Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hot and Cold

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Here we’re standing in front of the Rheinfall. It was very refreshing. It has really heated up since then. We must have been in the 90’s by the time we reached Appenwier!

Crystal keeps asking when we’re going to play cards. It’s only 8:30 p.m., but we sure feel like going to bed. Writing in my blog is my best excuse to just sit and relax now. This is the first hotel that it looks like we’ll have good (free) access to the internet. It was free in Rothenburg, but we could only get it in a dark nook by the breakfast room. It was pretty inconvenient. Here the girls can get the internet real well in their bedroom. Ed and I have a third floor bedroom tonight, but tomorrow we’ll be moving to a different room (with a bigger bathroom). Hopefully, the internet access will be good there. The Hilton and Marriott both charged about $15 an hour for the internet. And that was within a 24 hour period. So, you could use it in any increments, but when 24 hours was up, the deal was over! We were able to use the business center for free at the Hilton after we lost 33 minutes. We were ready at the Marriott. That was why I updated the blog early yesterday—to make both updates within the 24 hour period. Germany is not quite up with the United States in internet access.

Last night we had another adventure in dining. The waitress was using some French with us. We were able to work with her better when she stuck to German. I even asked her about the bachelor party at the table next to us. Brittany even understood the word “heiraten” (wedding) from her work in family history. We’re starting to catch on to the food choices. We love schnitzel, but it seems like once every 4th day is about as often as you could (or should) eat it.

Today was Swiss day. I asked 3 people what year they were honoring. None of them knew. But, to be fair, none of them were really Swiss. They were from France, Scotland, etc. A lot of foreigners live in Switzerland. We got out of the country without having to pay a fine for being illegal aliens. I think I was supposed to buy a $27 dollar pass to enter Switzerland, but it never really came up. On the way to the Rheinfall (Europe’s largest water fall) this morning we had to go into Germany and back into Switzerland. Then, after the falls we left Switzerland again. Each time we were a little nervous. Just as the guard waved us on at the last border crossing, Ed stalled the car. (It’s a manual transmission). The guard was not amused. We thought it was extremely bad timing, but we escaped safely into the home country.

We enjoyed a lavish Marriott breakfast this morning. They even had smoothies, as well as every kind of bread and egg and meat and cereal. The grapefruit juice was almost as good as the Ruby Red served at Hotel Melzer in Salem. Brenda (GPS) took us easily to the Rheinfall, where we got a great parking spot. The falls aren’t really large, but they’re powerful and impressive looking. We walked all the way around them, which was up a couple of steep sets of stairs and over a bridge. We were happy to pay the ferry to take us back to the other side. They have a nice castle beside them that was completely scaffolded, and surrounded by the national bird of Switzerland—the construction crane! To look at the number of cranes in Switzerland you’d never believe there is a recession. Maybe they’re getting some of our TARP money!

So, we’re finally in Appenweier, the hometown of Ed’s Wiedemer family. We visited the town cemetery behind the church. The old gravestones are no longer there. The oldest people were generally born in the early 1900’s, with an occasionally 1880 or so. None of them were our direct descendants, but all the names were from our family tree! Wiedemer, Armbruster, Müller, Föll, Kornmeier, Grümer. It was like being in a German Fairview! We also checked out Urloffen and Zimmer, the adjacent towns. They had a sprinkling of our family names, but Appenweier was like the jackpot! We went to the churches in all three towns. They’re very beautiful and old, but they only have services about every 8 weeks at any one church. The priest must take turns. They seem to be used for Catholic as well as Evangelical services. That seems like a fair way to handle the problem of who the church really belongs to.

We went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Appenweier. We had the buffet, and it was great. The prices are lower now (12 Euros each) that we’re out of the big city. We even splurged and had sodas, now that they’re down to 2.8 Euros each.

We had a little excitement today when Brenda took us on a very narrow road in the forest. I wanted to turn back, but everyone else was loving it. We came very close to making a right turn onto a bike path, But, here we are safe in our hotel. Crystal entertained us in the car with a fun story about three girl gnomes with beards that bore a striking resemblance to the three Bush girls (in deeds, anyway). Crystal wants a gnome. Tomorrow we’re going to church in Offenburg, about 12 minutes from here. It will be in German. At least we’ll understand the order of events.

We enjoy hearing from you. It’s nice to know you’re reading. We’ll try to visit Abby’s blog when we get a little time to figure out how to read the sign-in instructions in German. I wonder if Verlene is reading the blog. We haven’t heard from her.

1 comment:

  1. Verlene is reading. She commented on Facebook about how much she enjoyed her posting. Then Joan got mad and said, 'Why didn't she know about the blog,' so we sent it on to her. Gnomes sound cool because of all the references to gnomes in the Harry Potter series when they are at the Barrows:) I need to get a GPS . . .