MUNSTERMAIFELD Nov 81
Munstermaifeld was a town we went to visit many times. It was really cool to see your name on a street sign. We walked the entire length of Maifeld Strasse several times. The people that lived on our street must have thought we were really strange walking back and forth on the street. No one ever came out to ask what we were doing though.
At the Maifelder Gast Haus (Maifeld's guest house or hotel if you prefer) we did go in and talked to the manager (using German) and told him what our name was, he was quite impressed and told several of the other employees what our name was but never did offer us free lodging. We never stayed over in Munstermaifeld anyway as it was only a couple of hours from where we lived. We also visited the local cemetery looking for gravestones with MAIFELD on them but were told by the pastor of the church that none were buried there.
On our first trip to Munstermaifeld we were along side of the highway filming the MunsterMaifeld sign with our huge video camcorder when a car came along and the driver was gawking out the window to see what we were doing when he lost control of his car. The resulting crash as the car veered into a telephone pole, snapped off the pole and overturned was quite spectacular. We ran over to offer assistance but he crawled out of the car shaking his head.`He was too embarrassed to be injured. We left after he declined our help but I would have loved to hear him explain to the Politzei what had happened.
GARMISCH - May 82
At Garmisch the Army ran a guest house where military personnel and their dependants could stay for very reasonable rates. In fact it was so cheap that we got the kids their own rooms. This was another trip we made with Ross and Lorrie plus their four kids; Donald, Archie, Roy and Ray, along with our three. I believe we had five rooms altogether. We made Garmisch our headquarters and toured the area including the Austrian Alps. It was such a beautiful area. We rode the cable car up to the highest point in the mountains and the kids all stayed at the bottom. Turned out to be another major mistake. Debi was practicing her rock throwing ability south into the lake when poor Archie who was standing due east of her on land got in the way of a misguided missile. Blood was gushing everywhere when we returned and the kids were frantic. Try finding a doctor on a Sunday in the States where there is no hospital and you'll know what we went through on a Sunday in Germany.
Debi was involved in another incident while we were at Garmisch which involved the local McDonalds restaurant but I've embarrassed her enough for one day so I won't go into the details of table hopping.
Neuschwanstein was the most beautiful castle of all the European castles that we saw. The location was just absolutely breathtaking. Disney must have thought so too as their castle at Disneyland is quite similar. We toured the inside of the castle and were simply amazed at all the modern conveniences that had been installed in the castle when it was built. King Ludwig was way ahead of his time with some of his ideas. Neuschwanstein was another place we went to more than once. It was #1 on the list for places to go in Germany.
Linderhof Castle was a close second. It was beautiful on the outside but was located in the flatlands which took away some of the splendor. The fountain outside of the castle and the surrounding landscape were superb but the inside was just too garish for my taste. Gold leaf was used everywhere and in my opinion overused but then again the designers didn't ask for my opinion.
The Germans had several customs that we more or less adopted into our lives. One of them was VOLKSMARCHES or people walks. A comparison would be to have friends and neighbors gather together to walk trails through the town and countryside for six miles (in most cases) enjoying the great outdoors and each others company. The Germans added a little twist to it by awarding a medal to you when you finished the walk. I would say that we went on more than 50 of them in the three years we were in Germany. The fun was not only the exercise but also the drive to the city where the volksmarch was being held. Driving through the villages of Germany was an experience on its own. Each individual village had such beautiful and distinctive buildings. Quite often we got lost on our road trips but I honestly believe it was on purpose. You can see the medal from Heidelberg in the picture below and also how Americans adopted the volksmarch idea by having their own walking club. We left Germany before we were able to get the other two parts to the medal.
We traveled to Heidelberg on two separate occasions, once for a volksmarch and the other time to tour the area. The tourist trip was made with Ross & Lorrie and their kids plus some other friends and our entire family. If you can imagine this many people climbing around in the ruins of Heidelberg castle (Can't remember the name of the castle) but I don't think it was in ruins until our group came along. It was situated high up on a hill and climbing around on the ruined castle walls was a bit scary. Debi had specific instructions not to throw any bricks toward the Heidelberg River. Ross and I decided we couldn't take the antics of all the kids and went off by ourselves to climb the hills on the other side of the river. We would have been better off staying with the kids as we ended up exhausted from our climb.
The Mosel River valley was the most scenic drive in all of Germany. The towns of Bernkastle-Kues and Traben-Trabach were oft-visited. Any time that we didn't have any thing planned it seemed this was where we ended up. The wines from this region were better than any I have ever tasted.
The Germans didn't need the 4th of July as an excuse to have a fireworks display. Quite often we were entertained by them but on this one occasion I think it was the 4th of July. It was one of the most romantic evenings I have ever spent; we were with our friends Reiner and Bobby, Lorrie and Ross, myself and my wife on a small cruise ship in the middle of the Mosel River with a supply of the best bottles of spatlese imaginable along with an orchestra playing romantic music when the fireworks display began. The rockets were being fired from castles on each side of the river and exploding above us mostly in red designs. It was the best fireworks display I have ever attended.
The town of St. Goar is located on the Rhein River near the Lorelei Rock, a place made famous by the poem "The Lorelei". I learned the poem in German while we were there and can still recite it in German 20 years later. The amazing part is that I even remember the English translation.
This map shows some of the cities along the Mosel River from Trier to Koblenz. During and at the end of the wine growing season each small town would have a WINE FEST to celebrate the years harvest. Each town would have small wine glasses usually with the city seal or some distinctive land mark from the town. At one time we had a collection of about 500 diferent wine glasses so you could probably say we visited a WINE FEST or two. We gave some to my sister and other glasses have scattered into a million pieces including one when I was taking pictures recently.
To Home Page