I’ve jumped straight from Hausfrau into Crazed Traveler. I was content to visit areas outside of Stuttgart once a month, and we had done a pretty good job exploring other areas on the weekends. But after I started my new job, the next five weeks were dedicated to getting to know the company across four different cities. I met engineers. I met non-engineers. I hacked out awful sentences in German.
I thought living in a hotel for a week would be glorious, but I was wrong. I thought I’d have plenty of time in the evenings for exploring and blogging, but the villages were tiny and internet was scarce. I thought the office coffee would be respectable. It was not. On the plus side, the mountains of Germany are gorgeous.
I have about 100 photos of this scene, because I walked by every day for two weeks. Every day it looked different; sometimes I got there just as the sun was coming up, and the entire landscape would be blazing with oranges and reds and yellows. The field in the foreground started as dirt, and by the end of my time, sprung small green plants.
The second hotel was in Eiterfeld. This is a town of perhaps 7 people. The first morning there, I heard loud squawking as I left for work, and curiosity got the better of me.
And then I started noticing flamingos everywhere. There was a flamingo painting on the wall of the hotel. Flamingo trinkets for decoration. I never asked the 80-year old man about them, because he didn’t speak much English. But I went out and visited the flamingos every day. They liked me. You could tell because they screamed a lot.
Eiterfeld was also the region where I saw the most solar cells on rooftops, and wind farms in the distance. It seemed so high-tech and sophisticated.
The hotel was located on top of a Flescherei (butcher shop) and the old man managed both the hotel and shop. Breakfast included a lot of meats from the butcher shop. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t recognize the significance of this until the second day, so I missed out on a whole plate full of fantastic meats. A typical German breakfast has so many breads and cheeses and jams, that it’s easy to avoid the meat. But from then on, I ate every meat on the table.
They were the best sliced meats I’ve ever had in Germany. That olive loaf on the right made me consider buying a pack of it for later. Even the slices that made me instinctively recoil in horror (the chunks of meat in meat goo slice under the fork), were really, really good. Which is why, at the third hotel in Dermbach, I stated out eating all the meats. Catastrophe. Bologna on a plate. The hotel in Dermbach was clearly not run by an old man who runs his own butcher shop.
But the hotel in Dermbach had it’s own charms. For example, internet was easily attainable by taking your laptop into the hallway, and then holding it up in the air to try to snag WiFi.
One morning, fog rolled in like a dam burst to the east. It was really beautiful to watch from my office on the second floor. And the town was quaint. Lots of really old, decrepit buildings tucked away behind well-kept homes.
That’s finished now. Despite all the adventures and exploring, it’s hard to express how nice it is to be back sleeping in my own bed at night. Stuttgart isn’t quite a beautiful as the mountains up north, but it’s home.