Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our flight and first Days in Germany

Sorry for the long awaited post! It's been a process getting here, but we are here safe and sound. Andrew had to come out 2 weeks before Ellie and I because the army still had some processing to do for us. Ellie, my friend Catrina and I arrived on the 12th-- We are so blessed to have such good friends!! Catrina was so much fun and so much help! I CANNOT imagine coming here by myself! I had 7 big bags including a port-a crib and high chair, a car seat and stroller, a diaperbag, a carry on and coats. Oh and I had a screaming baby:) (I packed so much because we won't have our stuff until December- not so cool.) The flight was over 10 hours and Ellie did ok. She was awake until about 10:30pm wanting to walk up and down the aisles (with my help) and so we got to know everyone on the plane pretty well. Especially the people she would stop and stare at for minutes at a time. She finally went to sleep and slept for the remaining part of the flight. It went fine. We got into Frankfurt at about 4am our time (1:30pm German time) there is a 9 hour time diff. and were taken to Schweinfurt in a VW van by Andrew and another army guy.

Andrew and the Army guy (specialist Sawyers) trying to move all the bags out of the elevator.

I thought the trip on the Autobahn would be a lot scarier than it was. Contrary to popular belief they do have speed limit "suggestions" and people do obey for the most part. I actually like the street signs and highways rules more out here. I think it's a lot safer and more organized even though people are going 230 km/hr (130 mi/hr) in some places- you just have to watch out for them. I'm still getting used to everything in km, but I'll get there.

So we arrived in Schweinfurt, an industrial town, and are staying on base. (In German Schwein means pig so the town is full of all sort of pig signs and staues.) The base here used to belong to the Nazi's and it has been converted and restored in some parts to serve the Army's needs here. But it is still pretty dated.

Since arriving here Andrew has been in meetings all day and we currently have no phones, no house and no car. We are in a hotel, renting a car when needed and plan to get phones really soon. We've looked at 3 places and will hopefully find the right one soon.

So, we decided to get out and get to know the area. We went to Bamberg the first day. The Wurzberg residence the next and castle Rothenburg odt the third. Then we traveled to Fussen for 2 days to visit the Neuschwanstien castle (the sleeping beauty one) and the Hohenschwangau castle across the way. I promise I'll go into more detail soon, I have so much more to talk about, but Ellie just woke up so I'll leave you with some pictures. Hope everything is going well back home we love and miss you guys!

Bamburg was a good place to start- your classic German town with a small castle and so much to look at. It so beautiful out here. The trees are changing color and everything is so green.

Bamberg really is a little venice as you can see here. There are many small shops in the town and so many good bakeries.

These pictures are of the Wurzberg Residence Gardens. It was a royal palace and the inside was just as beautiful with huge stair cases and painted ceilings (no pics allowed inside, sorry.)

This is Castle Rothenburg odt. I think it was the most surprizing castle we went to because inside was a city within the walls of the old castle with hotels, shops, churches and bakeries. We ate a nice lunch at a turkish cafe (the donor sandwich is sooo good!) and visited older parts of the castle including a grave yard and garden. Rothenburg was so much fun!

I have a lot to say about Schloss Neuschwanstein so I'll save it for later!