We are sad to say goodbye to Grindelwald, Switzerland. We have loved every moment that we have been here and hope to see our hosts Gordy and Gabby again someday when we return or if we exchange homes in the future.
|Gabby and Gordy|
The last two days have played cloud peek-a-boo with the sun, but as we leave the sky is once again brilliant blue.
Our plan today on Saturday is to travel by train from Grindelwald to Dusseldorf, Germany. We will arrive late in the day.
Once again from Interlaken to Mannheim we were in a six person suite. A German woman about our age was saying farewell (we learned later) to her niece. She occupied both of the window seats, one for herself and the one across from her with her carryon bags. As she sat down across from the empty seat, she started to cry and felt the need to tell us why she had two seats.
This had been a planned trip for both her and her husband and they had reserved two window seats. But apparently he died just prior to their trip. Our hearts ached for her. She offered to move her bags so that one of us could sit by the window, but we decline. It just didn't feel right to take "his" seat.
The woman's name was Monica, and she spoke excellent English. She told us she would be getting off the train in a little town called Muhlheim. I asked her what Mulheim meant. It means the home of the Miller. I told Monica that my maternal grandmother's maiden name was Mehlhouse. She said yes, Muhl and Mehl both meant mill. Haus and Heim both meant house but heim was the more friendly term... I think like house vs. home. She said there are Mehlhaus and Muhlhaus, Mehlheim and Melhhaus all over Germany. I guess I was hoping that perhaps my great grandfather Adolf Mehlhaus (Mehlhouse) was from a findable village....tnat is if I investigated all the the towns in Germany or Sachsany with that name.
When we reached Bern, another passenger from France joined us. Monica switched from fluent English to fluent French and was able to talk with us and translate for us. The time aboard went quickly, and we transferred trains in Mannheim for Dusseldorf. Dussel Monica told us means a small river, dorf means town. A small river does wind its way through the once small village before flowing into the Rhine. Monica had asked us why we were going to Dusseldorf as tourists do not usually seek out this destination. We explained our interest in seeing the Neanderthal Museum.
We arrived at the correct train stop where we would walk to our accommodations. The tiny, right on the street row house, was a surprise package waiting to unfold.
The back of the house opened to a large very private and nice back living area.
Our hosts Susanne and Heiko live in the home. and we are renting a bedroom for two nights from them. They made us feel quite welcome and told us to make ourselves at home. They had an event they were attending and left soon after we arrived.
Russ and I went to the local grocery store less than a block away and across the street, and bought food for two mornings, two lunches and two dinners. Brought the food back to the house then heated up the frozen cannelloni dinners, made a fresh green salad with tomatoes, and poured the wine while we watched the World Cup Soccer, Germany vs. Sweden. We were rooting for both teams. In the end Germany won.
We cleaned up the kitchen, locked the doors, took our showers and went to bed.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Our hosts are still sleeping by the time we tiptoe out of the house and head for the Neanderthal Museum at 9:30. We took the local train three stops,
got off and walked six kilometers through the beautiful Neander Valley, to the Museum.
Both Russ and I have Neanderthal DNA, so we wanted to come back to the area where Neanderthal bones were first discovered in Germany. These earlier homo sapiens were most likely our distant ancestors when modern humans and the Neanderthals had a reproductive relationship.
The museum was very interesting. We learned that in the 1600's the fashion was to translate German names in to Greek. Jocheim Neumann
born in 1650 carried the name Jocheim Neander. He became a composer and spent considerable time in the beautiful Dusseldorf area which was an inspiration to his religious hymns. The valley was named for him.
Later when the bones of early humans were discovered in the rubble of a limestone quarry, they were called Neanderthals.
As we walked toward the museum through the old quarry,
we passed by the outdoor exhibits of live animals that are ancient or hybrid from earlier times. Of the three animals on the sign, the bisons, aurochs, and tarpans (wild Asian-European horses), all of which the Neanderthals hunted for food, we only saw the tarpans.
The wooly Mammoth was one of the animals during the Neanderthal times that are now extinct.
The exhibits were interesting and we paid our respects to our early ancestors. Do you see a resemblance.
|Tell me your stories Great Grandfather.|
But before we left, we took a "family" portrait.
|Aunt "Lucy" is Center behind Russ.|
All is well with the Worrall Travel Rs in the Neander Valley, looking for our early roots.