Lisa in Germany: 2001
Day 1: Friday
Friday sort of encompasses Thursday, since we left Thursday afternoon and arrived Friday morning in Germany. I took a plane out of Worcester around 1pm. I normally hand carry the laptop through security, but they told me to just send it through the xray machine. I was worried about the machine being damaged. "Are you sure this is OK for it?" I asked them. They said sure, sure. So on the other side when I went to pick it up I asked again, "Are you sure it wasn't irradiated or something?" They got flustered and warned me not to make jokes like that in bigger airports, because I could get hauled away to security. Apparently they thought I was joking about the computer being a bomb, when I was just worried about them having demolished my hard drive!
OK, off on the little plane, with a bunch of young boxers from Boston who were going to the carribbean. I wanted to ask them what it was like to be a boxer, but was too shy. We landed in JFK without a problem, and a bus took us into the terminal. The luggage monitor said we would be on carousel "AD" but there was no such thing! Just a D1, D2, and D3. I asked several people where AD was and was told it would be on D1. I sat there for 45 minutes asking everyone, no luck. Finally I spotted my bag mixed in with a ton of Miami arrivals on D2. Ah well. I grabbed it, took the shuttle from my terminal to the Delta one, got spot-searched for drugs, had to wait for 80-trillion tour groupers to go up the elevator, and finally found mom :)
We checked in and managed to get seats together, my window, her aisle. We hung out in the seating area and talked about things for a while, and then it was time to get on the plane! The movie was one I'd wanted to see - Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe about terrorists - but I didn't want to try to watch it here because of the bad video and sound. I still saw snippets that I didn't want to though.
Food, Bailey's, wine and sparkling Sekt, and I took a nap. When I awoke we were over Germany - a cool GPS display would be on the video when there wasn't a movie, showing exactly where the plane was and what towns we were over and everything. Very neat! It was sort of sad, though, every square inch was blocked into little ownership cubes where people were farming or mining or something. There was nothing "natural" left - it's like a giant carpet had been rolled over the earth covering whatever had been there before. Ah well. I took some pictures.
As we got down towards Munich and the alps, there were at least a few trees, and as we got closer down we could see they were all white with red tile roofs.
We cleared immigration and Stefan and Jenny were there waiting for us! They brought us right to their car and we headed off. First we went to Stefan's office, passing fields of red poppies along the way. The sides of the highway were farms here, with hawks sitting on the wooden fence posts watching for mice. Lots of grass and barley being grown.
Stefan's office (Network Associates, owner of McAfee) was just having people drive in to work, and the parking spaces are cement diamond grids in the ground, so grass grows up in the diamonds making it pretty. After a short while he came out again and took his company car, so Jenny drove and we followed them. At some point we took different routes so we took a nice, windy back road and saw more farm and villages as we went.
It appeared that most villages comprised of lots of farms, the houses all stuffed into the middle, and one church. Some churches had pointed steeples but many had the blue onion-dome I associate more with Russian areas. Soon we got to their village, and pulled into their lovely home. I have photos of it later. They have a small garden out front with a pond, and mockingbirds in the nearby tree. We brought our things up to their third floor 'suite' where we were staying, and took a nap for a few hours.
The rest of Day 1: A Trip to the Alps
Day 1: Picture Set A
Day 1: Picture Set A2
Day 1: Picture Set B
Lisa's Germany Trip: Master Page