Friday, October 02, 2009

German Adventure Day 11: Tuesday, July 28th

Our second-to-last full day in Germany. Christiane (Nil's mom) drove us to Kiel so we could spend our last few days in Germany with Nil's grandparents. Kiel is about an hour North of Hamburg, right on the Baltic Sea.

We stayed with Wolfgang's parents, Else and Wolfgang The Elder (that's how I think of him in my head to distinguish him from Nils' father, who shares the same name). They maintain a lovely home with a huge garden and many fruit trees.

German houses are so different than American houses - they don't feel the need to spread out so much and appreciate their space more!

Kiel was an important center for Naval Activity during World War II, and still is a major shipbuilding center. We got the unique opportunity to tour a submarine that was used during World War II, Unterseeboot 995. A crew of 40-50 lived on this vessel.
Only one word can sum up the feeling I got from being on this boat: snug!! I can't imagine what it was like to live on one of those things. They were pretty inventive:
That is a BED below the torpedo! Don't sit up too fast! I am told that 2-3 crew members would be assigned the same bed and would sleep in shifts. That's Else standing next to Mike. My poor husband....ships like this were NOT made for guys his height!

The spacious kitchen. I had about as much counter space in our first apartment!

Wolfgang, the Elder. Remember how I mentioned that Nils' dad has the most energy of any man his age I have ever met? He inherited it from this guy.

Every single square inch was put to use!

The ONLY toilet on the ship could not be flushed below 25 m!

Whew, was I glad to get out of there! The Laboe Naval Memorial is near the submarine, so we visited that as well. It was originally built to memorialize World War I, but was later rededicated to commemorate sailors who died in both World Wars. I liked that is remembers sailors of ALL nationalities, but I found that it presented a rather rose-tinted view of war.

As I said before, Kiel is right on the Baltic Sea. It was heavily bombed at the close of WWII but much of it has been rebuilt. We found this to be true of many German cities we visited. Kiel's port is very busy, with sailing ships, ferries from places like Sweden and Norway, and shipbuilding yards.

The next day was our last full day in Germany. I always start feeling the same way at this point in a vacation: sad to leave, but eager to get home. I was NOT looking forward to the loooooong plane ride, but I was really missing our animals, hearing ENGLISH, and American food. But our time in Kiel was very enjoyable - I was able to rest my foot and the rest of my body as well. As you can see from the pictures, Wolfgang and Else have a GORGEOUS home. It was so relaxing!! And as a bonus, Else the nurse took excellent care of my foot! We are so grateful for everyone who hosted us during our German adventure!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

You have such great pics of your German trip!!!! What a great experience for both of you!