Germany – Karlsruhe, Reutlingen October 16-20, 2014

Thursday: Train from Coburg to Karlsruhe via Stuttgart. Changing trains is a pain. The station in Coburg has only stairs, not elevator or escalator.

Stairs up to the track at the Coburg train station

Stairs up to the track at the Coburg train station

In Karlsruhe, my friends Maria and Hans retrieve me from the station. We met in 1979 in Albuquerque. They spent a year in the Washington, D.C., area in 1980-81, when we had just moved there, too. At the time, Maria, her youngest son, Felix, my daughter Amy, and I ran around in Virginia and Washington. Amy adopted the family — George and Agnes were her brother and sister. Later, when she started school at the German School Washington, she apparently talked about them so much that one of the teaching assistants asked me if she really had sibling in Germany….

I last saw Hans and Maria in Strasbourg in 2002, on my way from Bern back to the US. We lost contact — which I was able to re-establish thanks to Agnes and LinkedIn. It was great to see them again…and Maria was always a super cook. She still is.

Friday: Maria had an appointment in the morning. After lunch, we go on a little city tour, including shopping. I just like to look.


Karlsruhe – University (I think)

Purple berries in the garden

Purple berries in the garden

Nature drape to cover construction

The green and blue are not nature, but rather a drape to cover up construction next to this outdoor café

Saturday: On to visit a friend in Reutlingen, Margot, and her husband Ulf. Margot was (and more or less still is) a professor of economics in Nürtingen. She had a semester-long sabbatical in Washington in 1994-5, where she used the infrastructure of the office of the Representative for German Industry and Trade. I was the office manager there at the time. We did several things together, plus she watched some of the activities around my getting a senior ready for college. I visit her and her husband whenever I’m in the neighborhood, i.e. Stuttgart. She had just had some knee surgery, so this is when a visit worked for her.

Margot is another hiker. She took me out for a couple of longer walks in her area. The weather was almost like September in Tucson. The two evenings we went to two different restaurants, both above the city. I had two more great meals. Sunday afternoon Margot was busy preparing something for the university, so Ulf kindly took me to the center of Reutlingen, which I don’t recall seeing before, for coffee and cake. Reutlingen had stores open — a quarterly event — so everyone was out. The fire department had several exhibits set up, a band was playing, and the cafes were full.

Coffee in Reutlingen

Coffee in Reutlingen

Leaf skeletons in a partition in one of the restaurants

A partition in one of the restaurants — it turned out to be acrylic and not glass, but leaf skeletons are a favorite of mine…

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