German Distractions

While visiting the family in Germany I helped put together furniture that they purchased second hand through the German eBay that functioned more like Craigslist here. They bought loft beds for the kids, and Ikea like slat beds called “lattenrost”. Since German apartment bedrooms typically have no clothes closets, they bought large wardrobes. This one has several shelves, two hanging areas and six large drawers below. It is pine and quite nice. And it fit the space exactly.

Stolberg Castle from Hospital Window

Stolberg Castle from Hospital Window


They purchased oak dining room furniture with a breakfront, and a lovely handmade wood (cherry I think) buffet that was actually free! Also a couch and chairs and coffee tables for the living room area. They rented a large van and some work colleagues helped move the furniture up those three long flights of stairs!
Ikea is popular there and the closest store is about 40 minutes away in the Netherlands. We drove over and it was fun to see a foreign Ikea-with a mirror image layout of the one in Tempe, AZ that I used to live near. We bought linens and a couple mattresses and a light fixture. I installed a few light fixtures as most of the rooms had only bare bulbs hanging from cords.
New light fixtures

New light fixtures


We didn’t really do much touring. But we had some lovely treats. My Son-in-law loves early morning walks to the bakery to buy German rolls and pastries. We had fresh rolls every morning!
Breakfast Croissant

Breakfast Croissant


The family is also very fond of the ice cream shops. We stopped by more than once for this delicacy. I guess it helps the businesses that apartment refrigerators don’t always have freezers.
Ice cream shop

Ice cream shop


The grocery store sold these yummy German pretzels and German flag sour fruit gummies that my granddaughter loves.
German Pretzel and Flag Sour Gummy

German Pretzel and Flag Sour Gummy


We had a couple meals at traditional German restaurants. I had snitzel a couple different ways.
Traditional German Restaurant

Traditional German Restaurant


For a slight variation, we stopped at a Bavarian beer garden and restaurant that had a little playground for kids and a bicycle tire vending machine!
Bavarian Restaurant

Bavarian Restaurant


In downtown Wurselen we went out to a Turkish restaurant that had an interesting menu. They serve hamburgers and fries but ketchup costs extra in Germany! Right outside the restaurant was the World Cup banner and we were treated to a long line of honking cars the night Germany won a game.
Wurselen World Cup Banner

Wurselen World Cup Banner


One rather exciting development was an emergency hospitalization for another bowel attack! So I got to experience a German hospital in Stolberg. It was very pleasant and the staff were all wonderful and were kind about the language barrier, sending me staff who could speak English. My son in law is also fluent and got me admitted and paid the fees upfront for me so that my insurance claim can pay later. One difference was that the patients wore their own clothes including nightshirts and day clothes and instead of going to the room on a gurney, I was placed on a bed that was my hospital bed. When I left, they took the bed out of the room and probably sanitized it. There were rows of beds in a storage area each covered in plastic waiting for patients. There were three beds at one time in my room and then two ladies went home and another came. The view from my window, and I was at the window was beautiful. I was looking at the Stolberg Castle!
Stolberg Castle from Hospital Window

Stolberg Castle from Hospital Window


Aachen was once the capital of the Roman Empire and the seat of government for Charlemagne. We took time out to go to the Aachen Thermal Baths and enjoy some soaking and horsing around in the pools.
Charlemagne art at the thermal baths

Charlemagne art at the thermal baths


The kids scout troop meets at the old fort and city wall. There are not separate boy and girl scouts. But they are divided by age.
Old city fort and wall

Old city fort and wall


The kids also were admitted to their school as guests for a couple of weeks before the session ended. They got to experience the German school that they will be enrolled in next term. They enjoyed going to class and meeting German kids and teachers.
Kids' Grammar School

Kids’ Grammar School


After a few extra days to recover from hospitalization, I was winging my way home and stayed awake for 23 full hours of travel. It was a movie marathon trip because I was able to watch several movies on the airplanes. But like many travelers I came home and got sick. I went to urgent care at home and got treated for strep so feeling good a day or so after that. Thank goodness for antibiotics.

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