Do you know I work in a military hospital? One of the perks are USO tours, usually day tours. Last Saturday, I boarded a bus at 3:45 am to travel 3.5 hours up to Eisenach. I “half-slept” until 6:30, when the bus stopped for breakfast.
Some bread, meat, cheese, Jam, a soft boiled egg…this is German “truck” stop fare. I was disappointed because I really wanted an European buffet breakfast with yogurt, museli, herring, eggs, and spreads. Super sad!
After this, the wonderful tour guide explained that our bus had just passed over a past checkpoint marking EAST Germany. Eisenanch was on the east side, and the impact of the occupation continues to be noticeable.
Nearby, the Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO site, looms a thousand years of history.
Built in 1200, the fortress hosted impressive lineage…Saint Elizabeth (who foresake queendom and even her children to live and feed the poor…you’ve heard of her, believe me) Martin Luther, Bach, Wagner, and the location of the first public demonstration in the early 1800s for Germany to be come a unified country…
Have you ever been to a castle? Castles have different histories…they can be for royalty, for religious clergy, nobility…it’s really all about power. This one was erected to make sure that the nobility “claimed” the land and all its value. And I LOVE tours…because I am a teacher’s pet at heart. I ask on average 20 questions per tour. For example, in this case, I inquired about where Luther translated the bible from Greek into GERMAN here…really, it was the first time people could access their faith without having to rely on clergy. And how many children he had after he was excommunicated….people get pretty sick of me sometimes I think.
After a visit to the castle tour, the group wandered down to the town of the Eisenach itself.
I am busy all the time working 9-10 hours a day, then off to yoga or the gym or guitar lessons, or babysitting or whatever is “next” that I don’t take the time to stop and observe my world around me.
So, these day trips are important for me to notice my world here…
and what stood out to me…………..LOOK AT THOSE COLORS!
Truly, this landscape is typically German.
One of the best parts of the day involved a wonderful stew I tried. I insisted a late lunch (2:30 ish) at this spot because I spotted a woman slurpping down BRIGHT ORANGE liquid and picked up “KURBIS” on the daily special menu.
So sad they were out….UNTIL! SCORE! I ordered a white bean stew ‘mit speck’ which is ham….smoked ham that is. I usually don’t go for this type of dish, but perhaps going outside the usual bears unexpected fruits. I loved this so much more than I thought I would.
The FALL leaves, The Colors, The Stew, The History….Just a day where I got to explore a little outside of my day to day stuff here in Germany. It made me feel as if I should explore the nearby area a little bit more in depth….next up? Strasborg perhaps!
Ever have an experience where you couldn’t get what you REALLY wanted, and then were surprised?