Published: September 21st 2009
September 21st 2009
That double decker bus just couldn’t have looked any better! We were tired and wanted somewhere to just rest our weary bodies. So we climbed to the top level and got a front seat view of the first taste of Germany we would have. All our cameras at the ready, we snapped pictures of everything we could see. Stop lights, street signs and freeway mostly.
The boys slept off and on, but I was determined to get just that perfect shot. Needless to say, the five hour bus ride flew by and I did not accomplish my mission. I saw a few farm animals, lots of traffic and a few farm houses, but nothing that satisfied my shutter. There was only us, a family of four and a young soldier on that bus so everybody could spread out and use as much room as you wanted. Funny thing about traveling when you don’t know where you are going, you are always wondering if you are there.
We passed a lot of signs of places that I would have liked to stop and see, to include castles and small towns, but the driver continued about his way. In fact, he
didn’t talk to us one time, just drove and drove.
The amount of trees was incredible. Reminded me of Washington State and the always abundant green around you. Had to tell stories to my friends about home then. They weren’t really interested. Sleep or listen to Davina talk? Not a difficult decision for most.
When we finally took an exit of the main freeway, I was slow on the uptake and missed the picture of the exit sign written in German. Then we really paid attention. It was beautiful farmland surrounded by nothing but little hilly mountains and more trees. Every corner we rounded I thought that we would be reaching our destination. After a half hour it dawned on me that this was probably just like every other military training post. Out of sight and away from any sign of towns or normal people.
We rounded the final corner as we inched up the hill and saw our first few of what we would soon be calling our home. Oh No! It looked just like the camp from the television series Hogans Heroes…There they were, building that all looked the same, fences with concertina wire surrounding
the entire site and guard posts standing tall. This can’t be real. I was hoping for something a little more inviting. Something a little less armyish. Something that didn’t make us all say out loud, “You’ve got to be kidding”.
We drove up upon a guard shack and that big bus door opened slowly with this ugly hissing noise. The driver said nothing, but the armed guard stepped boldly up to the upper deck and said; “Whose in charge?” My mind was playing jokes with me because it sounded just like Schultz from the TV show. It was abrupt and very serious. I looked around and in the biggest Major’s voice that I could muster up, said “I am. Well, I’m in charge of these four. Not the other ones.” He looked at me like I was half baked, and so I accepted responsibility for them all. He really kinda scared me. He seemed so serious and I didn’t dare take a picture. But I really wanted to, maybe it would have broken up the weirdly tense moment.
He then left the bus, looked at some paperwork and then came back to the bus quickly. Then yelled out,
“Johnson, get off the bus and go to the bathroom,” pointing to an area not too far away. Johnson sprung out of his seat, grabbed his backpack and rushed off the bus in the direction the guards finger was pointing. My motherly instinct kicked in and I thought, what are they doing with Johnson and how did they know he had to go to the bathroom? And why don’t they think that we don’t have to go? Why did they leave the family alone? What is going on? Okay, maybe my imagination was running wild, but this was not a good time to be in charge, for one I couldn’t understand a word the guard was really saying and secondly I was hoping that Johnson hadn’t done anything wrong.
I kept my eye on that young Johnson, ran into that room and came out a couple minutes later. Stood by the bus until the guard pointed directly back at the bus and whooshed him this way. The guard followed him onto the bus and I asked why he had made Johnson get off the bus. Like I was gonna make a big deal about it. Again, the guard looked
at me like I was half out of my mind and told me that Johnson needed to go to the bathroom because he had to drive another hour down the road. Ugh.
But this meant that this is truly where we were getting dropped off. The scenery was beautiful like the Sound of Music, but the buildings were scaring me. Old, worn down and in need of a paint job is the last thing that we saw just before entering the dark and creapy structure.
Welcome to Germany…
There are more photos below