Tagebuch - Kirchhain 2007

Ausflug nach Stuttgart und Ferien (Excursion to Stuttgart and holidays

On the way to Stuttgart on the Friday before the holidays, we were enthralled by the beauty and history of the Residenz at Wurzburg. Many of the group were able to follow what the tall German guide was explaining to us: ground floor was big enough for large 6-horse carriages to be welcomed, the whole court would cluster round the balconies to watch, when a visiting dignitary arrived. The first huge ceiling depicted scenes from the four continents - Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Australia had barely been discovered by white man. Following that were exquisite rooms of sculpted plaster, gold and jewels, and a mirror room, which was destroyed during the war and only recently restored. The interior palace rivals the beauty of Neuschwanstein and Sans Souci in Potsdam.
The afternoon was spent in groups in the gardens, the market and shopping.
Our arrival in Stuttgart was memorable for the traipse up the many steps to the youth hostel, and pizza for tea. We were part of huge crowds at the technologically impressive new Mercedes Benz Museum next day, and then three of us managed to get to a soccer game (echter Fussball!) - Stuttgart gegen Allemania-Aachen. Stuttgart won 3-0 and hasn't lost since! VFB! VFB! (That's pronounced fow- eff- beh) Five of us got to experience an afternoon at the swimming pool, German style. Two hot mineral pools to choose from, a couple of cool pools with massaging spa jets and whirlpool effect, and several ice cold ones. The experience isn't complete without the complimentary change rooms with hangers, lockers, footrests and hairdryers. Others chose to shop.
Saturday night was party night with a bride and her hens in the main pedestrian zone, and us of course!, and at the gelateria, where our gales of laughter were rewarded by free ice cream, free cakes, lovely chat with the owner from Montenegro, who has a cousin in Melbourne! Nothing like sitting out in the freezing night air wrapped in the blankets provided with great company.
Many of us made it to church, either at the Adventist church or at City Chapel, which was located on the fourth floor. They provided an English translation of the sermon, and the whole experience was very edifying.
The trip home was rendered more exciting by a medical emergency on board, which made our train late, so we missed our connection from Frankfurt. We hastily made alternate pickup arrangements, and there was no great harm done.
Since then the holidays have stretched our German and given us varied experiences - skiing in Austria, visits to Frankfurt, the Netherlands, Leisure parks, Frankfurt, Mr Bean Macht Ferien (we can really understand how he feels when the unexpected happens when you're on holidays), Munich, Berlin, the Rhine, Giessen, und, und...
Practically nobody wants to go home, but the homeward trip starts today, at Kirchhain Station. Still to come:13 hours of Lufthansa travel, 4 hours at the beautiful, massive, Singapore Airport (rooftop pool to be rejuvenated) and 7+ hours of entertainment aboard Singapore Air. Arrival time 6.10am Wednesday morning. See you soon!