The Ugly American
Not really a fun day in Germany.
I don’t really want to write about Dachau today. I visited the Concentration Camp today because my pop said I had to see it if I was here. I’m here, I saw it, it’s evil and I don’t want to talk about it!
Instead, I’m gonna tell you the Ausfahrt story. When I was driving from the airport in Munich to Ulm I kept passing this sign on the Autobahn, Ausfahrt…Ausfahrt…what the…and I was actually DUMB ENOUGH to ask, what is this place Ausfahrt? You’ll never find it…I keep getting off the Ausfahrt exit and I run into some suburb of Ausfahrt.
Well, I’m gonna keep looking. I even have a Sweatshirt that says…Where the heck is Ausfahrt Germany? Yeah yeah yeah…The Germans think it’s funny!
You know that sign on my forehead? It’s multi-lingual!
Let me share the view from my hotel room too!
The Danube is on the rise!
Last weekend I drove down to Lake Constance, or Bondensee as the Germans call it. Little did I know that this week Lake Constance would come to Ulm.
The Danube runs right through Ulm and New Ulm, luckily I’m staying in Ulm, which from the pictures you can see, is a little bit higher up than New Ulm. To understand the perspective of the pictures, you have to understand that I’m standing on a wall that’s at least 20 feet high! I’ve heard the Danube called the Blue Danube, well today, it’s the Brown Danube!
I’m sure some of you have seen the news from Austria and Switzerland about the flooding from all the rain. Well, it’s reached Ulm. At least the level of the Danube has risen about 4 or 5 feet since I got here! I’m told that it may get worse!
I wish I had taken some pictures of the river the first weekend I was here. It’s normally nice and blue and flows slowly. You see the ducks, geese and swans just kind of swimming along and picking whatever they pick out of the water.
Now, they’re sitting on the tops of park benches waiting for the river to slow down a bit!
There’s a ferry that crosses the river, I don’t know where the small ferry boat is, but it’s not at the dock! The dock is almost gone!
You can walk along the river banks. There’s normally about 30 yards between the wall and the river. Not today! I think I know why they built that wall back in the day…keep the river out of the town! It appears to be working. Ulm is dry and so far, New Ulm is dry. I have seen places in Ulm where people are pumping out there basements. I hope they were smart enough to move stuff out of them before the water came!
I also have a short 20 second video I took with my digital. I'll try to add it here later. I have limited internet access, so this is all you get for now. You can click on the pictures to see them in full size.
When it drops back down, if it drops back down, I’ll post some pictures so you can see the difference!
Ulm, week two!
I’m really having some fun over here in Germany.
A few of us went south today. We drove to Lake Constance in the south of Germany. A very beautiful place, unfortunately, the weather wouldn’t cooperate, so I think we’ll have to go back. I was told that the lighthouse on Lake Constance is the oldest in Europe. All these little villages look like they come out of story books.
While we were wandering around the lake we came across a fairly large square and it was about 12:15 and these bells started going off. I knew I recognized the song and then one of the people I was with started singing it…oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine! I know that’s not what it was playing, but it makes you think about where our history really comes from in the U.S.
Then, as we were walking a little farther into this little town on the Lake, I saw what appeared to be the turret room of a castle. I took a picture from a distance and we started to walk up to it. Figured I’d get a little better picture. Check out this picture and look at what’s hanging out the window! I didn’t see Rapunzel, only her golden locks hanging from the window!
After that, we drove a good way around the lake. So today, I’ve been in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All in one day! How cool is that? I’m a little bummed about it, I didn’t even get stopped to have my passport stamped. I guess this European Union thing has all the countries around here set up like states. When I go down there next time I will try to find a place that does that kind of thing. I’d just like to have the stamps in my passport.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Apparently, the autobahn isn’t one road. It’s like our interstate system in the U.S. It seems to me that any road that starts with A over here, like our interstates start with I is part of what they call the autobahn. Well, this Opel (yeah they still make Opels) that I’m driving with the turbo diesel will go at least 210 KPH. And it does it quite well! I had to get out of the gas because my exit was coming up. I would have tried it earlier but for most of the day the roads were to wet. It really seemed to upset the guy in front of me in the BMW Z4 that couldn’t get away from the guy in the station wagon! What’s really cool is it was legal! I figured the cars here would have speedometers like ours only reversed. You know, KPH on the top and MPH on the bottom. But they only list KPH, so, I’ll have to do the math, but it was fast! Man was it fast!
first full week in Ulm
When you look at the picture from my first little deal about Ulm, it looks like a quiet little town. That picture was taken on my first Sunday here and it was pretty dead. Here’s what it looks like on a Saturday afternoon!
Here’s some more of the really cool architecture that I’ve seen here in Ulm. Next weekend I’ll start doing a little bit of traveling outside the city.
It’s really a pretty nice place. The people I’ve met have been pretty nice, all but the customs guy that nailed for a buttload of money because I bought too many packs of smokes with me! We’ll discuss that another time. Just a warning; if you’re traveling to Europe, don’t bring more than two cartons with you. It will cost you!
My first week in Germany!
Well, it started off kinda rocky, those that know me, might know what I'm talking aoubt...issues at home and all...but life is good and all is well at the home front...so here goes!
I’m in Ulm, I think there’s supposed to be a couple of those dots over the U but I’m not really sure. Birthplace of Einstein and home to the tallest church Spire in the world. You can climb it, but I ain’t ready!
They sure talk different over here! One thing I’ve noticed, a lot of people speak English and that’s a good thing! Most of them speak much better English than I speak German…of course that ain’t hard, ‘cause I don’t speak any German! A lot of folks speak three, four even five languages here. I guess they have to, when you look at a map, a lot fo Europe covers the same kinda area that the US does, so, without even trying, you’re in another country!
I’m spending my first weekend here in Ulm, I’ll start my travels around Europe next weekend. This is a pretty neat town, a lot to see, so I need to stay and get to know the city I’m gonna be living in for the next two and a half months!
Let's try this new blogger image thing...
I figured I'd give this a try...since I like sharing my pics on here...
Some more from my visit to DC last week.
I think i like it. I was putting smaller sized pics in my posts before...now I can put the normal sized pics up and you can click them and see them in a better size.
Nice job Blogspot!
Man I've been busy!
I've been pretty busy the last week or so...doing the travelling thing...some for work...some for me and mine.
I've been south and man, I mean south!
You can't get any further south in this country without getting in a plane or a boat!
I have seen some beauty.
I've been north...not nearly as far north, but it's been a good few days.
...and I've cried.
I've had moments of reverence...
...and moments of reflection.
It's been a good summer so far!
I found this on a wall next to where I was sitting at a fun little place in Key West called Schooners Wharf. Crazy place down there...but learned some stuff while I was working down there and had a little time to check the place out also...looking forward to going back.
As long as I've been on this planet and as much of a patriot as I profess to be...it was actually my first time in DC...That's kind of embarrassing! An amazing city Washington, D.C. Rich in our nations history.
One of the coolest places to go...and you can't really take any pictures...is the National Archives...the place where they store our country's greatest treaures. The Bill of Rights, The Constitution and the Declaration of Independance. That's the order I think they should be in. There's tons of other stuff there...but nothing compares to those 3.
Saw and interesting bumper sticker on a car while I was there...it said...taxation without representation...welcome to DC. Never thought about it...but they are kinda screwed!
The amusement park in the pics is Paramount's King's Dominion, it's in Doswell, VA. About an hour and a half from Va Beach and right in between my house and DC...How convenient!!!
Oh Yeah...almost forgot (yeah right) I'm 29 again today...so...happy birthday to me!