 23 November, 1999
  D went shopping this afternoon and came home with TWO turkeys! and a whole lot more stuff for Thanksgiving.   The turkey's were smaller than we usually get and we will have extra company so he thinks we need two.   J was amazed by two turkeys.   Now they are both in the kitchen trying to figure out what pans to use for which dishes and how to bake two turkeys in the same oven.
Mittwoch, 24 November, 1999
  J&D decided it would make sense to cook one turkey ahead of time.   If we run out of turkey tomorrow night we can always bring out the cold meat.   J spent about two hours making the stuffing for both birds and stuffing one of them.   D arrived home just as the turkey was ready to take out of the oven and Squishy and Co. arrived a little after that.   The turkey looked and smelled so good but it's for tomorrow so they went and got pizza and brought it back.
Donnerstag, 25 November, 1999
  Today J roped M&F into helping clean up the apartment and then sent them off to get dessert while she started the second turkey in the oven.   D came home and started the other dishes, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce, cranberry sauce from fresh and dried cranberries, and salad.   The other guests arrived around 6 PM.   Kathrin, Hendrik, and Julian are people D works with.   We were all stuffed and guess what?   We still had left over turkey!
Freitag, 26 November, 1999
  Today Frank had to fly back to LA.   Margie, Squishy and I went with him to the airport.   J stayed home and cleaned up from last night nd D went to work.   In the evening we went with Hendrik, Kathrin, and a friend of hers to see a Shakespeare play in German.   The play was Viel Lärm um Nichts (Much Ado About Nothing).   J and I had trouble following what was going on but it was still lots of fun.
Samstag, 27 November, 1999
  We went to the Dortmund Weihnachtsmarkt again.   We had hot chocolate and hot lemon and got a cool Dortmund Weihnachtsmarkt mug.
Sonntag, 28 November, 1999
  We decided to visit as many city's Weihnachtsmarkts as possible today and collect mugs from each.   We bought a Tages ticket (all day train pass) and took the line to Dusseldorf and then stopped at the various cities on the way back.   We got mugs from Dusseldorf, Essen, and Duisberg.   Actually we got two mugs in Essen.
Montag, 20 Dezember, 1999
  Bruce and Gayle and Caxton and Arthur arrived today.   GC&A are staying with us for Christmas.   Bruce will drive farther south and visit his dad.   I've not mentioned Arthur before, he's a frog and Caxton's best friend.   I keep asking Caxton if he's sure he doesn't want to eat Arthur but he gives me a funny look whenever I ask.
Freitag, 24 Dezember, 1999
  Today was J's birthday.   This is the day Germans really celebrate Christmas so everything is closed.   There were lots of fun fairy tales to watch on TV and D made Sushi for dinner and we had English Christmas cake for J's birthday cake.
Samstag, 25 Dezember, 1999
  Today we got to open presents.   We got lots of fun things but I'm very excited because D gave J a card that promises we're getting a phone and internet connection in January.   Maybe now we'll be able to transfer the pictures to my new web site.   I got a fun book all about cheese!   D got some new computer games.   And G also got a computer game.   It's in both German and English!
Sonntag, 31 Dezember, 1999 - Samstag, 1 Januar, 2000
  We spent the evening at home.   Close to midnight we melted 'Bleigiessen'.   This is a German New Years tradition.   You melt little lead charms in a spoon and then pour them carefully into a bath of cold water.   When they are cool you pull the lead out and hold it with tweezers in front of a light so that its shadow falls on the wall.   You move it around and try to see something in the shadow, (like looking at clouds.)   Then you get a fortune depending on the pattern you saw.
Montag, 3 Januar, 2000
  Today the phone man came to install the phone.   He says it will be connected this afternoon.
Dienstag, 4 Januar, 2000
  Still no phone connection all we have is static.:(
Freitag, 7 Januar, 2000
  Finally another phone man came and fixed our phone connection and it works!   Now D can order the internet connection.
Dienstag, 18 Januar, 2000
  Yea we got our 'all you can eat' internet connection!   Now J and I can start updating my journal and put the pictures back up.
Samstag, 5 Februar, 2000
  J's friend Rondros at Discworld MUD told her about two gaming stores in Dortmund.   We hadn't heard of either before so today we went downtown and found Auenland.   It was lots of fun.   J&D got a couple new figures even though J's paints are still in storage.
Samstag, 12 Februar, 2000
  Today we went downtown and found the other game store Rondros told J about.   We also went to the asian food store and picked up more stuff for sushi and almost everything D needs to make his Thai Galangaal soup.   Then we went to the weekly market and bought some fresh chicken breast for the soup.
Sonntag, 13 Februar, 2000
  Squishy called today.
Sonntag, 27 Februar, 2000
  We started a fantasy role playing game with a group of Germans today.   D is mastering the sessions.   It's about 50-50 English and German which is a really new experience for everyone.   It looked like everyone was having fun though.
Montag, 6 März, 2000
  We took the train to Köln today and got to see lots of silly people dressed in funny costumes.   D and J said that it was Fasching Karnival which is the same thing as Mardi Gras.   It looked like a big party to me.   We saw all kind of costumes including penguins.   It was fun but a little cold.
Sonntag, 12 März, 2000
  We had our second gaming session today.   We had pizza and J made a super yummy cherry torte for D's birthday that we ate.   There was a really pretty kitty at the apartment we went to that I got to play with while they played their games.
Montag, 13 März, 2000
  Today was D's birthday!   J made pancakes for breakfast with real maple syrup imported from Canada. Yum!   We got D a cool Discman CD player so he can listen to music at work, and we got him new CD's to play on it.   He also got a package of 100 balloons and we blew them all up and had balloons all over!   We went to see Toy Story 2 in the afternoon.   We all thought it was really fun.   Afterwards we went and bought wolves and circus performers.   At least we bought figurines of them that we can play with.   It was a great day!
Samstag, 1 April, 2000
  The laptop died on this day.
Samstag, 8 April, 2000
  We picked up our new PC!   It's super fast!
Mittwoch, 12 April, 2000
  We went to a concert. The main band was Stradevarius a Finish band.   One of the opening bands was Rhapsody and Italian band.   Both bands sing in English, not that you can understand them since they are heavy metal.   But it was funny to be in Germany listening to Finish and Italian bands singing in a fourth language.
Freitag, 28 April, 2000
  Today D came home early and we took the train to Amsterdam, Netherlands to visit Anz.   We arrived in the evening in time for dinner.   We went out to a Surinamese restaurant.
Samstag, 29 April, 2000
  Today is Queens day.   It's a day to celebrate Queen Beatrix's birthday except that it isn't really her birthday.   Today is her mother's birthday.   But since her own birthday is in January when it would be too cold this is when they celebrate.   The whole country celebrates this day but especially Amsterdam.   The whole city becomes one giant flea market.   People dress up.   Everyone wears lots of orange because the queen is from the House of Orange.   Yep that's the same family as William III of England, as in William and Mary, also known as William of Orange.   In addition to the flea market, there is lots of people milling round, drinking beer, bands playing etc.   We woke up early and went out to check out the flea market finds.   J kept her eyes peeled for Beauty and the Beast stuff while Anz scooped up lots of McDonald Happy Meal Barbies.   Anz has an amazing collection of Barbie.   It turned out to be a poor weather day for the festival and soon started pouring rain.   Walking through one of the parks in the rain we saw a heron and lots of cute little ducklings.   We decided to return to Anz's place for a while until the rain went away.   When we went back out we found that lots of people had given up on their flea marketing and just left everything so we began to rummage!   D found a nice set of small baskets.   J found some miniature pottery peices and the remnants of a Beauty and the Beast board game.   It was in soggy condition but she gathered up what there was of it anyway.   (Later note: J actually did make some use out of this. She traced the picture from the cover to make a window colorform!)
Sonntag, 30 April, 2000
  Today is Sunday and the day after Queensday so we decided to take things easy.   We slept late and then took a casual stroll around the city.   Anz was an excelent tour guide and pointed out various points of interest.   We saw lots of pretty buildings.   J drooled over pretty wooden shoes much to Anz's dismay.   Anz told us Holland isn't just about Tulips, Windmills and Wooden shoes.   But we saw lots of them anyways.   In fact we passed the only windmill in Amsterdam everyday because Anz lives right by it.   We walked along the canals and took pictures.   The canals reminded us of our time in Venice.   The buildings look different and there are streets with cars here but there are so many canals it's hard not to have some of the same feeling.   The highlight of the day for D and me was when we found a little public garden filled with bronze lizards.   There were monitors, iguanas, and more.
Montag, 1 Mai, 2000
  Today we went to the Stedelijk, a modern art museum.   D liked that they had a couple paintings by Kandinsky.   Walking around the city again we saw a neat display of miniature shoes (which made us think of Linda), some pretty delftware tulip vases, and discovered a PacMan ghost mosaic.
Dienstag, 2 Mai, 2000
  Today we went to the Zoo, Artis.   I got to ride on a goat.   We saw lots of herons all over, even with the seals.   Later I got to ride a polar bear.   Of course we spent a long time watching the penguins!
Mittwoch, 3 Mai, 2000
  We took the train and then the bus to national park Hoge Veluwe.   After a nice walk to the center of the park we arrived at the Kröller-Müller museum.   Here they had many Van Gogh paintings including one with what looks like a penguin.   We walked around the sculpture forest and found a tree made of bronze.   We also discovered a nest of pretty blue eggs.   Back in the city we had Indonesian for dinner.
Donnerstag, 4 Mai, 2000
  Today J finaly gave up on going to the Keukenhof flower gardens and so the weather became sunny. Figures.   We went to Gallery Steltman and bought a couple books of artwork by Michael Parks.   He is a present day artist who does surreal fantasy.   We went for a canal boat tour.   This was a new view of the canals.   On the way home we saw a pair of Coots feeding their babies.   Anz made us a traditional Dutch dinner of meat balls and endive.
Freitag, 5 Mai, 2000
  Today we went to the Rijksmuseum.   There were many beautiful paintings, a wonderful exhibit of lace, 17th century doll houses, and a really neat dragon on the base of a clock.   D's favorite thing was a piggy bank from the 14th - 15th century.   In the evening we met Ohdamn/Michiel a friend of Anz and J from the Discworld MUD for drinks and dinner.   Unfortunately J forgot to get any pictures. :(   We had Thai food for dinner.
Samstag, 6 Mai, 2000
  Today we met another MUD friend Allana/Angela.   We had Ben and Jerry's ice cream for breakfast and then took a train to the Zaanse Schans.   The Zaanse Schans is a recreated historical village.   There were pewter makers, windmills, old shops, cheese makers, and a fabulous museum of wooden shoes.   We got to watch how the shoes were made and D&J fulfilled J's dream of having a pair of wooden shoes to wear.   They each got a pair of painted shoes.   The painted shoes were worn on Sundays.   The beautifuly carved ones were for weddings.
Sonntag, 7 Mai, 2000
  We slept in this morning.   In the afternoon we said goodbye to the kitties Christophine and Tangerine and took a train back home.
Dienstag, 30 Mai, 2000
  Today was D&J's eighth wedding anniversary.   They gave each other the wooden shoes and Michael Parkes books they bought in Amsterdam.   We went out for italian ice cream and had a yummy chicken dinner.
Samstag, 3 Juni, 2000
  We went to a Mittelalterlich Spectaculum.   It's a medieval festival kind of like the renaisance faire.   J wouldn't make me a costume.   I wanted one just like Margie made for Squishy.   J said she didn't have any fabric.   Then she said I was already dressed for the spectaculum.   Hedgehogs didn't wear clothes in the middle ages.
Mittwoch, 7 Juni, 2000
  James is flying in to Dusseldorf today and we are going to the airport to meet him.
Donnerstag, 8 Juni, 2000
  D went to work, J and I stayed in our room reading while James slept all day.
Freitag, 9 Juni, 2000
  James brought Tillamook Chedder cheese! and tortillas and enchilada sauce.   D made enchiladas for dinner and we had Hendrik, Ollie, and Kathrine over for dinner.   Aftewards we played Trivial Pursuit in German, translating stuff to English for James of course.
Samstag, 10 Juni, 2000
  We picked up a rental car today and spent all day online trying to find an available hotel in Paris.   We were going to go to Paris on Sunday but we'll change it to Monday.
Sonntag, 11 Juni, 2000
  We drove to the Münster land today.   We saw a couple castles.   The first one Schloß Nordkirchen is known as the Versailles of Germany.   It was built for a bishop.   There were pretty swans in the huge moat and a cute wildschwein in the garden.
Montag, 12 Juni, 2000
  We left for Paris today.   We drove and hit really slow traffic as we approached the Belgian border.   Even though it is an inner-European Community border, they were being pretty thorough about checking everyone.   We think it might have had something to do with Euro 2000, the European Football (soccer) Championship which was going on in Belgium.   Eventually, we got through and made it to Paris.   James was a great navigator and got us through the busy Paris streets to our hotel, the Hotel Moderne.   We went to dinner at Leon de Bruxelles, our favorite Belgian mussle restaurant (that we discovered on an earlier visit with Gayle and Corine).   It was really yummy and we had belgian waffles with ice cream for dessert.
Dienstag, 13 Juni, 2000
  The main item on our itinerary for our first full day was a trip to the Paris Catacombes.   We took the metro to Denfert Rochereau to discover that the Catacombes didn't open until 2pm.   We decided to spend our extra time by walking to the Palais du Luxembourg.   It was very nice with lots of pretty statues and we enjoyed relaxing in the gardens.   We made it back to the Catacombes entrance to find a long line, but it went quickly and we made it into the catacombes.   Next, we went to Notre Dam, which is beautiful every time we've seen it.   This time we were able to go back behind the alter area and gain entrance to the treasure room.   We had fondue and raclettes for dinner at a St. Michel restaurant.
Mittwoch, 14 Juni, 2000
  Today was our trip to Versailles.   We drove there, and only got a little lost on the way.   The palace at Versailles was incredible.   We'd never seen anything like it.   We took an english language tour through some of the chambers.   The amount of gilding and the quality of the decoration and ceiling paintings were amazing.   It was a special day and entrance to the palace was free, so we only paid for the guided tour.   The catch was that everything closed around 1pm.   We were lucky to get some lunch at the cafe before it closed down and everyone had to leave the palace grounds.   It turns out that there was some special event involving the mayor of Versailles or some such that was scheduled for the afternoon.   We were very happy that we had arrived relatively early so that we got to see all of the palace that is open to the public, although it was too bad we never got to enjoy the gardens.   We drove back and after resting we walked to the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, a huge, and famous cemetary in Paris.   The osuaries were really neat.   We didn't get to see any famous people's graves though since we got kicked out around 6:30 (we found out afterward that the cemetary officially closed at 6pm).   Next, we stopped at a thai restaurant for dumplings and soup as a light supper and then went to the Ile de Cite to catch a tour boat along the Seine.   It was a great way to see many of the sites of Paris.
Donnerstag, 15 Juni, 2000
  Today was dedicated almost entirely to the Louvre.   The place is incredible not only in the size of their collection but also in the fact that almost every piece of art is of the highest quality.   It is a truly outstanding museum and even though we spent the whole day there, I don't think we saw more than about a third of what they had.   After our long day at the museum, we took the metro to the Trocadero and walked down to the Eifel Tower.   We stopped first at a small sushi cafe for a snack and at a French cafe to get James a bowl of french onion soup while we waited for night to fall so we could see the Eifel Tower at night.   It was beautiful.
Freitag, 16 Juni, 2000
  We left our hotel today and hit the road.   First, we drove to Giverny to see the home and gardens of Monet.   We spent a lot of time in the lily gardens which were the subject of so many of his paintings.   The region is of breathtaking beauty and the gardens were both beautiful and relaxing.   We took lots and lots of pictures of the pretty flowers.   It made for a nice afternoon which we capped off with a meal of crepes at a nearby creperie.   We then left toward home on roads through the countryside.   On the way, we stopped at a wonderful 11th century medieval castle in the village of Gisors.   After a nice break, we travelled the rest of the way home to make it in around 1am.   Another long, but well spent day.
Samstag, 17 Juni, 2000
  We wanted James to have the chance to have some authentic Reibekuchen (potato pancakes).   We went to the Dortmund market, but it was a special day with lots of high quality food stands.   While a couple did have Reibekuchen, it all looked too fancy.   We decided to try something else and had mushrooms with dumplings, fish with potatoes, and fresh strawberries with ice cream.   This we supplemented with some fresh fried fish and more potatoes from our favorite fish stand, and capped it all off with ice cream from an italian ice cafe.   We spent the rest of the day relaxing, playing Siedler von Catan, a cool german strategy game, and went for real italian pizza for dinner.
Sonntag, 18 Juni, 2000
  We decided to drive to Marburg an der Lahn today, which is where D spent six months the first time he came to Germany ten years ago.   It is a beautiful city with pretty houses, churches, and a nice castle right in the middle on top of a high hill.   Afterwards we stopped to see the castles in Kassel.
Montag, 19 Juni, 2000
  Today we took the train to Köln.   Unfortunately, as in most of Germany, all the museums are closed on Mondays, but that was okay since there was still lots to see.   Of course, the best thing is the Dom.   We even got to hear a lecture by one of the priests about the history of the Dom.   I just wish that James could have understood the German, but I translated (with D's help) the important parts for him afterward.   We finally had Reibekuchen too. Yum!   We even did some shopping.   J found a beautiful Barbie doll dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast!   After spending some time just sitting and relaxing on the Rhein, we walked to see the old Roman gates and a couple of Roman towers that are still standing in the city.
Dienstag, 20 Juni, 2000
  It was a sad day today.   We took James to the airport to send him home.   We really enjoyed having him here.   The trip back home wasn't fun.   There was an accident on the rail line up ahead of where we were and we sat over 45 minutes in our train without moving.   And it was about 90 degrees outside and probably 15 degrees hotter in our train.   Finally, the train moved again -- but backwards to the airport station.   Eventually, we made our way to the Düsseldorf main station and caught a train home.   It was still hot, and the train went very, very slowly, but eventually we were home.   What is usually a trip that takes less than an hour and a half took about four hours.   We were very happy to be home.
Donnerstag, 22 Juni, 2000
  After one day's rest and a chance for D to get a little time at work, we went to Bonn today for the annual meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation.   We got to go to the old parliament building that was used before the parliament moved with the rest of the government to Berlin.   We heard a lecture about Germany's place in Europe and had a nice dinner.
Freitag, 23 Juni, 2000
  This morning we took a long, four hour boat ride on the Rhein, seeing a number of castles and ruins along the way.   After the boat ride, we went to Villa Hammerschmidt, the Bonn residence of the President of Germany, where we actually had a reception with the President.   The President is actually a bit of a figure head, as the Chancellor is the one with real power, but it was still cool.   After a light dinner, we went to a concert where an amazingly good 14 year old spanish girl played several pieces on the violin.   She was absolutely brilliant.
Samstag, 24 Juni, 2000
  Before going home, we stopped at the German History Museum in Bonn.   It covers only the period from 1945 to the present and was very well done.   Particularly interesting was the exhibit of Allied occupation immediately after World War II and the portion of the exhibits which contrasted West and East Germany.   Very cool was a section about the parliament of the 1950's where you got to sit in actual parliament chairs and hit buttons to vote on what subject would be debated up on a big screen at the front of the room.
Mittwoch, 28 Juni, 2000
  We took the train to Heidelberg today.   It was a long train ride.   We went past Bonn and then the view along the Rhein was beautiful.   There were so many castles and lots of vineyards.   We arrived in Heidelberg around 3:00 PM and walked to the pension.   They have a pool in the backyard but D and J forgot to pack their swimsuits.   They've packed them for every other trip but never found a use for them.   After checking in we walked up a really steep hill to the Theoretical Physics Institute.   It's on Philosophen Weg.   We found the institute and then kept walking up the hill until we found a park where J stayed.   I went with D back to the institute and took a nap while D gave a talk.   When we got back to J she was sitting on a wall overlooking the Rhein.   She took lots of pretty pictures of the river and the castle on the other side, of some of the churches she could see, and the view of the city.   We joined Geert, his wife Saskia, Jean-Franco, ____ and his fianceé Jeanette and went out for dinner.   (I think I may have got some spelling of names wrong.)
Donnerstag, 29 Juni, 2000
  In the morning D went to the instiute.   J and I went shopping.   We went to a few bookshops and got a small german book about horses with nice pictures that J can use as a reference for painting figures.   We also went to a really fun toy store.   I saw a cute lamb I wanted to get for Sheep but J wouldn't buy it.   We met D on the Bismark Platz in the afternoon.   Then we walked along the Hauptstrasse.   We went in a shop Käthe Wohlfahrt that had some really beautifully painted wood figures.   We wanted several of them but we decided we'd better wait and think about them more.   We continued on until we reached the Kornmarkt and then climbed a steep hill to the castle.   We could look across the river back to the place where J had sat yesterday afternoon.   There were lots of lions and gargoyles. The walls of the inner courtyard had lots of statues.   We saw a giant wine barrel but it was only the 'little barrel'.   Then we saw the BIG barrel! It can hold more the 200,000 liters of wine.   There is an apotheke (pharmacy( museum in the castle which we saw.   J really liked the shelves and bottles.   She wants a kitchen with huge shelves like that.   We saw a tower with walls about ten feet thick.   The tower was used to store munitions.   The munitions were exploded in the 18th century and it blew with such force that part of the wall broke away.   We played cards on a lawn for a while and then explored the castle ground more and found a cute boar.   Then we made a long walk to Geert and Saskia's house to watch the European Football Championship Netherlands vs Italy.   Geert and Saskia are Dutch so most of us were rooting for Holland.
Freitag, 30 Juni, 2000
  In the morning the three of us walked along the Hauptstrasse again and went to the Kurpfälzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg.   James would have enjoyed it as it had lots of stuff about Romans.   We explored all of the section on ancient Heidelberg and then wandered into the costume room.   Then we left the museum for lunch and had Falafel sandwiches and ice cream cones.   D went to the institute for the afternoon and J and I went back to the museum.   We saw lots of paintings, and some 19th century rooms.   We met D back at the pension around dinner time and went out for Indian.
Samstag, 1 Juli, 2000
  Today was our last day in Heidelberg.   After breakfast we checked out of our room and walked to the Bismark Platz and then back along the Hauptstrasse again.   We walked to the University and took pictures of the University library.   We went back to the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop and picked out a really pretty figure for Margie's Birthday.   I can't show it to you yet, her birthday isn't until September.   We went to the train station and took pictures of the strange horse across the street.   Interesting foot prints.   We had a long train ride back home and of course by the time we got there in the afternoon all the shops were closed until Monday morning so no way to buy groceries.
Sonntag, 2 Juli, 2000
  We splept late and rested all day.
Donnerstag, 6 Juli, 2000
  Today we went shopping downtown and bought D some new shirts.
Freitag, 7 Juli, 2000

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Copyright © Johanna & Daniel Cormier, 1999