Trip to Germany part 2.
Stuttgart Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
SOOO.... after my first trip to Germany where I met lots of great people and made many new friends I had to zip back to Canada and await the arrival of a tool from our company here in Canada. We needed a couple of weeks to repair the tool and then I had to fly back to Germany and travel to the Laupheim Airbus factory for a tryout. Before I left I made sure I had lots of Canadian paraphenalia to bring with me.
I had been refinishing my bagpipes, so I finished that when I got back home and then broke them all down and put them into my carry on bag. (This might seem odd but if you play a musical instrument you probably know the dread of leaving your instrument unattended)
I left from Toronto International without too many problems and travelled Air France into Charles de Gaulle.(Travelled on the same plane that slid off of the runway a few months later in T.O. sheeesh!!)
I flew into Stuttgart and once again and as I was travelling through the security area the guard showed me the xray of my carry on and asked me what the tubes were. I had never given thought to my prospect as a terrorist or drug dealer and I had to chuckle to myself. All I could say at that point was Dudlesac....he was an older gentleman wearing bifocals with a discerning disposition - he looked at me over his glasses and I said (like that should make a difference???) "I'm from Canada!"
He smiled and spoke to some of his co workers in German, and I'm sure he was saying "come and look at this crazy Canadian" it was clear sailing after that!!
Thomas picked me up and we headed of for Kirchheim. I had a lovely hotel and after some freshening up I accompanied his family and friends out to the local airport where they were having an international hang gliding competition. What impressed me was how people walked and rode their bikes everywhere, we were no exception.
It was a beautiful sunny sunday, right after May day which is still celebrated in Kirchheim, so everyone was in the mood to party. We had pizza and beer and a nice stroll around town where I had the chance to work on my limited German.
I had played at a recital before I left home so I had all of my kit with me and Thomas promised me a debut at the end of the week.(more later)
The trip to Airbus was absolutely fascinating, and the neatest part was this great big German fellow I got to work with. I had been wearing my company coat that he kept admiring and finally he asked me where he could get one. He was a happy, gregarious fellow larged than life type of fellow. I told him i would trade him my company coat for one of his airbus uniform coats (BIGGGG NO NO) so he agreed and bundled it up for me to take home. I think my coat fit him like a bib but he was happy and so was I.
After about a 14 hour day at the airbus factory I went to stay in the Schiefes or leaning house in Ulm.
It is a 500 year old house leaning into the river and is in the old Fischer district near the Ulm cathedral (the church with the highest spire in the world at 585 ft) and near the Donau (Danube river)
It has these crazy huge timbers and is retrofitted with all the lastest greatest of everything!
After I got settled in and got my jaw back in place we met up with the Engineers from Airbus and I had an "original" Budweiser from Czechloslovakia. I'm not a "Bud" fan but I tell you that was probably the best beer I ever had!!!!!!!
We went down across the river and had they delighted in bringing me to an authentic German restaurant for pork knuckle or schweinhaxe. Of course I had to have Schnapps (every kind) and beer in half litres.
The pork knuckle is served with dumplings and sauer kraut and I could not move by the end of it!!!!!
We went up to a Mexican bar up town and proceeded to drink yet again ( what else are business trips for???)
At about midnight we went up to the square where the Ulm cathedral was and I'll never forget how beautuful and touching it was to stand there in the spring air on the cobblestones and look up at such beautiful piece of architecture. They sensed it was very moving for me and nobody said anything for about 15 minutes.
After that they had to be up early and we were tired so we all headed of for some well deserved shut eye.
I was done all of my work the first day so the rest of the week was all about sightseeing. I got to see this crazy dinosaur museum and took a taxi ride out to Zell where some of my ancestors once lived.
I stayed at the zum fuchsen in Kirkchheim and it was a great place full of German old country charm, everything was clean and the staff were all polite,courteous,clean and very helpful!!
The best part was going up to Teck castle www.homestead.com/
I took a taxi up to within 20 mins of the top and preceded to hike up the rest of the way. Once I got to the top I had to sit down for a minute and then pulled out the pipes. I got up into one of the old battlements and played for about 20 mins or so. There were only a dozen or so people there but they all clapped when I was done (maybe because they were glad lol??!!)
It was such an awesome experience playing up there in this 500+ year old castle and the view was fantastic. I treated myself with a sausage and a coke and then after a look around I was ready to hike back down.
Backdown at the parking lot waiting for the taxi I played for another 20 midns and it was just fantastic, lots of people stopped to say hi and wave, and thank fully there was no gunfire...........