Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Passing time in Wiesbaden

Soon after school started, Clarissa was invited to two birthday parties (always a good thing when settling it). Only problem was we still didn't have our car and the parties were out in Wiesbaden (pronounced vees-baa-dn). We opted to take the U-Bahn train out there....should only take about an hour (what will be a 30 minute drive), but we missed one train and it ended up taking us 2.5 hours the first time (and of course the last stretch of track was closed for repair, so we had to get off on and then take a shuttle bus to the stop we were meant to disembark at)! Due to Richard having the job ticket (a special bus/train ticket for getting to work. On evenings and weekends, he can have one adult and 2 children ride with him), so using his ticket we both took her to the party. Then Richard and I wandered around passing time as it took so long to get out there it wouldn't be worth it to go home for 5 minutes and then head back.

The first party was at Kletterwald Neroberg - a treetop climbing forest/rope course.

Grabbed some photos before she saw me....lol. Clarissa had a blast and is ready to go back! So while waiting, Richard and I had a snack at a little cafe that was overlooking the city of Wiesbaden. 

There was a monument for WW1. 

 There were a vineyard growing on the hillside.

We discovered the Nerobergbahn. It is a half-timbered railway that uses water to move trains up and down the incline. We were not sure of how long it took, so we opted to wait until another day to ride it. 

We then wandered through the nearby forest we were in. 

Can't tell if Richard was an angry troll or a fun guy.....speaking of, we saw lots of fungi!

The following weekend, Clarissa had the second party. This one was in downtown Wiesbaden. So it was much easier to get too (but still had to take the shuttle to the last stop). After dropping her off at the party, Richard and I wandered around downtown. First thing we checked out was the Marktkirche (market church). 

The Marktkirche is such a massive landmark, we can see it from the Wiesbaden Army Base. Marktkirche was built in 1284, obviously it had a few remodels over the years (big fire in 1850). The current gothic design was from that rebuild and finished in 1866. 

In WW2, the church was struck in an air raid and suffered major damage, the buttress were hit and the ceiling to the main church had caved in. The organ was rebuilt.

You could even see some repair work on the walls.

We then walked over to a farmer's market. We happened upon on street musicians.

Disregard the tourist that walked in front of the camera. The wrought iron balcony reminded me of New Orleans, LA. 

We found a doner kebab restaurant for lunch (I had a yummy falafel wrap and Richard a doner bowl). 

We were wandering around and Clarissa calls and asks where we are (still have over half the party). The party was at a theater and they taught the kids a skit and they were ready to perform. We were given specific directions to NOT ATTEND. So we were following instructions, but since a bunch of other parents were in the audience we suddenly need to be there. We saw the last one or two minutes (and totally looked like slacker parents). After the show, the kids went down for snacks and cake, so we just hung around with the other parents. Then we made the long train ride home (the shuttle bus to the train stop was soooo crowded (ie Richard had to hop on and off to let other people off), luckily everyone wore masks and we avoided the C-19 plague. We also feel we have mastered the U2 and S9 UBahn lines...lol.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Arrival in Frankfurt

So we arrived in Frankfurt in August of 2021. It was still summer, so lots of blooming roses with bees on walks around our new neighborhood.

We've found several parks within walking distance that are good for a little mandatory fun.

Don't mind grumpy Richard.....and remember you're never too old for the treehouse slide!

We saw meadows for insects!

The Europaturm ("Tower of Europe") is a landmark that directs us towards home when lost (or a reminder which exit to get off the freeway at night). It is a telecommunications tower that was build in 1974 and is 337.5 meters (1,107 feet) tall. The tower top of the tower is different colors some nights for remembering or celebrating things. Fun fact: the tower is lovingly called the "Ginnemer Spaschel" aka the Ginnheimer Aspargus!

We even found hibiscus flowers blooming!! They must be cold hardy because August in Frankfurt = Winter in Qatar & Fiji.....uh oh!

We've ventured down to the Römerplatz. It is a giant platz (plaza) in front of the Römer, which is a medieval building.

The Römer has housed the Frankfurt Rathaus for over 600 years. What is the Rathaus? The city hall....I think US city halls deserve a better name....lol. I'd say 2/3 of the times I've been in Römerplatz we have seen newly married couples emerging from the Rathaus.

On another side of the Römerplatz is the Old St. Nicholas church.

I can not find what this block of buildings are called, also in the Römerplatz.

There is a lock bridge going over the Main River.

A cool clock tower and a short walk to Kaiserdom St. Bartholomäus. 

I'm sure we'll be taking more photos from this area....but I'll save that for another day. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Wrapping up home leave 2021.....

The majority of our home leave 2021 was spent in Charleston, South Carolina....likely our last home leave there as we now have our own place in Florida. Looking forward to landing and everyone can come to us (as oppose to running around like we have the last 3 home leaves and R&Rs). We make the big flight over the pond, so a drive down to Orlando is not too bad.

We spent a lot of time running around to doctor's appointments (more than we had planned - someone got contacts, which involved a lot practicing, trying putting them in and out, etc). Based on the past two home leaves, it would not be HL if I didn't get something removed (luckily no cancer this time, just an annoying cyst that wouldn't resolve itself). We enjoyed plenty of time at our favorite restaurants as well. I was also still working remotely all HL (super fun to plan interviews at a reasonable hour in Qatar and not insanely early on the east coast).

Here is a picture of the cousins playing in their natural habitat (aka on electronics)....at least it appeared they were all playing the same game. After a relaxing Father's day brunch (that was on the only time we could get all the teens together...lol).

Given Frankfurt will be a lot colder the majority of the year and we won't have our own yard, we used up the rest of the water balloons we had leftover from Doha.

Airborne Ninja?

Someone was double dog dared to smash a balloon on their head...lol.

We took lots of walks with our new camera (upgraded to the Nikon Z6II mirrorless camera). So we played with the new camera a bit a lot. So I will end with a couple of the wildlife photos and save the rest for Monday Moments.

A Great Egret (Ardea alba) wading at the river's edge.

Deer on Deer Walk (street name.....just a bit ironic)

Osprey (Pandion sp.) on an electric line.

Eastern king snake (Lampropeltis getula) just outside the front door!