Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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Following our Dreams and Kicking the Bucket List.  Started on a yacht, now it's planes, trains, Trailblazer 5th wheel, camels, rickshaws.  Exploring our wonderful world.

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

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SLIDE SHOW of Worrall Travel R's 2014 ODYSSEY

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Now showing 2014 BEST Of GERMANY

Monday, November 17, 2014

Days 156-57-58 Driving Through Memory Lane - Ulm and Schwabisch Gmund


Ulmer Munster, shrouded in scaffolding and fog on a November Evening

Day 156 - Saturday, November 15 - Neu Ulm

We walked through Munich this morning and picked up our car at the Bahnhof.  By 12:30 we were on our way to Ulm in off again-on again fog.  We had forgotten how foggy the drive can be in this Donau Valley and how fast the Germans drivers are and oblivious to the fog.  When we arrived in the area we drove to the Neu Ulm side of the river to try and find remnants of the Army Kaserne and the 39th Engineering Group.  We lived here as newlyweds from 1970-1971.  Russ worked in the Community Leader's Office for a year before the Group was dissolved and we were transferred to Schwabisch Gmund.  We have so many fond memories of Ulm and still keep in touch with friends from here.

The environs have changed significantly.  Many of the old army buildings have been torn down or have been repurposed for private industry and apartments.  We found our old apartment building.  It has been remodeled.  The high pitched tile roofs have been removed for a flatter more modern look, the windows have been replaced with newer German windows.



I looked up to the fourth floor windows where our apartment was and wondered if a lift had been installed.  Four flights of steps was a challenge while carrying groceries, laundry, and hoping that friends would just drop by.  No one drops by a fourth floor apartment.  Lace curtains hung in all the other windows of the building, but not on the fourth floor where we had lived. Perhaps it is vacant.  Families were in and out. This looks like a Turkish neighborhood.  

The school still stands where Russ and I taught first aid classes, Dietrich theater old and expanded, and the NCO club is now the Wiley Club Bistro.  Across from the Kaserne area there is now a huge sports arena, and the streets were packed with cars and people trying to find parking and crossing busy streets.  We reminisced of people and activities that we knew here.  Those were the days!

We are spending three nights with our Airbnb host Elijah who is the same as age as our daughter, Abby.  His father was here as a soldier then a civil servant.  Elijah's dad has died now, but his German mom still lives nearby.  Elijah is a school teacher and speaks both German and English fluently.  We are enjoying his company.  His apartment is in Ulm within walking distance of the city center.

Day 157 - Schwabisch Gmund

Today, looks to be the best day for a drive in the country.  The fog is lifting and the sun is peaking out from behind the clouds.  We enjoy our day driving through the German country side.





Beautiful green fields are fringed with the orange and yellow hues of late fall.  We revisit our housing area.


First Floor Left Side


This too has been updated with balconies on the back of the apartments.  They are afterthoughts to the original design and don't look all that sturdy, but knowing the Germans they no doubt are.  The old Kaserne at the bottom of the hill is a university campus.

The town is now a college town and caters to young people and their families.  We spend the afternoon poking around and enjoying hot cocoa and apple strudel.







On the way back to Ulm we stop at the Steiff Teddy Bear Factory and pick up a few things.






Day 158 - Ulm

It is foggy again today, so yesterday's choice for a drive was a good one.  Not only is it foggy, it's quite chilly and the clothes we hauled through the Gobi desert across China, and the ones we bought in August while we were in Croatia, just aren't warm enough.  Since we are headed for Vermont, tomorrow we decide to buy some new gloves, scarves, shoes and boots, and for me a hat.


We spend the entire day walking around recapturing the beauty of the area.




I know we appreciated it while we were here many years ago, but it seems especially lovely and we had forgotten much.   Our favorite area is the walk along the old wall and the fisherman's quarter.




Crooked little house built before Columbus sailed the Atlantic

A walk along the old wall in Ulm
And of course we visit the famous landmark of the Ulmer Munster.  Once this church was in a wide open square.  Today buildings surround the church and the square becomes more crowded with the Christmas Market shops.


Both the inside and outside of the Munster are being refurbished, new electric wiring, cleaning, repairs.  We will look forward to another visit in a few more years when it is all completed. Nevertheless, the cathedral is a queen of beautiful architecture.







After a day of shopping, geocaching, and walking through the old parts of Ulm where the buildings date back to 1440,

we stopped in a wonderful little gasthaus for hot mulled wine, schnitzel and spatzle.







Oh my!  It seems as if we leave a piece of our hearts where ever we go.  Aufweidersehen, Germany.

Tomorrow we will fly to Boston with stop over in Iceland, then rent a car and head to Vermont.





All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's Coming Home to America


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Days 149-155, Black Forest English Immersion

Today is November 15, Saturday, Day 156, and we are in Ulm, Germany, but more about that tomorrow.

We returned to Munich last night by bus after spending a week in a delightful hotel in the middle of nowhere in the Black Forest. This was the venue for the English Immersion course for 16 German speaking people who wanted to be in an intensive English speaking environment. The students ranged in age from their early twenties to their mid fifties with the hopes of improving their English for business, personal, and educational purposes.

Russ and I volunteered to be part of the Anglo speaking contingent who came from the USA, Canada, England, Ireland, and South Africa. In exchange for our lovely accommodations, full board, and pool, sauna, and hot tub amenities, we (students and Anglos) spent nearly 15 hours a day working with the students. There were fifteen Anglos, so most of the experience was one on one, but some of the sessions were presentations, conference calls, telephones, fun activities, theater, and long walks in the forest while talking, listening, correcting, and laughing with our new German friends. All of the students had to have a basic knowledge of English through their schooling and experience. This course was to help them speak and think in English.

We had a great time, made global friends, and saw tremendous improvement with the students. Yes, we would do it again. If you are interested in a similar experience in Germany or Spain, check out DIVERBO.com

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's in the Black Forest

Friday, November 07, 2014

Day 147-148 Infidel Lovers in London



Today is 148, November 7,  and we are in the process of saying goodbye to London.  We have had a wonderful time and are now in the Stansted Airport Inn, on the Northeast side of the outer ring of London, and are leaving for Munich tomorrow, November 8.  We will be in Germany for 10 days, then will be flying home to America on November 18. We are excited about coming home, but trying to stay focused on our last days of our Odyssey.  

In Germany, we have volunteered to be English speakers in an English Immersion Language School, DIVERBO, in the Black Forest for a week.  Please don't be looking for blogs or photos as I think we will be very involved and immersed ourselves for the week.  We are looking forward to yet another type of experience.  After our week in the Black Forest, we will return to our 1970-73 home away from home towns in Ulm and Schwabisch Gmund, Germany.  Looking forward to schnitzel and spatzle.

Yesterday, November 6, Day 147

Due to a last minute change in our evening plans, we booked tickets to see the musical Infidel.  It was another rainy day and we spent most of it in the National Gallery, enjoying art from the 16th to the 20th centuries.  During the first part of the day, we walked through Covent Gardens absorbing the beginning of the Christmas Season.  

 In the evening, we made our way to Stratford East and the Theater Royal.  The play is off the main grid, but was absolutely excellent.  Wow!  The acting and songs were terrific, but second to the message that we are people first.  I'm thinking about the plays we have seen, Book of Mormon, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Infidel.  Is there a thread here?  Hmm.

So Long London, we have had a blast.

All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's

Day 146 - Poppies in London - Another Travel Reunion


Day 146, November 6, 2016 - Tower of London

Today does not bode well for sunshine.  Nevertheless, 10s of thousands of people queued up to see the commemorative 850,000 ceramic poppies in the moat surrounding the Tower of London.




Each poppy represents the fallen Brits in World War I.  We are always impressed with the strong sense of memorial of the people of he commonwealth, much more so than in America.  Here, almost everyone wears poppies and war loss and gratitude is magnified.  We bought our poppies, and from what we understand all 850,000 poppies have been sold with the proceeds going to veterans projects.  Way cool!

We walked from Tower Bridge

to the Tower of London and back toward Bank Street, enjoying the architecture of both old and new buildings in London.  Once again, we met up with a traveling buddy that we met on our Australian Outback adventure two years ago.  Claudia is a German, working and living in London.  She is lots of fun, and we enjoyed a great meet-up and Vietnamese cuisine at the DaNang Restaurant.

The Three of Us in Darwin 2013 - Roz, Russ, and Claudia




All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's wearing our poppies in London.