Sunday, September 13, 2009

German Adventure Day 9: Sunday, July 26th

Today we saw more of Dresden with Mike's relatives, Mattias and Elke. First we rode on Europe's oldest suspension railway to get beautiful views of the city.

The Blues Wonder (Blaues Wunder) Bridge over the Elbe river....which goes all the way to Hamburg in Northern Germany!

The Elbe River.

Elbe again.

We really enjoyed spending an extra day with Elke and Mattias. I wasn't sure what to expect before we met them, especially knowing that only Mattias speaks English. But they were both so welcoming and warm. Elke speaks about as much English as I speak German (translation: not very much, and not very well!), but she did not let that stop her from communicating with us. She just kept right on talking in German, and through gestures, pointing, and Mattias, we got most of it! But even when I didn't understand her, I was so grateful that she was trying. And Mattias, my English-speaking friend.....he was my saving grace! They asked us many questions about our family and life in the U.S. I hope they will come visit us someday!!

Before I show you more pictures, I have to tell you one of my favorite stories from the whole trip. When Mattias and Elke picked us up from the train station, we took our luggage and drove all over town for the rest of the day. When we got into their car, I immediately recognized the music that was playing rather loudly: it was an old Tanya Tucker cd (a country singer). I figured that when they heard we were coming to visit, they must have rushed to the store and bought the only English language music cd they could find to make us feel at home - how sweet! Well, the next day, we were driving around again, and an old Johnny Cash song comes on. Of course I made a comment about it to Mike, and Mattias cuts in and says "Do you like Johnny Cash? I love Johnny Cash!" I was dumbfounded - turns out they are both big-time country music fans!! I asked Mattias how in the world he - a German who grew up in Soviet-occupied East Germany - came to like country music, and he smiled mischeviously and said "Amazon!" So for the rest of the day our conversation sounded like this:

"Do you like Waylon Jennings?"

"Oh yeah."

"Hey, is this The Tractors?"


"They have a really good Christmas cd."

"I know, I have it!"
We had a blast with our relatives. Elke and Mattias showed us the rest of Dresden, including some places that were near and dear to Oma. Mike got ahold of the camera and took lots of abstract shots:

We spent the afternoon riding the train back to Northern Germany and the Hampes. Dirty bathrooms, smells, standing-room only....I've had enough of trains for quite awhile, thankyouverymuch!

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