Blogs from Hesse, Germany, Europe


Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 18th 2014

It has arrived -- our last day. What an absolutely amazing time we have had. We tried to make a list of our top 10 favorites but neither of us could limit it to 10. So the last list will be of our top 10ish trip highlights. Bullfight (both) Boating through Amsterdam on the canals (both) Standing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Jan) Crossing the Atlantic by boat (Jerry) Statue of David (both) Bicycling around Holland on the dikes (both) Venice (Jan) Deutches Museum in Munich (Jerry) Rhine River cruise (both) Gondola ride and view in Austria (both) Rock of Gibraltar (both) ZZ Top Concert (both) The most unusual city of Amsterdam (both) Bike paths throughout Europe (Jan) Being inside a windmill (Jerry) Public transportation systems, ease of riding around on trains and buses (Jan) ... read more

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 17th 2014

We had so much fun on the Rhine River that we decided to take the cruise upriver on the Main River. The pictures speak for themselves. Later that evening back at the house we had a visitor - Bruni. She is a neighbor who has volunteered to take us to the airport on Saturday. We had an interesting visit with her and look forward to the drive on Saturday morning, so much nicer than a taxi.... read more
Cathedral on the river bank
Modern day castle?
Not a castle - a power plant using coal

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 16th 2014

One more road trip this time to the village of Seligenstadt only about 30 kilometers away. It was a pretty drive through the country and by a lake. We wished we would have known about the lake earlier in our stay, we could have ridden our bikes there. Oh well, you always should leave something for the next time. As we neared the town suddenly the road came to a stop right at the river's edge. Ohhhh there is a small ferry to take you the rest of the way. Funny we didn't see any signs about a ferry. So we wandered through the town which had many more half wood houses and a very large Abbey. Apparently the monks make bread on Thursday to sell to visitors--today was Wednesday, darn! The abbey has a beautiful ... read more
The Road Ends
Welcome to Seligenstadt

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 14th 2014

Exciting night last night -- Germany's winning the World Cup. There were horns blowing, singing and shouting, and fireworks. It was a great win. But we couldn't celebrate long because we had to be up at 6 for the day's event. We went on an all day boat trip. And it was amazing. We took the train from Hanau to downtown Frankfurt. We boarded the boat on the Main river. We cruised down river to the mouth of the Main where it dumps into the Rhine. Then we went cruising down the Rhine River another 30 kilometers. The sights were amazing. I will let the pictures tell the story. I only posted some of the castles today. More to come tomorrow. It really is unbelievable the number of castles just along the short portion of river ... read more
The beginning of the castles
A castle ruin

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 13th 2014

We woke up to rain again, so much for the long bike ride today. We decided to take a drive to a couple of villages that are supposed to be good for sightseeing. Jerry has decided that Germany is a great place to drive. First of all there is the autobahn -- a freeway with no speed limit. And second, the stoplights turn yellow before the red light like ours do. But the great thing is that they also turn yellow before the light turns green. Since most of the cars here are manual transmission, the yellow light gives you the opportunity to put your car in gear just before the green light. So if you are paying attention, you can be the first off the line every time -- just like being at the dragstrip! ... read more
The castle
Half wood houses
More half wood houses.


Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 12th 2014

It was time to take a short trip (26km) to downtown Frankfurt. We drove, this home exchange includes a car, and actually made it without much problem. Frankfurt was pretty much destroyed in WWII and unlike many other cities in Germany, they rebuilt everything modern. There are still a few older buildings but mostly very tall skyscrapers. The trip to the city was pretty uneventful and we needed to get back so we could go to the community festival. Yes, another festival! This one had tractors, an apple queen and princesses, bratwurst, beer, and even bagpipes. Over the last few days we have learned just how important it is to know more than just a few words in a foreign language. Here are two stories to prove that statement. When we were in Frankfurt we needed ... read more
some old buildings
Some old mixed with the new

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 11th 2014

You never know what you are going to find when you set out to explore a new place. Today's discovery was pretty cool. The rain had finally stopped so we got out the bikes and headed out. One of the great things about Europe are the bike paths. Most of the time when a road is built the bike path is built at the same time. We will miss them when we get back home. We road to a park in the little community of Wilhelmsbad. Not exactly sure what this used to be but now the buildings are used for cultural events. There is a toy museum in one of the buildings and an enormous carousel in another. But the best part was the ancient remains of a castle complete with a moat. It looked ... read more
The Castle
Anyone Home?
What could be hiding amongst the bushes?

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Hanau July 9th 2014

The weather has not cooperated since we have been in Hanau--rain, wind, and thunder. But today we ventured out to go to the Information office located in the town square of Hanau. We learned that Hanau is the birthplace of the Grimm Brothers, the guys who wrote Grimm's Fairy Tales. Now that is exciting to me, I loved those old stories as a child. So even in the rain I had to have my picture taken at their statue. I was trying to tell Jerry the story of Rumplestiltskin but couldn't quite remember how it went. So I downloaded Grimm's Fairy Tales to my Kindle. While waiting for the futbol game (Argentina and The Netherlands) I read a few of the old tales. The original versions are pretty grusome. Eating children, leaving children in the woods ... read more
The Statue in the Square

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Frankfurt July 9th 2014

Gutten Morgan Herr Voghan Day 2 July 9, 2014 Gutten Morgan Herr Voghan Arrgggg, whattt. It’s breakfast time Voulds Uses like some kaffee? Yes, please, I sit up and Kirsten is looking at me and says “Good Morning Sunshine” I fall back into my seat and close my eyes. The pilot comes on over the PA and announces “good morning folks we’ll be landing in Frankfurt in about 45 minutes”. We land and make our way to passport control; Kirsten always goes first she flies through. Making small conversation getting the agent to laugh. Me they look at me, look at my passport and look at me. Vhy ares uses here Stephan. I try to make them laugh by answering I’m on Wacation. Sometimes it works, this time it didn’t. He finally stamps my passport and ... read more

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Frankfurt am Main June 16th 2014

Finally reached Germany after a nice long trip! Everything went well for my group, sadly the group we met up with their Begleitslehrers plane ticket was non-existant so he was not able to make it, but I managed to get all 9 kids here in one piece and meet up with their families. Arriving at the hostel was just as easy as I thought it would be luckily. Today I wandered the city, took a walk in the park and checked out the architecture museum (which had some cool buildings in it), the Frankfurter Dom and Goethehaus. I even climbed the Frankfurter Doms Tower, really narrow steps and only one way up and down. More pictures to come!... read more
Cool fountain near hotel
near the bank
park on the river

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