Sunday, July 26, 2009

Barefoot in the Park

Yesterday I learned how to say “Die Netzhaut ist in Ordunung!” That means “Your retina is okay, so enjoy your trip! We started out the day with a visit to the barefoot park. There are about 10 stations where you walk 10 foot strips of different outdoor possibilities. You start with pine needles, then you advance to gravel, lava rocks and tree boughs. We had the most fun jumping off tree stumps and trying to get a picture of us all in the air. Walking knee deep in mud was almost as much fun. We enjoyed cleaning our feet off in the stream, and rinsing our shorts off in the sink later. Bad Schwalbach is a cute little town that boasts lots of walking trails. We saw several people using Nordic walking poles/ Nordic walking is much more popular here than in America.

After our visit to the park I noticed my eye was shaded and had a curtain of little black spots over the entire field of vision. That made me nervous enough that I felt we had to find an eye doctor. It turned out the best place to go was an eye clininc in Wiesbaden, about 20 minutes away. Brenda, Ed’s navigation unit, got us there with no problem. The nurse was very helpful to translate my problem to the doctor. So, I went through the same eye exam I had in Broomfield on Thursday, but this time in German. I was glad I new enough German to respond appropriately to the doctor (look up, look down, etc.). The nurse abandoned us after that, but I understood the doctor just fine when she told me the retina was still just fine, and the Glaskorper was detached. Ed dropped the girls off downtown, where they got the whirlwind tour of Wiesbaden from Amanda. They also picked up some curry wurst for themselves and a sandwich for Ed and me.

Then, we were off to the opera in Dreieichenhain. Amanda did a great job. When she hit the high note on the solo it almost took your breath away. She was onstage for about half the opera, so we got to look at her a lot. She played a bitter old woman. We were shocked in the end she had to let Mr. Wilson kiss her (on the cheek). She never shares the good stuff with us in advance. We enjoyed seeing the ruins at Dreieichenhain. It has a great castle wall, as well as lots of half-timbered houses. At the end of the second half of the opera it started to rain. Really rain! We took a break, and the establishment handed out free ponchos. They were just glorified plastic bags, but they did the trick. They even handed out chamoises to wipe our seats down after the rain stopped. We stood in a covered area for about half an hour, but then sat down for the next two acts. It started to rain again, but the actors soldiered on. They were pretty funny. It was dramatic holding up a piece ofsoggy paper as proof of some plot line. At once point one of the UNC boys came out with a giant umbrella (I think from the beer garden) to shelter the two leads. They just kept singing in the rain! It was great fun, and very memorable.

We got home at 1 p.m., and dropped Amanda off to party with her friends for the last time. I wonder what time she went to bed. We’re a little tired this morning, but we’re all dressed for church! Hopefully, I can post this when we get to Rothenburg this evening.

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