GERMANY by Jim - 1993
FRIDAY. APRIL 16TH
Pete picked me up at 12:30 P.M., we had to stop for camera, it wasn't ready yet. We
had to turn into the ugly Americans to get the camera guy moving. Had plenty of time
at airport, boarded first class, 2 seats per side. S. Kilgore was on plane in coach,
he had a good view of us living it up in First Class, it couldn't happen to a nicer
guy. Short wait at Detroit before flight. The flight across was great, 2nd row
from front, seats were like lazy boys "great". They gave us champagne and
appetizers, also got a small pouch with tooth brush, shaver, eye mask, soap and
"socks" for in-flight comfort. Dinner was excellent, 3 course meal.
They had a keg of beer "Becks" with stems for later in flight. They even
had flowers in the restart. Slept about 3 hours (tough life), movies and radio
available. After dinner chocolates too. Good flight very smooth.
SATURDAY APRIL 17TH
Arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. Got off plane at 7:00 a.m., Peter just got
there. We were 20 minutes early, perfect timing. He took us to a hotel in
Damstadt which is 30 miles from Frankfurt. Peter got a picture ticket on the way to
pick us up. We can't believe how fast they drive; no speed limit on auto bahn.
We ate a light breakfast and talked with Peter. Decided to get some rest.
Peter and his wife would pick us up at 11:00 a.m. for a drive in the country. The
room was very small with a small bed, T.V., small bath and that's it. No blanket,
just a comforter. It was all very nice. I took a walk around town. Also got
lost, 500,000 people live here. They have electric buses so you can't hear
them. It is very dangerous for first time visitors, almost got hit. People
walking all over, thousands of them no noise, which gives you an eerie feeling. They
don't allow cars in the center of town. It is very nice and clean. Peter and his
wife picked us up around 10 a.m. and we walked around town. Pete needed 220 adapter for
recharging the camera battery. We had a hard time finding one. We walked by a
McDonalds, Pizza Hut and a lot of open stores selling fruits and vegetables. Started
for Heidleberg looking at the countryside. Pete got sick, he wasn't feeling good
ever since we got off of the plane. We decided to just sight see around Damstadt,
and went to Frankenstein's castle. Peter and his wife and I ate lunch there, Pete
sat outside and rested, he needed fresh air. The roads are very crooked and Peter is
not the best driver in the world. I think Pete was car sick and also had jet
lag. I ate some type of lamb and it was very good. Peter's wife seems very
nice, she is a biologist for genetic research. She was very nervous around us
(Americans). Everything is very expensive. Peter is looking at buying a house,
but can't afford it yet. A plain house with no yard and a one stall garage goes for
$200,000. Everything is very crowded in Germany & I see why everyone walks,
roads and parking are a nightmare. Peter showed us an East German car made of
plastic. A very ugly car with poor workmanship. I think he was also
comparing East verses West people. They don't think much of East Germans (lazy). All
cars are small and all are stick shift. Gas is 4 times as much as in the
U.S.A. A very pretty country to sight see in. Gardens and flowers
everywhere. We saw a game called Boulle where each player has 4 softball size steel
balls and they throw them like shuffle board. That night we went to an Italian restaurant
and met Manfred and his wife along with Mr. Heinke, the other Process Manager at
Glyco. Pete and I drink beer and everyone else drank wine. We had a good time,
Pete feels better now.
SUNDAY. APRIL 18TH
Peter and I got up at 7:00 a.m. and went jogging. It is a very pretty place to
jog. Germany is a very safe place to walk. Pete and I walked around the
gardens by the hotel before Peter picked us up, we also went to a museum. Peter and his
wife picked us up at 11:00 a.m. for a sightseeing trip to Wiesbaden and the Rhein Koe
river area, (vineyards and a well-known vacation spot). Stopped at a town called
Ruidesheim and saw the narrowest and busiest street in Germany, it was a really neat and
pretty area. Mr. Heinke and his wife and two children (1 and 4 year old girls) also
came along. Peter's wife is 6 months pregnant. She also speaks very good English.
There are no pickup trucks in Germany. They are too big and couldn't get
around. Peter took us to his apartment for teas in the afternoon. It is very
nice, he pays over $1,000 a month (not that nice). Everyone shuts the lights off
when leaving a room. Also, they shut off the hot water heaters during the day.
Everyone is very energy conscious. Pete and I ate breakfast in McDonald in the
morning (we didn't know it was free in our hotel until Peter told us). It took 10
minutes to get our food. Everybody does things very slow here, they are in no
hurry. This makes Pete and I very antsy (hard to believe). Heinke's 4 year old
was afraid of us at first (the way we talked), but she warmed up later. Cute little
girl. Everything in Germany is very old 1400-1500. A house that is 100 years
old is considered a new one. Pete and I asked Peter to stop the car so we could take
a picture of a wine castle. We got on a railroad track and Peter told us that was
against the law and very dangerous (we rolled our eyes up). A little while later we
saw a train go by "wow" he was right, you couldn't hear it and it went faster
than hell. The food in Germany was also very expensive. The wouldn't let us
buy anything, they treated us very well. Pete bought his wife a Hummel and I bought a
cuckoo clock in Wiesbaden. We got back to the hotel about 10:00 p.m. and ready for
MONDAY APRIL 19TH
Peter picked us up to go to the plant for the day at 7:30 a.m. First we breakfast in
the hotel for free (not McDonalds). The breakfast menu was like Aruba, cold cut
meats, juice, coffee, boiled eggs, and cheeses. 45 minute drive to the plant and
lots of traffic. It doesn't look like fun to me. Peter wore a sports jacket
and tie and so did Mr. Heinke, they carried briefcases. We had lunch in the plant
lunchroom and it was very good food, homemade right there. After work Mr. Heinke (don't
know his first name), and Peter took us to downtown Wiesbaden to sightsee and eat.
We had a beer in a real German beer garden. A very busy city but everyone walking so
it didn't seem that bad. Boy would Jeanette and Deanna have a ball shopping here.
Thousands of different shops. We spent at least 3 hours eating dinner, service very
slow. Pete and I are getting anxious but it didn't seem to bother Peter or Mr.
Heinke. Back to hotel 11:00 p.m. and ready for bed again.
TUESDAY APRIL 20Th
Checked out of the hotel at 7:30 a.m. and went to the plant until 12:00 p.m. Manfred drove
us to the airport in Frankfurt. He got lost about 3 times and we had a helluva time
in the airport. We had to declare our things that we bought. Before we boarded
the place we turned into the ugly Americans again. It was very hot and no-one spoke
English, we just made the plane and our luggage was getting very heavy. We had a
hard time finding room on the plane for it.