Guten Morgen and Auf Wiedersehen to Germany

I admit it.  I’ve never been to Germany, but part of me feels instantly at home.  My father was 100% German and being here I’m reminded of him.  I’m named after my German great-grandmother Katharina who sailed from Hamburg by herself, widowed the day before sailing.  Even my married name is German in origin.  Some 200 years ago the original John Martin Shawver was actually the German “Schauber” – but like many immigrants to America, he changed the name to a more ‘American’ version.

I walk through the train station, airport and hotel, and I don’t feel tall; I’m among taller people than me both men and women.  And how can I say this tactfully, the women are sturdier here as opposed to most Polish women who are a tall, thin size 2. I’ve never been petite either, but then I’m shaped like my German grandmother.  I’m not the only red head or person with very fair, freckled skin.  I blend in.

When I was young, my father taught me easy piano duets. We always began with “Eins, Zwei, Drei, Spiel.”  (One, two, three, play!) He’s also the only person I’ve ever known who actually liked liverwurst. He taught me to eat it when I was young – until I figured out what liver is. Being in a colder climate I feel more at home than in the Arizona desert where I’ve lived in for 40 years.  People who wear sleeves, jackets and scarves don’t comment on how pale my skin is or encourage me to spend more time in the sun to get a tan.  And no, even if I spend more time in the sun, I will never have anything but sunburn, freckles and squamous cell carcinoma.
Today we leave Weimar for Leipzig where we fly out very early on a Sunday morning and spend about 22 hours traveling home.  There is an onion festival in Weimar today which is very popular and has been going on for over 300 years. It explains why hotel reservations were so hard to get two months ago, which I didn’t understand at the time.  Not sure what it is exactly, but I’m told it’s just a great excuse for a street party with music, beer and a chance to eat onion cake and bratwurst.  We’ll miss it as it would be difficult to attend carrying our luggage.  And since I don’t know what Wi-Fi will be like in Leipzig I won’t be posting again till we get back to the States.  So I will post an extra post for your reading pleasure.  Thanks for sharing the journey.  It will continue when I’m home.
Ich hatte eine wunderbare zeit.  Bis bald! (I’ve had a wonderful time.  See you soon.)

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