1 Germany – First Day

We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany by 12:30 pm, Sunday afternoon. Collecting our bags and going through customs was quite simple. They didn’t even ask us questions. As we exited the secure area, we were greeted by an excited Sara and Dietmar.

Well, Dietmar didn’t hug us as enthusiastically, but I am assured he was excited.

There weren’t any car seats for the children, so they took the train to Manheim, while Dietmar drove Thea and I. It was only a 40 minute car ride, and would have been faster but there was construction which really kept our speed down to 80km, and sometimes 60km. There were some stretches that had unlimited speed limits, and I was hoping for more of these, but unfortunately, it was only a small stretch and so my innate male desire for speed went unsatiated.

To amuse myself, I asked a lot of questions and looked at a roadmap of Germany. It’s a pretty crowded place. I couldn’t find anything, and it didn’t help that every other word had those strange dots and accents over them.

If you are from north america, you may be more familiar with maps that look like this:

German road maps look like this:

I found Frankfurt after a good 10 minutes. And then when I needed to find it once more, I lost it again. That map scared me.

There were a lot of German cars on the road, obviously, but what I didn’t know that GM used to own a car company called Opal and they set up a plant in Germany. How cocky can GM be that they decide to go up against the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and VW?

Anyway, we arrived in Manheim in good time and weaved our way through cobblestone streets that eventually got thinner and thinner. The houses were colourful, with high pointed clay shingled roofs that had that distinct european air to them. It felt great to be in a new country. :D

Sara’s apartment was spacious and decorated beautifully and reminded me of an Ikea display. Thea immediately fell in love with the apartment and commented profusely how things were designed better here than in North America. And I would have to concur because the first thing I saw as I entered were these really cool stairs that went up to the place where we were staying. Look at it displayed to the right. It’s one of those alternating foot stairs. The right foot goes onto the first step, but their is no room to put the left foot until the second step. I was confused by that the first couple times. Had to remaster my stair climbing skills.

However, the coolest engineered design was the patio door (and the windows). I usually snoop out new places regardless of permission given and I tried to open the door. I thought it broke when it opened from the top and leaned in. Thea quickly corrected me and showed me that it was a dual purpose door. When you turned the handle at 90 degrees, it opened normally like a door. When you turned the handle to the top, it opened as a window. Very cool. All the windows were designed this way as well. I spent half my time opening the windows.

She also had a sparkling water maker! That was very cool too. A machine that had a CO2 cartridge in it so that you could change normal tap water into sparkling new carbonated european water! I would need to get one of those for Dove except I don’t know where to get the refill cartridges. I could probably just rig up one of those paint gun CO2 cartridges. Well… *I* couldn’t do it, considering I have no skills, but someone could do that. That would be cool.

The night was a quiet night. We had a light lunch of soup and sausages with different types of bread. We may have stayed up later for local German frolicking, but we were exhausted and counted the minutes until bed time. We went out for a quick walk and the girls ran through fields. They were quite excited about those fields. We have fields in Canada, but no, they have to come to Germany. There were these cool bugs, however, on a flower. I’ll see if that picture turned out. It may be blurry due to my lack of steadiness.

This is going on for a bit, so I’ll close on toilets. They have two buttons. A smaller button for smaller… jobs done at the toilet and a large button for larger packages. That is pretty cool.

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