Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary



February 1-5
Written February 5

Dear Friends and Families,

Every once in awhile, someone takes us up on our invitation to visit and on this cold winter weekend, some nice folks came from far away, and warm, Arizona.  One might wonder why.

Rick is Marianne's second cousin (son of a regular cousin) and he and wife Kimberly volunteered for this visit because it happened to be the time when they had vacation.  After visiting his cousin Dean in Geneva, they took the train to visit Germany for the first time and we were delighted to have new folks to show around.

Of course, February is not prime time in Fankonia, what with cold, gray, and rainy skies, but nothing seemed to dampen everyone's spirits and we showed them one of our "standard tours": Bamburg, Nuremberg, Pommersfelden, and a finish in Frankfurt.

Bamburg was about as dreary and gray as it could be.  It was also pretty empty of any tourists, other than us, a stark contrast with our summer visits.  It was a good day to spend some time inside, in a small shop or two and in the massive Bamburg Cathedral,  where my pictures seemed to center around tombs and sarcophaguses.  Probably the weather.  We did manage to finish the visit with coffee and cakes at Dom Kaffe, one of our favorite sweets dealers. Kimberly and Rick seemed to adapt well to the German custom of sweets in the afternoon.

The next day, Marianne took the visitors down to Nuremberg while I stayed home nursing a cold.  They went to the Documentation Center, the required-by-our-visitors history of the National Socialist Party in Bavaria.  The history lesson took over three hours and the "students" came back with glowing words for a museum that depicts a very dark period.

From there it was the normal downtown visit, complete with test of "turning the ring" in the street-level church tower.  Then a dinner at the restaurant in the Rathaus or City Hall.  These restaurants are very traditional in German cities and, if located in the basement ("keller"), are generically called "Ratskellers".  Such places, kellers or not, were more important to citizen's advise and consultation ("raten" in German) than the main chambers may have been.

Sunday was a quiet day around Pommersfelden.  We limited activity to a windmill tour, a palace walk-around (no inside tours in winter), another coffee and cake session up at the Cafe Kellerhaus, and an outstanding Marianne Meal at home.

On Monday we drove up to Frankfurt so that Kimberly and Rick would be able to catch their Tuesday flight without the uncertainty of the drive up.  In fact, the Monday drive did feature a 30-minute traffic jam not far from home.  This gave us a chance to explain the term "stau".  Up in the big city, we were not quite rained out, but close.  After a window-view lunch, the skies opened and prevented much touring beyond a visit to St Bartholomew's Cathedral and a bit of evening stroll through the lighted bank district.  (I need to have a photo session here, with time!)

Our hotel was The Global Hotel, in Mörfelden, a village just south of the Frankfurt Airport.  We chose it because it was both convenient and cheap and, despite it's somewhat eccentric Turkish-themed decorative scheme, it served us well.  Rooms were clean and the Tuesday breakfast was as good as we have had elsewhere and hopefully this all left our guests with a positive impression.  That's important.

We delivered Kimberly and Rick at Frankfurt Airport Tuesday morning, where they would catch the flights to San Francisco and back home to Arizona.  The flights would take far longer than our drive home, but they would end up in warm Arizona and we would still have weeks left of gray and cold German winter.  We need to have a better balance!

So, that was one visit, and it seemed OK despite the dreariest weather of the year.  We can almost guarantee better skies for YOUR visit.

John and Marianne


Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary